Secondary Thinking about becoming a teacher

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Kwality

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CliffMcTainshaw

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I've been following this thread for years - have spent the last 12 years working across Justice, Child Protection and Education (non-teaching sector), have loved working with kids and would like to translate this passion into the classroom.

Looked into the transition and every University in WA said I'd need to study about 3-4 years full-time, the Masters +non-award units to make up a specialisation or even needing to do an entire 4 year undergraduate. Gave up as I have kids and mortgages.

Then my teacher mate told me about the 'Teach for Australia' program and to look into it as it targets career-changers. Had an online consult with them and couldn't believe it - all you needed was an undergraduate degree in something else. I can't believe I haven't read about it in this forum, effectively:

- Apply for the program and gain admission - 2 year Masters + working as a teacher.
- Study 5 weeks at an intensive residential campus in Melbourne (however moving online/other locations soon)
- Begin teaching immediately in the new year at 0.8 FTE, on top of this over the next 2 years you will complete the Masters (%75 as %25 is completed in the 5-week residential campus).
- Your school must be a partner-school, and are 'hard-to-staff' schools in lower-socioeconomic regions or regional/remote regions.
- After completing the Masters and the 2 years of teaching you are a qualified teacher.

The only real 'catch' for me is my undergraduate in Psychology which I have no interest in teaching, however I did a bunch of writing electives that will nearly make up an English major.

I'm in the process of applying, the wages over this time are average but management - you receive %80 of a first-yearing teaching salary so would be around 58k-62k. That's far more manageable than giving up work and filling glasses at a bar while studying at Uni for the next 4 years.

My teacher mate said this course is hated by many teachers and educational institutes, in that it demeans the profession and undermines the teaching qualifications others have had to follow. Personally, it is the only way I would ever be able to transition into teaching, and as my interest is in education Aboriginal and other disadvantaged groups this would suit me perfectly.
I got into teaching from my cricket coaching background. Coaching kids and adults got me to consider teaching. When I first got into teaching I went into the Technical School System. Everyone who taught in a Technical School had to have a diploma/degree and a minimum of 2 years in the workforce in an area allied to their teaching specialty or 8 years if you were coming in from a trade area. Once you were accepted your Teacher Training Course went over 2 years. Two days at Teachers College and three days in a school to put into practice what you had learnt in College and receive feedback from your supervising teacher. My salary went from $18K a year to $12K for the two years, a fair size cut but it did enable me to swap across to teaching. Without any money for two years, I and most everyone else wouldn't have changed careers into teaching. To be honest your type of Teaching Course is a great way to go and you will have far more experience in front of a class than if you came through a Uni Course when you become a full time teacher. The fact that you have worked outside the Education field will stand you in good stead with your students. You can give them a first hand opinion of what it's like out in the big wide world and you should have plenty of stories from your working career to entertain and instruct your students.
It's already been said here about teaching but I will back up an earlier statement along the lines that, we don't teach subjects, we teach children and if you remember that and make caring about the student a priority, you can't go too far wrong.
Go for it and best of luck.
 
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patterns

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If you’re a male, want to teach and have an European passport then Germany is the place for you. They’re literally advertising for teaching positions by encouraging males to apply first such is the shortage of male staff here.
I've heard this before, and it seems right.

What about the language barriers?
 

Kram

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You were correct to question my claim of $108K. It's MUCH higher.
No University degree, just a sturdy pair of legs, a high boredom threshold and just watching the Traffic Controllers at the rebuilding of a local shopping centre, a mobile phone to while away the day.
https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/r...s/news-story/fd3954ffa2ab712eb756d688d0ea19ff
From a couple of posters that have actually done the job on this page.

https://www.bigfooty.com/forum/thre...e-in-op-part-5.1266202/page-389#post-71070881

Traffic controller on a CFMEU union site is very lucrative. $54-$56 base rate. Hence the "$180k lollipop man!" media beatups a while back.

Clue: if you don't know the right people, even if you're paying $$$ to CFMEU and have the right stickers on your hard hat, you aren't getting that job.

Several traffic control companies talk up "award" rates - yeah, Australian Workers Union award which is around $30/hr less than CFMEU.

Traffic controllers are almost universally "full time casual", here's my rant on the subject from 18 months ago when the subject came up.

It's generally easy work, but it's right at the bottom of the food chain, you are exposed to all weather, and drivers are fwits. I quit after being hit by a car for the third time in 15 months. It is very dangerous and you have to keep your wits about you.

--

My experience of "full time casual". Not as a carefree 20-ish single working in a bar with fu** all else to spend money on other than themselves.

Full time == this is your job, forget how little you can get paid, you're off the government books and you're a positive employment statistic.
Casual ==


  • Waiting from 4:30 to 6:00 for a call or txt to find out if you are working tomorrow
  • Don't bother making other plans for tomorrow because if you turn down a shift you won't get any more
  • Keep your phone with you and charged because if you don't respond in 10 minutes its classed as turning it down
  • If they don't call and you make plans and you get a call at 6am because some campaigner hasn't turned up its a problem because if you turn down a shift you won't get any more (although this scenario has a bit of leeway depending on how long you've been there)
  • Drive almost an hour to get to the yard by 5:30am to get a ute and paperwork, drive for an hour to an hour and a half in peak traffic to get to the job
  • The customer has the right to cancel for any reason (weather, delivery missed, whatever) right up until you are physically on site, and you get paid NOTHING*
  • You start to get paid ONLY once you are on site and from the agreed time (doesn't matter if you're early)
  • You are there until the job is finished, with a "mandatory" break of 15 minutes every 2 hours (in 15 months I had exactly zero)
  • Once packed up and the job sheet is signed by the customer, your time stops
  • You then drive an hour to an hour and a half in peak traffic back to the yard
  • Park up, do the paperwork, sort out the tools on the ute etc for the next day
  • Go home
Most common scenario: Get paid 4-6 hours for a 6-9 hour day excluding travel time from/to home
Average week: 18-20 hours
Best week: 46 hours due to being called out and working overnight
Worst week: ZERO
Worst fortnight: ZERO
Worst month: 18 hours

Try budgeting or saving for a rainy day on that.

Good news? After months of struggle Centrelink gave me a Low Income health care card.
Bad news? Eight weeks later they cancelled it because extra shifts bounced me just over the income limit for that specific period.

Stand up for your rights? Make waves? Fail to tell the bosses how wonderful they were? Catch a customer having a bad day and they badmouth you to a sales rep? Fail to bow and scrape and lick the feet of the bosses pet(s)? Turn down shifts while not in the process of actually dying? Tell them in advance you'd like a few days off, not knowing it could be a busy period?

That's all OK. YOU HAVE RIGHTS. You are PROTECTED by legislation. The government has ENSHRINED your wellbeing as a casual worker in legislation. YOU CANNOT BE FIRED WITHOUT CAUSE OR GOING THROUGH A PROCESS.

You'll just miss a couple of shifts next week. Then you'll have one shift the following week. And then you'll be sitting with your phone out wondering why the fu** you're not getting any txts or calls in the late afternoon, and one day you'll pluck up the courage to ring and be told "Oh you're fine, sorry, there's been a downturn and we just don't have any work for you at the moment, hang in there" and for a few days you believe it until the realisation hits that you have no food in the cupboard and no money in the bank and you can no longer afford to be one of the government's full time employment stats.**




* Oh dear its started drizzling. Drive like a fu**en maniac to get to the site before the pin is pulled, so you can qualify for the four hour minimum. Phone rings, offsider says customer has cancelled but get here as quick as you can, I told them you're already here but have nicked off to Maccas to get a coffee. Can't drive any faster so just hope to get there before the customer wises up. This happened to me three times. May explain some tradie ute behaviour in the mornings.
** Fortunately not me, I was one of the rare ones who quit while still getting "plenty" of work, but I saw it happen to many others I worked with daily.
Pretty much what you said above

I haven't had an actual lunch break the last 3 weeks - basically the only shifts I've had where I've been able to have a lunch break or even make use of a public bathroom is when working for Geelong Council

Work an 11+ hour shift last week, plus 30 minute travel time to & from the site - no breaks, not even a toilet break. I did notice on my payslip though that I got a meal allowance for that shift 🙄. I also nearly got hit by a car after sunset and it was getting dark; I'm in my day/night gear but this car didn't have their headlights on so only saw me at the last moment. Reflective tape is only good if folks actually turn the lights on in their car

I may have also pissed someone off in the office - was in the middle of a 9.75 hour shift last Monday (my first day on this particular site but the 2 regulars had been working that site for a couple of months and had been doing 9/10 hours shifts up to 6 days a week). So I get notification to say I'm being put on call for that night which just wasn't suitable & against protocols after working the length of shift I was on

Told them no, but it was already too late to get a shift for Tuesday because I was added to the on call roster

This afternoon I declined my next shift which was to start at 11:30pm on Monday - I'm still rather new & have no night whites, and after last week's near miss I have no desire to work a full night shift until I'm ready and have adequate ppe available

If you can get on a unionised site then all good pay wise - but working as a casual I'm not exactly building up the retirement fund
 

CliffMcTainshaw

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Plenty of Germans speak better English than a lot of Aussies.
The sister of one of my great mates got her degree in French in the early 70's and moved to France to improve her French and pursue a career as a teacher. When she got here the style of French she spoke was common after the war and in the early 50's, she sounded very quaint. But the biggest shock she had was, because she had a French Degree she could teach French but was unable to teach English because she didn't have an English Degree.
 

wadistance

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Yeah, of course.

I just thought maybe it would be a criteria to speak German in some cases.
Yeah look in a state school, you’ll need to speak German, as the state authorities won’t give you a full teaching license without it.

Independent schools are a different story tho. I teach at a bilingual English/German school and my language capability is not even taken into consideration, as i only need to teach in English. I had previously worked in a German school teaching sport and maths.. but it was a bit too ‘stiff’ for me


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

patterns

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Yeah look in a state school, you’ll need to speak German, as the state authorities won’t give you a full teaching license without it.

Independent schools are a different story tho. I teach at a bilingual English/German school and my language capability is not even taken into consideration, as i only need to teach in English. I had previously worked in a German school teaching sport and maths.. but it was a bit too ‘stiff’ for me


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yeah, I thought that might be the case.
 

CliffMcTainshaw

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Don't we? What have I been doing the last forty odd years?
That is a strange thing for a moderator to do, selectively isolate part of a statement to make your argument. If you look at the entire statement the meaning behind it is that the most important job of a teacher, is to teach children, you should not make the mistake that feeding your students information is all they need to get good results. Your main purpose is to develop the children in your care into better, more resilient people who will benefit from that development in the future, whether it is in your subject, other subjects or in their personal life. If you focus on learning the strengths and weaknesses of your students you will not only develop their learning, but your teaching skills as well. Just getting up in front of a class and regurgitating the details of your subject won't achieve that. It is all about putting relationships as your priority. Once you have done that classroom disruption drops and behaviour improves, which makes it much easier to teach.
 

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Roylion

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That is a strange thing for a moderator to do, selectively isolate part of a statement to make your argument.
I don't moderate this board.

If you look at the entire statement the meaning behind it is that the most important job of a teacher, is to teach children, you should not make the mistake that feeding your students information is all they need to get good results.
The end result is to help students achieve the best they can in the subject/s I teach.

Your main purpose is to develop the children in your care into better, more resilient people who will benefit from that development in the future, whether it is in your subject, other subjects or in their personal life.
My main purpose is to teach the subject/s I am employed to teach at a variety of year levels. As I've been doing the last forty odd years and continue to do.

If you focus on learning the strengths and weaknesses of your students you will not only develop their learning, but your teaching skills as well.
Well thanks. I'm well aware of differentiation. However that doesn't alter the fact that I am primarily employed to teach my subject. Obviously doing that I employ a number of methods and strategies to effectively teach that subject to a variety of students.

Just getting up in front of a class and regurgitating the details of your subject won't achieve that.
Well we do try and make the subject matter engaging with a variety of teaching and learning methods as well as provide opportunities for students to prpdiuce their best academically, particualarly in the senior year levels..

It is all about putting relationships as your priority. Once you have done that classroom disruption drops and behaviour improves, which makes it much easier to teach.
Teaching my subject/s in an engaging and varied way with very clear outcomes and expectations is my prirority. I have very little classroom disruption.
 

CliffMcTainshaw

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I don't moderate this board.
Teaching my subject/s in an engaging and varied way with very clear outcomes and expectations is my prirority. I have very little classroom disruption.
But you are a moderator?
I guess mostly we agree then. Perhaps I should have put the word just in the sentence. "we don't just teach subjects"
 

Roylion

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But you are a moderator?
Yes. Does that mean I can't make comment anywhere else?

I guess mostly we agree then. Perhaps I should have put the word just in the sentence. "we don't just teach subjects"
I disagree with a couple of your opinions in your earlier post, hence my comment. My main purpose as a teacher is to teach students, to the best of my ability, the key knowledge and the key skills of the subject/s, that I am employed to teach.
 

CliffMcTainshaw

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Yes. Does that mean I can't make comment anywhere else?
I disagree with a couple of your opinions in your earlier post, hence my comment. My main purpose as a teacher is to teach students, to the best of my ability, the key knowledge and the key skills of the subject/s, that I am employed to teach.
Don't see much difference between "teach students" and "teach children". Anyway that's my teaching philosophy and it's stood up well for my 40+ years as a teacher.
 

Roylion

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Don't see much difference between "teach students" and "teach children". Anyway that's my teaching philosophy and it's stood up well for my 40+ years as a teacher.
And I guess my point is that my own teaching philosophy has also stood up well for my own 40 odd years as a teacher, particularly in the senior years. Teaching my particular subject/s as effectively as possible, at whatever level has always been my top priority.
 

Kwality

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That is a strange thing for a moderator to do, selectively isolate part of a statement to make your argument. If you look at the entire statement the meaning behind it is that the most important job of a teacher, is to teach children, you should not make the mistake that feeding your students information is all they need to get good results. Your main purpose is to develop the children in your care into better, more resilient people who will benefit from that development in the future, whether it is in your subject, other subjects or in their personal life. If you focus on learning the strengths and weaknesses of your students you will not only develop their learning, but your teaching skills as well. Just getting up in front of a class and regurgitating the details of your subject won't achieve that. It is all about putting relationships as your priority. Once you have done that classroom disruption drops and behaviour improves, which makes it much easier to teach.
Is this exactly why education standards in Australia are falling compared internationally?
 

Jack Richards

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Is this exactly why education standards in Australia are falling compared internationally?
Nah. I think standards are falling due to a combination of the following:
- over crowded curriculum
- parent and student cultural beliefs
- Teacher standards.

Teaching at a new school the last two years, I have seen some pretty eye opening teacher views towards education:

- Teachers wanting more time to plan, but don't work past 3:30pm on non meeting days.
- not willing to put hard yards in with students with additional needs.
- Teachers and ES arriving at 8:45am for a 9am start.
 

pepsi

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I should add that my last school had all staff arrive by 8:15 and very rarely leave at 3:30.
You kept an eye on all staff at your school everyday? Was that part of your role?

How do you know the staff that leave when they are entitled to at 3.30, don't go and complete work at home?

I find your post an odd generalisation. I've worked at schools for 13 years and you will always get some teachers who arrive and leave at the exact time they are allowed to, but many more staff arriving earlier and leaving later than they are allowed to.
 

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