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Teaching Employment in South Australia


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Like I mentioned in earlier posts, the process of finding employment at a teacher in South Australia is much different to and even more difficult in some instances, than the systems that I remember in the South Africa that I left 14 years ago.

Here are some of the most important aspects when looking for teaching positions in State schools:

* Before you can apply for employment you MUST obtain registration as a teacher in South Australia that involves an appropriate qualification of at least 4 years, e.g. an Education Diploma, a Degree with an education component etc. (Most South African 4 years-or-more qualifications are recognised in South Australia.) If Teaching Australia accepted your qualification(s), then the South Australian Teachers’ Registration Board (TRB) should accept it as well.

You must also undertake Mandatory Notification Training and the TRB will run a police check on you before they register you. It is important to get verification of the amount of time of your practical teaching during your studies; they usually want that as well.

* Once you have your registration you can apply to DECS (The Education Department) to be on record with them as an Employable Teacher. You must also furnish them with proof that you have undertaken School First Aid training.

* Once you are registered with DECS as an Employable Teacher they will send you a document known as “Authority to teach in South Australia.†Once you have this document, you can start to look for work as a Teacher in the State System.

* You can do your first Aid Training through Red Cross or St Johns, and for the Mandatory Notification training I suggest that you contact DECS or the Australian Teachers Union for venues and dates. Each training consist of a full day.

It is unlikely that any school in the metropolitan area would employ a teacher with no experience in South Australia immediately. The system especially in the metro area works as follows:

* Teachers give their names up at schools where they are willing to undertake Temporary Relief Teaching (TRT), and these schools employ them on a daily basis. This is where one should endeavour to impress a school as a teacher. One usually realises that you made an impression when a school calls you in for TRT continuously. Schools usually offer contract to teach from about a Term to 1 year to TRT teachers whom they know and are impressed with. (Schools can do this, but there is a provision that schools can only do so after DECS as placed all displaced permanent teachers.)

* Once you are on contracts at on school or several schools, you start to obtain experience and skills to apply for permanent positions.

* Needless to say, it is a process that can take a while, sometimes up to a few years.

When teachers try to get into “easy†schools only, they may find that the process moves a bit slow because everyone would like to teach in “easy†schools.

There are a few “short-cuts†to more continuous contract employment as well as permanency, and for the most parts it works as follows;

* Many teachers try to work in tough schools. If you can hack it there, you are often assured of continuous contacts and even permanency, but the kids are often challenging.

* The other option is to go and speak to your employment officer at DECS and try to negotiate a permanent or contract position in country location. DECS is continuously looking for people to work in country locations, and people are often offered a permanent position in a country location with a tag that one can start to apply for permanent positions in the Adelaide Metro Area after one has served in a country location for a few years. I know of many teachers who obtained permanency in Adelaide after they have taught in areas like, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln, and Mount Gambier etc.

* Keep in mind that teachers who are not permanent are not allowed to apply for any position in the Metro Area and employable (contract and TRT teachers) are usually only allowed to apply for so-called “tough†or hard-to-staff schools.

Some tips to help you get settled as a teacher in South Australia:

* Before the first time that you walk into a school as a TRT, I would strongly suggest that you try to work as a volunteer at a school first, go to a school and ask if you could spend a few days there as an observer. The reason for this is that without any pressure on you, you could observe a South Australian teacher at work in his/her classroom and you can get your head around the all important notion of Behaviour Management. This is important, as many schools will overlook it if you are still developing other skills (e.g. a good knowledge of curriculum) as long as you can manage kid’s behaviour. Therefore it would be a good idea if you know a teacher, to try and negotiate with such a teacher if you could observe in his/her class in order to get your mindset right for the South Australian system.

* Ask questions when you are at a school as a TRT, it makes a good impression if you show an interest in the school. Don’t be finicky about what a school offers you as a TRT; it helps if you can show that you are an all-rounder.

* Don’t put up with the very naughty/challenging kids in your class while you do TRT. Follow the class’ step or behaviour system and send such kids to time-out. It shows that you are a strict manager in your class, and many schools don’t appreciate it if a TRT tried to bear a challenging child all day without making use of the Behaviour Management system, and crawls out of the class at 3:00pm as a nervous wreck. To be strict with challenging kids demonstrates that you are in control in a classroom and that you take the learning of the other kids to heart.

Keep in mind that TRT teaching is often tough and challenging. However, most schools know this and take special measures to support and help TRT’s.

That is it, in a nutshell. If there any more questions let me know and I’ll help where I can.



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Hi Dax

Dankie vir hierdie wonderlike post. Maak soveel meer sin as alles bymekaar is en 'n ou hoef nie heen en weer te "search" nie.

Geld dieselfde kriteria vir "nie-staat" (privaat) en staat skole wat die aanstel van onderwysers betref, of mag die privaat skole direkte aanstellings doen?

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Privaat skole het hulle eie stelsel van onderwysers aanstel. Vir Privaat-skool hoef jy net jou TRB registrasie te kry en dan kan jy aansoek doen.

Baie van hulle het ook stelsels van mense eers "deurkyk" met TRT en kontrakte voordat jy 'n permanente aanstelling kry.

Hoop dit help


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I believe the process in Victoria to be similar.

In Victoria, you must be a member of Victorian Institute of Teaching, based on your skills and number of years of teaching, they determine the type of membership, eg. 'Full Registration' will entitle you full freedom to teach anywhere in Victoria..

Part of the application process is high score on EILTS, Police Clearance and References from previous schools and colleagues... (My wife has 'Full Registration', now to find TRT posts)

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