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Teaching is the largest profession in Australia. Over two hundred thousand teachers work in ten thousand schools teaching over three million students. Most teachers work in state or independent primary and secondary schools teaching children and teenagers. Many others work in pre‐schools or childcare centres with very young children, in special education with people of all ages, or with older teenagers and adults in institutes of technical and further education (TAFE)/vocational education and training (VET), community education centres, private colleges, universities and workplaces.
Unlike other professions, everybody has some knowledge and experience of schools, and the roles teachers play in them, because everybody has been to school. Most of us think we know what the job of teaching involves, but often we are not aware of all the things a teacher does as well as teach in the classroom.
Teachers are able to specialise in a wide variety of areas:
Early Childhood/Pre School: plan and conduct education programs for young children.
Primary School: educate primary school children, by planning and conducting an education program to develop literacy, numeracy and the physical, emotional, intellectual and social growth of their students.
Secondary School: teach one or more subjects within the school curriculum to secondary students. Subjects include English, mathematics, science, art, health and physical education, technology, languages other than English, studies of society and environment, and home economics.
Physical Education: instruct students in sports, recreational activities and healthy lifestyle issues, in order to encourage and develop physical fitness and skills, self‐esteem and interpersonal skills.
Art: teach students the practical skills, theory and history of art. Students receive tuition in aspects such as painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture and ceramics.
Music: develop students' interest in and appreciation of music through teaching theory, history and practical skills. Music teachers develop their course plans and teaching programs in line with local syllabuses and the National Statements and Profiles.
Special Education: develop and conduct learning programs for pre‐school, primary and secondary students who have learning difficulties or an impairment in their physical, sensory, emotional or intellectual abilities. Some also teach students who are intellectually gifted.
English as a Second Language (ESL)/Adult Migrant Education: teach and assist other teachers to teach, students whose first language is not English to become proficient with the English language.
Other specialist roles within schools include: careers adviser, school psychologist or counsellor, librarian, school administrator and professional development coordinator. These roles usually require a specific course of study and qualification in place of, or in addition to, a bachelor’s degree of education or teaching.
Key skills and attributes that graduates demonstrate include:
• Knowledge of a variety of teaching, learning and assessment strategies
• Curriculum knowledge
• High level organisational skills, particularly time mamagement
• High level communication skills
• Ability to work independently and as part of a team
• Flexibility, adaptability and patience
• Confidence and assertiveness
• Capacity and willingness to engage in ongoing professional development
Training and registration:
It is important to check with each relevant state organisation regarding training and registration requirements.
Teachers in all Victorian schools (government and independent) need to be registered by the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT). For more information visit the VIT website: www.vit.vic.edu.au
Refer to the Victorian Institute of Teaching specialist area guidelines for further information regarding the level of study necessary in order to teach in Victorian government schools
Courses offered by Deakin that meet the 4‐year tertiary educational requirement stipulated by VIT include:
Bachelor of Education (primary)
Bachelor of Physical Education
Bachelor of Teaching (primary and secondary)
Bachelor of Early Childhood Education
Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (honours)
Bachelor of Education (fourth year)
Bachelor of Education (fourth year mathematics conversion)
Bachelor of Education (fourth year primary conversion)
Bachelor of Teaching (secondary) combined with Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Teaching (science) combined with Bachelor of Science
Graduate Diploma of Education (applied learning)
Graduate Diploma of Teaching (primary)
Graduate Diploma of Education (international students only)
Master of Teaching
Primary and secondary school teachers work in government and non‐government schools and colleges. Some teachers are able to work in private practice, offering tutorial and subject‐coaching services to students
Special education teachers are employed by government and independent schools and some special centres. Some teachers with special education qualifications are able to work in private practice, offering tutorial services for children with learning problems.
For employment opportunities visit individual school and college sites and the following employment‐specific sites:
Victorian Institute of Teachers: www.vit.edu.au .
• Australian Joint Council of Professional Teaching Associations: www.ajcpta.edu.au
• Council of Professional Teaching Associations of Victoria: www.cpta.vic.edu.au
• Primary English Teaching Association: www.peta.edu.au/
• Australian Association for the Teaching of English: www.aate.org.au
• Association of Independent Schools Victoria: www.ais.vic.edu.au
• Australian Science Teacher’s Association: www.asta.edu.au
• Arts Education Victoria: http: www.aev.vic.edu.au
• The Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers: www.aamt.edu.au
• Victorian Association of TESOL and Multicultural Education Inc (VATME): www.vatme.vic.edu.au
In preparing this document the Deakin University Handbook, Graduate Careers Australia, Gradsonline website and the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Job Guide were used as sources of information.