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How to Prepare for Casual Teaching: A Guide for Australian Relief Teachers

With the start of term four upon us and much of the country returning to in-person schooling, casual teachers right around Australia are preparing for a return to work. Whether you are a recent graduate, are returning after a break from the industry or have decided to transition from full-time to casual teaching, there’s a few things to keep in mind before your first day.  

How do I prepare for casual teaching? 

If you’re new to the game, casual teaching can be an exciting and fulfilling career that allows for more flexibility than you might get as a full-time teacher. At the same time, the nature of the work means a high level of preparation is required before you set foot in the classroom. From setting up a digital profile to connect with schools, ensuring your professional development is up to date and ensuring you are on top of the COVID-19 requirements in your area, here are our tips to prepare for casual teaching.  

Boost Your Profile  

If you’ve worked in the industry before, you may have existing relationships with schools. While that’s great, it’s not the case for all casual teachers. If you are new to the industry, have moved or just been out of the game for a while, it can be tricky getting your foot in the door with new schools. Luckily, the days of making phone calls or visiting schools to drop off your resume in person are over. This is where tools like ClassCover come in.  

Singing up is easy — and free for teachers. Once you are on the platform, you can set up your Teacher Profile. This is the place to show off your achievements, work history, references as well as any relevant qualifications. Your profile acts like a digital resume, and, as well as being visible to schools that you apply to work with on the ClassCover app, is also shareable to anyone via a unique link. Talk about a time saver!  

Check In with Yourself 

If it’s been a little while between in-person teaching jobs, it’s perfectly understandable to be feeling a mix of emotions about the return to the classroom. Whether you’re excited, anxious, nervous or all of the above, that’s fine! Now is a great time to check in with yourself to get a better sense of how you can best prepare for the return to school. If you’re feeling excited and your mind is whirring with ideas for class, grab a pen and jot them down. If the looming change has you a little on the anxious side, think back to the strategies you have used to manage these emotions in the past. Activities as simple as writing a to-do list or practicing mindfulness exercises can make a huge difference on our emotions. 

Get on the List 

One of the best ways to hear about new teaching opportunities is to be added to the lists of schools in your area. In general, the more lists you are on means the more chances you have of getting work. Here are the easiest ways to get on a school’s list using ClassCover. 

  • Keep an eye on the jobs board for schools posting call outs for casual relief teachers 
  • Reach out directly to schools in your area either in-person or via email using your ClassCover Teacher Portfolio link  
  • Soon you will be able to request to be added to a school’s list directly from the ClassCover app. Stay tuned!

Brush Up on Your PD  

The past two years have been a weird time. Since the pandemic hit, you have probably had a lot on your mind and you’d be forgiven for letting your PD progress slip. Now that the start of term four and a return to the classroom is upon us, it’s time to check in and make sure your training is up to date. Luckily for you, through the Relief Teacher Association, ClassCover has offers a handy online platform containing over 85 hours of self-paced training to contribute to your professional development hours. If you need a refresher of the requirements in your state or territory, check out our guide to casual teacher professional development by state 

Get Vaccinated 

One of the most important changes to come from the return to in-person teaching are vaccine mandates. If you’re teaching in New South Wales or Victoria, you will need to prove that you are vaccinated before you return to work. In NSW, all teachers across the state’s schools and preschools must prove that they have received their second dose by 8th November. In Victoria, all teachers must prove that they have had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 18th October, or have an appointment booked within a week of that date. All teachers must then have received their second dose by 29th November. While no other states or territories have mandated vaccination for teachers, the situation remains fluid and most regions have introduced priority appointments to encourage teachers to get vaccinated.  

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