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What Do Schools Want from Casual Teachers? Your Questions Answered

Does a profile picture really matter? What’s the best way to approach a new school? Should I bother updating my availability?

With more and more casual teachers joining ClassCover every week — we’re at 125,000 teacher users at last count — we set out to answer some frequently asked questions. And who better to go to than the 3,500 plus schools that use ClassCover every day.

Whether you are new to ClassCover or a seasoned pro, here are some insights we guarantee will make your work life a whole lot smoother.



Does my profile picture matter?

Do you have a profile picture on your ClassCover teacher profile?

When it comes to deciding whether to include a photo on your teacher profile, we know there are a lot of different opinions among users. With that in mind, we decided to go straight to the source — our school users, to hear their thoughts on this. Here’s what they had to say.

How likely are you to add a teacher with no profile picture?

The verdict

So, there you have it. While its clear the majority of schools surveyed don’t need to see a profile picture before booking a casual teacher, there’s still 32% of schools that do care — that’s a third of all schools on the ClassCover platform.

While two thirds of schools using ClassCover don’t take a profile picture — or lack thereof — into account when deciding which teacher to book, one third of schools do. For that reason alone, it’s worth covering all your bases and uploading a profile picture to give yourself the best chance of getting booked.

Tip: Does your profile picture look distorted? Re-upload your picture now to fix this bug.

What’s the best way to approach a new school?

Teachers these days have more options than ever before when it comes to the ways they can contact schools to apply for casual work. Whether you opt to visit schools in person to introduce yourself face to face, save time by using ClassCover features like the new teacher-to-school requests, or a combination of the two, read on to find out what schools prefer.

The verdict

As you can see, schools overwhelmingly prefer casual teachers to reach out via email or using ClassCover rather than visiting in-person. This is good news for teachers as it will allow you to save time and contact more schools from the comfort of your own home — or wherever you like if you’re using ClassCover.

Did you know teachers can now request to join a school’s list on ClassCover? Try it for yourself

Should I bother updating my availability?

If you’re someone who doesn’t regularly update their availability in ClassCover, you’re going to want to take note of this.

Whether you are booked to work for an extended period or have decided to take some time off, it’s important to ensure you are updating your availability in ClassCover. When you don’t indicate whether you are available or unavailable in your calendar, you will appear orange to schools who have you on their teacher list. We asked a group of our school users how likely they would be to book a teacher whose availability was orange, and here’s what they had to say.  

The Verdict

When it comes to the importance of updating your availability, the data speaks for itself. While 34% of school users wouldn’t consider booking a teacher who hasn’t updated their availability, a further 25% would go as far as deleting that teacher from their list. While there are 23% of schools that would consider booking a teacher with unclear availability — and a further 18% who would if they were desperate to fill a class — if you’re looking to maximise your chances of getting booked, it makes sense to keep your availability up to date to ensure you stay on school lists.

NSW teachers – does having a green tick on your profile matter?

ClassCover’s direct integration with the Department of Education makes it easy for schools to check whether teachers have completed the required qualifications and are up to date with mandatory training at a glance. On your teacher profile, you will have either a green or an orange tick. A green tick means you are good to go, while an orange tick indicates you have mandatory training left to complete. This includes things like e-Safety or MyPL. While you may have completed your requirements and just failed to submit it to the department, just how much does this tick matter to schools when it comes to getting booked?

The Verdict

The overwhelming majority of schools would not consider booking a teacher without a green tick. While 30% indicated they would be open to investigating further, if you’re looking to book work the answer is clear. Learn how to get the green tick here. 

Should you upload a cover letter and resume when applying for a job posted on ClassCover jobs?

Have you explored the ClassCover jobs platform? Whether you are looking for a casual or full-time role, the platform is regularly updated with school-based and other education roles right around Australia. We asked our school users whether they would consider an applicant who didn’t include a cover letter and resume with their application. Here’s what they said.  

The Verdict

This is an interesting one. While it’s clear that around three quarters of all schools would only consider applications with a cover letter and resume, a sizeable chunk of those that responded may be happy looking for information elsewhere, like on your teacher profile. Regardless, if you want to boost your chances of getting the job and stand out as a great candidate, it pays to put in the time and complete your application.

How long should a teacher resume be?

If you plan on sending your resume through to schools, it can be tricky deciding how much information to include. To help clear things up, we put the question to our school users to get some clarity.

The Verdict

There you have it. When crafting your resume to send out to schools, longer isn’t always better. The overwhelming majority of respondents preferred a short and sharp resume — ideally one page or less — containing the major points of your background and experience as it relates to the job. Remember, you can include a link to your ClassCover teacher profile on your resume where the school can go to find out more about your experience.

Do schools care if you respond to a booking request when you’re not available?

You know how it goes. You’re having a hectic morning — maybe you’re already booked at a school that day or maybe you’ve got your hands full with other commitments — when you see a booking request pop up on your phone. We know not all teachers take the time to decline booking requests when they’re not available to work, so we asked schools whether this impacts the chances of that teacher being booked in the future.

The Verdict

The data is clear on this one. Schools care about teachers responding to booking requests, even when they aren’t available to work. If you want to maintain your relationships with schools and continue to be offered work, it’s worth taking a second to open a booking request when you receive it and tap decline.

Is it important to give a reason when declining a booking request?

While we’re on the topic of declining booking requests, you may have noticed that as a teacher, you have the option of providing a reason when you turn down a booking using the ClassCover app. We understand you may not always have time to go into detail or may not feel the need. Here’s what schools have to say about giving a reason when declining a booking request.

The Verdict

What we can tell from the responses here is that to schools, the most important thing is declining the booking request rather than leaving them in the lurch. When it comes to adding a reason for declining, the responses are split down the middle from schools that care and those that don’t. Our advice? If you have the time, think of this as an extra chance to stay on a school’s radar and take the extra minute to provide a reason. You never know what it will lead to. 

What can casual teachers do to keep schools happy?

Have you ever wondered what you can do to keep schools happy and ensure you continue to get booked? Even the most dedicated casual teacher has their bad days, so there are probably things you are doing that annoy schools, even without you knowing. To get to the bottom of this, we asked our school users about the things teachers do that get on their nerves. 

What’s your biggest gripe with teachers?

If you thought this was going to be a free pass for schools to vent their frustrations about casual teachers, you would be wrong. In the survey, the overwhelming majority of feedback on teachers was positive. That being said, there were some common themes of areas for improvement. These were: 

  • Teachers not updating their availability
  • Failing to deactivate their profile when booked on a contract or taking extended leave 

So there you have it. Seems simple, right? If you want to keep schools happy, it can be as easy as keeping your availability up to date, and deactivating your profile when you know you’re going to be unavailable. 

Learn how to temporarily deactivate your account or turn off bookings but still receive job alerts and retain access to PD

What are schools planning on doing differently in 2022? 

Last but certainly not least, we were interested to know what the future holds for schools and if they were planning on making any changes to the ways they manage casual teachers. 

A large number of responses mentioned cleaning up teacher lists, with many schools planning on keeping a tidy list by regularly removing inactive teachers in the new year. One more time for those in the back: now is the time to update your availability to ensure you find plenty of work in the year ahead. 

Update your availability now.  

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