Hello you, deadly preservice teacher. Thank you for stumbling upon our post- somehow looking up Aboriginal education, First Nations students or outback teaching. We are excited to share with you 3 reasons you should consider teaching in remote outback Australia!
Reason 1: Adventure before life gets in the way
You are young, wild and free. Prime of your life. Chances are you don’t have children, pets, or parents sick or elderly needing you to stay in town. If not now, when? You have lots to offer and are likely to stay longer- which makes you a real asset to remote schools.
You are more likely to be active in your new community- joining a sports team, running after school activities, jogging with your new friends. This involvement will help you create positive relationships with students, families and community members. It will be fun, beneficial to your teaching and make you feel like you belong.
Reason 2: Your passion, energy and engaging
You are fresh, eager and passionate about your new career. You have energy and a spark that older teachers may not have. Your students will love your youth, your vibe, your energy. You know you are early in your career- and you approach everything with an open mind, willingness to learn and are willing to use research based teaching strategies to take risks in your classroom.
With the high turnover of staff in remote communities, new graduates with a passion to learn, with an open mind and with energy to give the time our students need are really a valued asset. As you get older, you have more family commitments from children, to ageing parents to the pull of settling down in a new home- right now, fresh from university is a time when you are less overwhelmed with other things in life and passionate to create change for your students.
Reason 3: It can put a rocket under your career
Teaching in remote communities can advance your career quicker than working in a mainstream school. You will learn additional skills teaching ESLD students, special needs and diverse students. You will hit the ground running and quickly learn differentiation, creating engaging lessons and how to develop relationships with students. You will leave your remote placement with a wealth of experience and understanding that many mainstream teachers never have the opportunity to learn and experience.
You will likely also get opportunities to act in higher roles, be promoted to leadership roles in small schools with less competition. If you express an interest you may even be given the opportunity to work shadow or be mentored. This can put you in great stead when you choose to make your next career move.
You will get benefits and incentives in excess of your usual teaching wage- a great chance to get ahead with your savings (if you are smart with your money). One of the great incentives could be the sabbatical or extra leave that some states/territories have for working a set amount of years- ie. work three years get a term off in WA.
Remote teaching can be tough- be warned
It is always important to go into new jobs, new locations and new stages of life with knowledge and an open mind.
Remote teaching can be very challenging. It is not for everyone. If you don’t feel like your university course is preparing you well enough for mainstream, if you are not confident in your teaching ability yet, if you struggle to maintain behaviour in your teaching practicum- remote teaching is unlikely the best move for you- yet.
Being open to support from your colleagues, being ready to ask for help, being open to feedback, being willing to learn- will all help you be the best remote teacher you can be. And ultimately help you get the best outcomes for your students.
Want to learn more about teaching remote? Consider joining our groups: Teachers in Remote Communities (Past, Present, Future), Australian Outback Beginning Teachers, Australian High School Teachers.
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