Many remote teacher contracts come with free or subsidised housing- depending on level of remoteness, system (DET, Catholic, Independent) and availability.
The size, condition and what comes included (such as white goods and other furniture) varies a lot from one community, one state/territory and system.
This checklist might assist you in moving into your new house and settling in.
- Ask about teacher housing, availability, condition and what they include. If it is only shared accommodation or run down or without security, for example you might ask for alternative housing or apply for another community.
- Research the community including access to a store and petrol, medical centre (and is it staffed), pool or not. And consider what services you require and what is okay to not have access to.
- Familiarise yourself with the house and its amenities, and make a list of any necessary repairs or maintenance requests. These can take a long time in remote outback communities- so photographs, repair requests are important to lodge early.
- Prepare for possible extreme weather conditions, such as hot summers and cold winters, and invest in necessary equipment such as fans, thicker curtains, block out curtains, air conditioning and heating (if not provided).
- Be prepared to keep your house and car secure- this might include packing specific resources in your uplift or buying next in town. Check the post here: Crime and Security as a Remote Teacher
- Stock up on essential household items and groceries before you move-in, as it may be difficult to find certain items in remote areas. You may be able to bulk buy some of these in the closest larger town or you might be able to pack some in your uplift.
- Make sure you have an emergency kit – see post here.
- Arrange for internet and phone service to be set up before your move-in. These can take a while in remote outback communities- if available at all. Check what mobile service is available and change carrier if needed- often Telstra only.
- Make sure you have a reliable means of transportation, or arrange for transportation to and from school if further away than walking distance. This is usually easy with colleagues.
- Be aware of and follow any specific rules or regulations regarding the house, such as those related to pets or maintenance.
- Take photographs and videos of the house upon handover, fill out the condition report and submit maintenance requests. Maintenance requests can take a while- submit as soon as issue identified. This is a very important step.
- Seek support and guidance from experienced colleagues or mentors, as well as any local or regional organisations, such as the school administration or the housing complex management.
- Continuously evaluate and reflect on your living situation, and make adjustments as needed to ensure your comfort and safety. This might be by ordering online, buying items from nearest bigger town, asking for new teachers to add something for you from a city into their uplift (such as an Ikea item for example), see if any professionals leaving town have second hand items to give or sell.
- Make sure you have a good understanding of the local culture, customs and regulations of the community, and be prepared to adapt to them. This could include things like a dry community that might extend to drinking alcohol in your personal home, being aware of privacy into your home or yard.
- Establish a good relationship with your neighbors, as they may be able to provide you with valuable information, assistance and support. They might also be able to watch your house during the school holidays, take out your rubbish and be called upon during the night.
Loved this post? You might also like to read: Crime and Security as a Remote Teacher, Questions to ask your principal after winning your teaching position in a remote community school, What Should I Pack To Take Remote?
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