Tip 1: Do your own research about your community before your application and interview- many of the following questions will be answered in the early stages of your application process. You can research by looking at the school website, Facebook page and online reports and School Strategic Plans. If they are not, it is important that you find out before you arrive.
Tip 2: Connect with other remote teachers on forums such as Teachers in Remote Communities (Past, Present, Future) and follow pages such as The Remote Teacher Australia on Facebook and Instagram to engage in conversations and see what is happening in other remote schools in a broader context too.
Questions you might like to ask your principal:
- What are the main languages or dialects spoken in the community? Is there an online dictionary, video or application that I can access before arriving to begin my journey of understanding?
- How far will my house be from the school, is it near other teacher accommodation, is it walking distance from the school? What security features do teacher’s houses have in community? This will help inform what type of transport you might need (ie. 4WD, 2WD, bike etc), additional security items you might want to bring such as a wifi security camera, a deadlock to drill into your front door, additional pieces of dowel to put in sliding windows etc.
- Who should I go to on arrival in the community? A local staff member, the principal? How will I get to and in the house and school?
- What are the essentials I should bring? Do I need to collect anything for the school on my way? Do any teachers need anything put in my uplift?
- Is there internet and phone available in the school and community? Are they reliable?
- What are the health/banking/food/transport services in the community?
- What is the access in and out of the community like in wet and dry seasons?
- What are the details of my first day/week at the school e.g. support, classes, mentoring?
- Is there anything specific that I need to do in preparation before I arrive in the community?
- What are the details of the literacy and numeracy programs used in the school?
- What kind of resources are available for my class- stationary, books, art supplies, technology, furniture? Will I have a class budget to furnish or decorate or buy resources? Do I need to consider sourcing anything from home for my uplift?
- Is there a staff group chat or whole school email that I should be added to now?
- Did the previous teacher leave any notes or handover documents? Can I have access to them now? Am I able to contact anyone else to make sure I am able to plan effectively for my class- Support Teacher, Aboriginal Education Officer, previous teacher, Year Level Coordinator etc?
- Do you have the curriculum documents from last year or forward planning documents that I can look at? What texts have previously been studied by my class etc?
- Are there any special considerations for accessing our community? Such as alcohol restrictions, permits required, access needs?
Once you’ve done your research, asked your important questions you will be able to feel more prepared for your remote teaching role! If you feel like you would like more support you might consider one of our professional development courses specific to remote teaching, or to join our Membership to get extra support and guidance in your new remote teaching journey.
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