What do teachers do?

While it's a popular belief that teachers only work nine-to-three and have many more weeks of holidays than other professions, a teacher's job is a challenging one that does not end with the school day. Teaching is a rewarding career that requires high level knowledge and a range of personal qualities to help students on the path to success.

Teacher responsibilities

Image listing what teachers do: Teach the Australian Curriculum, Lead lessons for students of differing abilities, Plan and prepare learning programs, Assess and report student progress, Develop teaching and learning materials, Liaise with colleagues, non-teaching staff and parents. 

Teachers play a key role in the delivery of quality education to students. Adhering to the Australian Curriculum, teachers plan, prepare and deliver effective learning programs, lessons and teaching materials for every student in their allocated classes. This involves working with students of differing ages and abilities, assessing student progress and liaising with non-teaching staff such as teacher aides and therapists.

The role of the teacher extends outside the classroom and into the school community, establishing and maintaining a supportive school environment. This involves contributing to school planning and objectives, and assisting with the further development of resources.

The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers outlines the professional capabilities expected of teachers.

Qualities of a good teacher

Teaching is a career that provides challenges, excitement and personal reward. While subject knowledge is key, at the heart of being a good teacher is great people skills. You have to enjoy working with a wide range of people and be good at explaining concepts to others. Leading a classroom and working alongside teaching colleagues requires strong team skills and time management, while preparing lesson plans calls on your strengths in working independently.

Other essential skills include:

  • enthusiasm
  • patience
  • a good sense of humour
  • keeping your cool under pressure
  • ability to cope with change.

Good teachers know that by listening to and working with colleagues, parents, other professionals and community members that they can inspire students and improve their learning.

Teacher expectations outlines a typical teacher job description.

Next steps

Ready to begin? Find out more about studying teaching.

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Last updated 08 March 2017

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