So, you want to make a difference by working with kids ... but it takes some serious mettle to stand up (and sit down, and sing, and smile, and so on) in front of a class of little ones all day long! Reckon you’ve got what it takes?
We sat down with David Grant, a primary teacher in his first year of teaching at Cunnamulla P-12 State School, to chat about his experience so far.
David took the opportunity to move out to Cunnamulla at the beginning of 2019 after getting a taste of the community on his final university professional experience placement.
Here’s his advice for someone considering becoming a primary school teacher.
1. Test it out
'Volunteering at your local primary school is a great way for you to get a true feel for the job.'
You’ll get to see first-hand what a typical day in a primary classroom looks like and interact with kids who have a variety of learning needs. Whether you’ve just left high school or graduated years ago, you might even find that things are a little different to when you were in primary school.
2. Be certain
'Be really clear about why you want to be a teacher. Don’t just do it because someone told you that you should be or because you don’t know what else to do.'
Picture the kind of teacher you’d like to be—reflect on good and bad teaching experiences you had yourself.
If you’re a visual person, you might like to create a vision board. When you’re stressed and juggling assignments down the track, it’ll help you to look back to your 'why' to get inspiration to keep going.
3. Master your skills
'Once you’ve taken the first step to study teaching, if your personal circumstances allow it, I recommend finding a job where you will have the opportunity to work with kids.'
Whether it’s working as a teacher aide or in before or after school care, or volunteering at a children’s hospital, it’s a great way to improve your relationship-building and behaviour management skills and start implementing what you’re learning at uni straight away. As an added bonus, you’ll also build invaluable professional networks.