early childhood or school - how to decide which career is for you.

In order to keep your career moving forward, it’s imperative to be aware of the key issues that are currently driving change.

Whether you’re an early childhood professional or a school teacher, different dynamics are at play when it comes to future career trends. However, some key advice about how to increase your chances of success when seeking a new role transcend both.  

continuing professional development will become more important

Early childhood is one of the four fastest growing professions in the country, according to the 2016 census.

But, there’s a big pay gap between early childhood professionals and school teachers – despite having the same degree and being expected to do the same professional development. The sector is pushing for this to be addressed, but change can only come from the government or from parents stepping in to pay the difference. Either way, it won’t be easy.

There’s also been a big push from the early learning sector to be seen as specialist educators rather than just carers, and quite rightly so – we know that those years are some of the most formative in children’s lives. Efforts are being made to get educators registered with state boards, which will require the completion of professional development hours.

primary school and beyond

The school sector is also going through a difficult stage. Over the next 10 years, there's not going to be enough teachers in some areas of the country. Schools used to get 40 good applicants per job – now sometimes they're lucky to get two. And we also know that there is a growing shortage of general primary school teachers.

Professionals are leaving the sector in droves due to stress and workloads. Teachers are teaching classes that they're not skilled for - an English teacher may be teaching in science for example - and this can cause a number of issues. Those who can teach multiple subjects to a high standard will be in demand.

tips for teachers in the job seeking – and interview – process

For many school and early childhood teachers, the profession is actually a vocation, and in order to find the right position, it’s wise to present a clear and attractive case to potential employers.

A strong LinkedIn profile is crucial. It’s a great opportunity to convey what you’ve done in your sector and to articulate some key achievements, particularly in relation to the curriculum and programming.  

When it comes to interviews, do your research. Go to the school's or centre’s website and find out about their philosophy and values. That way you can formulate your answers based on what the school is trying to achieve.

For early childhood teachers in particular, examples of how you’ve rolled out the early-years learning framework and the results you achieved are particularly important.  

If you are an early childhood teacher or a primary or secondary teacher, it’s beneficial to demonstrate that you’re bringing something else to the school or centre, not just the ability to teach. You might have a music skill, you have some drama background, you come from a very strong IT background – whatever it is, make sure you articulate it.

My final piece of advice would be to go into that interview showing the panel that you want the job. We recommend preparing three killer questions to show you’re keen, you’re engaged and you mean business.

The questions should display your knowledge of the school’s or centre’s values and be about how the school aims to achieve its goals – and discussing the answers is an opportunity to show the panel how you can help them achieve that future.

Are you ready to embark on a new career journey in teaching? Discover extraordinary job opportunities in Education by clicking here.

By Matt Hodges, National Director, Randstad Education

With over 15 years of experience in the recruitment industry for Education, I manage a large, dedicated team of consultants across Australia and New Zealand. My work philosophy is about maintaining the human touch in recruitment, and to utilise technology as the stepping stone for delivering a distinctly human experience.

 

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