There is a negative stigma that surrounds causal teaching…
Yes, don’t get me wrong, causal teaching can be really difficult at times due to many different reasons. However it can also be really rewarding and teach you a range of things!
Being a beginning teacher within my first 3 years of teaching, I am lucky enough to have experienced both sides… casual and permanent. So if you are a beginning teacher trying to figure out whether you want to casually teach or not, hopefully me sharing my experience and what I have noticed will help 🙂
The main thing I loved about being a permanent teacher was the consistency of days you are working and a consistent class.
I find that I am a teacher that likes to have their own classroom and place to put their stuff, as generally I dump a lot of things students complete on my desk so I can reflect upon them later/mark.
I also love creating my own resources and presenting them to the students or displaying them around the classroom. Being on a consistent class also gives you the ability to be able to create strong and positive relationships with students, which is helpful with student engagement in learning activities and their behaviours.
There are many positives to being a permanent teacher, however there are downfalls…
One of these downfalls is around workload. The planning, organising, reflecting, correcting, marking, observing… which only makes a few things that take up a huge amount of time. In your first few years of teaching this can be extremely exhausting, however you do learn a lot from it. Being a permanent teacher, this work load and amount of things that you do at home is the biggest difference and definitely the hardest, especially when you are looking for work/life balance.
What I love about casual teaching is that you are learning and doing something new every single day!
You will get a great and in-depth look at different year levels, as well as learn how to expand your teaching skills by altering different learning activities to cater to different year levels and students. So when you do eventually move to a full time class, you will have a lot of experience in differentiating work samples.
You also have A LOT of flexibility! With medical appointments or even just every day issues that pop up, you have the flexibility to chose the days you want to work. I have found this extremely helpful 🙂 You also have flexibility in the amount of work you do! No marking to take home and barely any planning to be done. Which gives you time to follow your other interests or creative passions.
Another positive is that there is always work. A few people told me before I decided to be a casual teacher that I would find it difficult to find work, especially being in NSW. However this just is not true! My biggest tip for you is to make yourself known. Go to different schools and actually talk to executives and principals, hand in your resume in person. Building a relationship with the schools you want to work at is extremely important.
You definitely will have your ups and downs as a casual teacher. Some classes can be extremely difficult, as you don’t know the students backgrounds or behaviours. So behaviour management in this case can be extremely difficult. But to help you with this, communicating with classroom teachers about their students is really helpful!
Teaching is a job that you put your whole life into, whether you are a casual or permanent teacher. You need to remember that no matter what you choose, what you do matters. You can make a big difference in students lives whether you are there for a few hours or all the time. Take the time to build relationship or a connection and you will be completely fine! GOOD LUCK! 🙂
Love Mel xx