Early career teacher and regional and remote contexts

This fact sheet provides further information for early career teachers about the additional factors they need to consider when working in a regional and/or remote area.

Consider some of the following questions:

What do I know about myself?

You can conduct a self-check before applying for a regional or remote position:

  • How will my lifestyle change?
  • How will I set up a new support network?
  • How will I deal with isolation from friends and family?
  • Am I comfortable being a recognisable person in the community?
  • What role will I play in a community?
  • If I am relocating a family how will they be impacted?
    • Schooling
    • Healthcare
    • Employment
    • Additional costs of living
    • Lifestyle
    • Employment opportunities for family members
    • For children - separation from existing friendship groups

What do I know about the school?

  • Demographics – school and student body
  • School culture
  • Does the school have any staff wellbeing initiatives?
  • Does the school have an early career teacher program?
  • What extra curricula activities are offered?
  • How do they support their staff?
    • Professional learning
    • Teaching outside of area
    • Expectations around additional duties

What do I know about the community?

  • What is the population?
  • What are the main economic activities of the town / region?
  • What are the demographics?
  • What essential services are available including those needed to meet physical and wellbeing needs?
  • What shopping and retail options are available?
  • What community services and programs are available that align to my interests? E.g. Sports, cultural, spiritual.
  • What unique recreational opportunities exists? E.g. surfing, fishing, bushwalking, skiing.
  • What is the distance to the nearest ‘city’?
  • How accessible is the location throughout the year?
  • What are the public transport options?
  • What housing options are available?
  • Are there any culturally significant areas that I need to be aware of?

If you are considering relocating, where possible, you should attend the interview in person. Face-to-face interviews provide you with an opportunity to get to know the leaders and experience the culture of the school and the community.

Consider the following activities during and after your interview:

  • Tour the school
  • Tour the township
  • Stay the night
  • Visit a real estate agent
    • What is the supply of accommodation?
    • What type of accommodation?
    • What are the costs of accommodation?
  • Ask questions about how they deal with distance and professional development and professional networking
  • Ask questions about mentors – school and community
    • What are the sporting options?
    • What arts and cultural events happen?
    • What service groups and clubs are in the area?
  • Ask questions about other new teachers’ experiences in regards to distance and/or overcoming potential isolation and becoming part of the community
  • Ask about the school’s cultural induction.

If the interview has gone well and you have been offered a position, before you accept you should;

  • reflect on current lifestyle
  • reflect on the things that you value
  • consider what you are leaving
  • consider the factors that are unique to moving away and starting a career.

To help, revisit the self-check and examine your responses in light of the school and community visit.

Completing the Building Resilience in Teacher Education survey may also be of benefit https://www.brite.edu.au/

Starting any new job can be exciting and challenging. These feelings can be heightened when you consider moving to a new environment for a job. You need to be mindful of the physical and emotional demands that starting a new career and moving to a new environment can cause.

Where possible:

  • Move early – if you can get into the community early and have everything set up then this will mean that you are less stressed with your home life once the term begins.
  • Explore the local community. Are there any community groups you may wish to engage with?
  • Make regular contact with the school – Knowing what class(es) you will be teaching gives you the opportunity to plan. Where possible:
    • Get your class lists and student reports
    • Speak with curriculum/lead teachers
    • Speak with your mentor.
  • Visit the school – understanding the layout and facilities of the school is essential to make you comfortable in your surroundings.
  • Set up your classroom
    • Set the tone for the class with the layout and the surroundings in the classroom.
  • Listen more than you talk and keep an open mind to new possibilities.