LIFETIME OF REWARDS
Consider school teaching for all the right reasons. Melanie Burgess reports
TEACHERS are in it for the long run with almost nine in 10 seeing the job as a lifelong career. A report titled Why Choose Teaching? reveals 86.8 per cent of teachers intend to remain in education-related employment for the rest of their working lives – either teaching (63 per cent), in a leadership role (19 per cent) or in a related field (5 per cent).
Learning Sciences Institute of Australia director and report co-author Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith says this busts the myth that teaching is not an attractive career.
“We have people who chose teaching even while at school, themselves under the influence of an impressive teacher,” she says.
The report reveals teachers see their profession as being in high demand, an expert career and a satisfying choice. Most are motivated by teaching’s intrinsic career value, their
own teaching ability and the opportunity to shape children’s futures and make a social contribution.
Wyatt-Smith says despite the positive perceptions of teaching, males are under-represented and there are shortages in some subjects and geographic areas.
“Shortages are well recognised in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), English and LOTE (languages other than English) and we need more quality teachers in special needs and disabilities,” she says.
Wyatt-Smith says the ability to specialise in a subject or discipline is an attractor for many teachers, particularly males, and this is something governments are looking to implement in primary schools, not just high schools.
“Primary teachers might have an area of specialisation then also remain in the classroom,” she says.
Although salary did not rank as a strong motivation for teachers in the report, SEEK data reveals the average advertised salary for job ads in the education and training industry last financial year was $78,802, up four per cent year on year.
Nationally, the volume of job ads on SEEK grew 6 per cent year on year for the June to August period. Early childhood teachers had particularly strong job ad growth, at 14 per cent.
INSPIRING: Teacher Thea Cowdroy-Ling with students Samantha Begley and Samuel Crutcher. Picture: STEVE POHLNER/AAP