Network Your Way To A Teaching Job!


Networking is an essential component in the teacher job application process that should be an ongoing task rather than a temporary procedure only pursued when you need or change teaching jobs. Teacher recruitment agencies do not guarantee jobs and the last two years have been the most competitive CRT period to date.
Feedback from teachers employed by recruitment agencies note one day a month employment for experienced teachers and teacher graduates are advised to complete further specialist education to increase their job opportunities. Regardless of whether you are in ongoing, part time or casual relief teacher employment, job security in teaching is a thing of the past and employers are constantly cutting back personnel, streamlining and seeking new teaching staff with a variety of skills at a lower cost. This means that staying at one school for more than five years could jeopardise your teacher career prospects, therefore it is in your best interest to expand your horizons by utilising your networking skills to increase your contact list. This cannot be accomplished within a short duration. Valuable and meaningful work relationships in the teaching sector do not occur overnight. Time, dedication, persistence and loyalty over a long period strengthen the relationship between colleagues and extended education job related acquaintances. Networking is essential in today’s fast paced, competitive job environment, especially when the majority of teaching job vacancies are internal and not advertised. Whether you are a graduate employed as an emergency teacher, contract staff or ongoing teacher seeking work or an experienced professional, networking should be an important process in your teaching career.     

You can no longer rest on your laurels and expect job security and promotions in teaching just because you have reached senior ranks. Principals expect all teachers to add value and continue increasing their communication, IT, classroom management, curriculum planning and overall teaching related skills. Recruitment organisations are advising graduate teachers to undertake the latest numeracy and literacy courses to increase their teaching knowledge in specific areas in order to stand apart from approximately 24,000 teachers and 5,000 graduates each year. Graduate teacher feedback notes that young teachers find it difficult obtaining teaching vacancies due to an oversupply of teachers in Australia and are rarely provided information by tertiary institutions on the competitive nature of sourcing and obtaining teaching positions. Many graduates are not prepared for the job application process, misled into believing teaching vacancies exist and recruitment agencies will cater for their needs. In most cases, recruitment agencies utilise the services of a select number of teachers who have proven their loyalty and dedication over a number of years. Recruitment agency personnel will inform potential staff that they do not guarantee work.

Teachers need to be proactive in continually networking and distributing their resumes and keeping in contact with new personnel every year. An important process, especially when teaching staff change roles within the school. In many cases, graduates are directing their resumes to the wrong personnel, meaning time, effort and money in preparing the job application is wasted, without reaching the appropriate school personnel. www.emergencyteachers.com.au provides an online e-profile service and forwards teacher contact details to school management throughout the year.

Being proactive is the key to advance your teaching career.  You need to connect with the right people, as a considerable number of ongoing teaching or casual relief teaching opportunities are not advertised and you may never get the chance to apply for the teaching vacancies without your contacts.  Networking can be a daunting task for some emergency teachers, however, you need to ask yourself the main reasons you are networking.  When you have these set in your mind then networking should not be a task but a hobby-like activity to get to know the right people for your teaching future. Networking requires listening skills, being comfortable with yourself, showing an interest in others and most importantly following up with your new school contact.  Even if you are currently teaching and are happy with the present school, always take every opportunity to meet others through school events, excursions etc.  A great example is at parent/teacher interviews.  You will be amazed how many parents are teachers and know exactly what job opportunities and teaching vacancies are available at their school, just as you would within your own school. 

Take every opportunity to speak to people in the education sector as you never know where it may lead your teaching career.  Schools are always seeking teachers who can add value to their environment even if at the current time no teacher job vacancies exist.  Networking is about you seeking out the casual relief teaching, part time or ongoing job opportunities that are not advertised and building relationships with those who can advance your teaching career.


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