Secondary / Primary School Teaching Jobs - (CRT) Professional Practice Guide

Secondary / Primary School Teaching Jobs - (CRT) Professional Practice Guide, Teaching Melbourne Sydney Brisbane, Teacher Jobs, Teachers Australia Jobs

Antoinette Stingas, Managing Director, ETA 


Our guide is for all emergency teachers and graduate teachers commencing their chosen career. Whether you are replacing permanent teaching staff for a limited or extended period or whether your work is intermittent and at short notice, our helpful hints will assist you to be better prepared and confident when accepting a job offer at any school.

Our guide is a referral source for you to check and continually refine your teaching practices in accordance with the Victorian Teaching Institute’s Professional Code of Ethics and Practice.

Being competent, capable and above all establishing a good reputation in a school is vital in order for school administration to continually refer you for potential work.  Schools look for teachers who are dependable, responsible, dedicated and enthusiastic.  Your commitment in providing a professional service will provide worthy referrals, therefore enhance your opportunities for networking and this will be beneficial when applying for ongoing positions.

Emergency teaching is a unique experience where the teacher generally has no background knowledge of student personality, capabilities, strengths or weaknesses. The teacher is expected to increase student’s educational, social and welfare level by either providing instructions on work left by the permanent teacher or utilise own initiatives and construct appropriate lesson plans satisfying a diverse group of learning capabilities and needs. Most educational institutions usually have an allocated resource area where emergency teachers collect work every morning.     

Emergency teaching provides you with a variety of opportunities to increase your skills and knowledge in the education environment, especially if you are a graduate who needs to accumulate experience and confidence.

Experience in teaching diverse cultural demographics allows for a valuable insight into trialling assorted teaching methodologies as appropriate.

Emergency teaching also provides the rare opportunity of encountering a variety of student literacy and numeracy levels.

In a week’s time frame your daily teaching appointments will confront you with challenging scenarios due to the variety of cultural and social establishments. Emergency teaching allows the constant assessment of teaching practices without the familiarity level of everyday, expected situations existing with ongoing teaching in one locality.  


First day, new school, new class – this can be intimidating even for the most experienced teachers.  Don’t fret; be thorough when planning and organising your day and it will flow effortlessly.   

It can get a little confusing on your first day or week at a particular school and you will be expected to know and remember many things.  As you become familiar with the educational environment you will develop the confidence to go about your day without the constant feeling of being unsure or out of place.  Most teachers have been in your situation at one point in their careers, either earlier on as graduates or after taking a career break from teaching and seeking to return. By knowing that you are not the only person to experience the induction process of emergency teaching, some relief exists in understanding that this is a crucial part of your career development.  This should ease your discomfort when realising most teaching staff are professional people who are able to assist you.  Make every attempt to introduce yourself to all the teaching staff and take note of how you can make use of their knowledge whilst working at the school.   E.g. Principal, Level Co-ordinators, Librarian, Administration. 


•    Where possible, prior to commencing at the school, know your timetable and assigned classes, period durations and any other duties you are required to undertake.  This information is usually provided to you in an induction folder by the daily organiser. Prepared work left by the permanent teacher for specific classes is usually obtained from an allocated file for you to collect

•    Most importantly plan your lessons when possible

•    The following is important information you should have on hand for easy reference:

- Location of emergency teacher’s work file. This is where work is left by the permanent teacher
- School’s rules, routines, procedures, discipline and welfare policy, e.g.  Buddy system, time out - Bell times. Professional conduct means being in class before the students arrive. Noisy students waiting outside the classroom disturbing other classes is to be avoided
- Head personnel e.g. Principal, Assistant Principal, Level Co-ordinators, Faculty Co-ordinators
- Location of classrooms, library, Level Co-ordinator’s office, photocopy room, hall, gym and administration area
- Temporary photocopy number
- Booking procedures of the above as well as equipment, materials and audio visual

•    Seek out the year level co-ordinator as they can usually give you information on:

- Student ability and behaviour
- Students requiring literacy and numeracy attention
- Students on special educational programs
- Students requiring modified work
- Topics and material the class is presently being taught
- Class lists - ask for challenging students to be highlighted

•    Check daily noticeboard. This will list absent students and any students with administrative / school duties, e.g. Yard Duty.  The daily noticeboard may include students you are teaching throughout the day

•    Check for room changes. This information is usually located in the main staffroom

•    If the permanent teacher has not left any work for classes to go on with, use material you have previously resourced

•   Acquaint yourself with staff and build up a good rapport with them as they may be of benefit and assistance to you throughout your time at the school

•   Volunteer where possible.  Do not hesitate to teach other classes across various year levels as it assists in building up your professional development and increases your overall experience level across a variety of year levels


•   Effective communication is the key to classroom management
•   Present yourself to the class and write your full name on the board
•   To help you learn the student’s names, check off the class list
•   Ensure students are aware of your rules and work expectations and inform them of their responsibilities to complete the work left by their permanent teacher
•   Students will generally behave well if you continually emphasise your rules and expectations
•   Inform the students that you are aware of the school’s discipline and welfare policies and of Year Level Coordinators and Principal. Mention school staff by name as this demonstrates an established and professional relationship with staff
•   Tell the students that you will record all noteworthy efforts and provide a detailed report to their teacher 
•   Write down the work instructions and relevant exercise page numbers on the whiteboard
•   Begin class work without delay
•   Record any students arriving late
•   Always ensure students know you are there to help out should they need any assistance with their work and whilst helping a student be encouraging and positive
•   Avoid mockery or comments that are put downs
•   Ensure work provided by permanent teacher takes up the duration of class time, if not, utilise material you have previously resourced
•   Count any texts before distributing them to the students and make sure they are all taken back to the proper faculty location
•   Always be fair, confident and professional when disciplining a student
•   If a student continually interrupts the class, use an appropriate method of discipline e.g. Detention or report the student to senior staff member
•   Ensure you leave the classroom in the tidy state you found it
•   When on recess, lunchtime or playground duty, ensure you are on time. Professional conduct legislation states educators have a duty of care.  If you are late and an incident was to occur, you may be legally responsible
•   If your class is left with no work, here are some ideas / materials to have handy:  (see “Links” page for more suggestions)
- Various puzzles relevant to the subject area such as crosswords and word finds
- You can instruct students to form their own crosswords and/or word finds on the previous topic. Later, if time allows they can swap with classmates and enjoy the challenge of solving their creative works
- A quiz
- You can instruct students to form their own quiz on the previous topic. Later, if time allows they can swap with classmates and enjoy the challenge of solving their creative works
- Instruct students to write about their favourite topic studied so far
- Show a video/dvd (documentary or movie) relevant to topic currently studied
- Word association games relevant to the subject
- Worksheets
- Library lesson
- Silent reading / wide reading
- Utilise ETA’s Online Teacher Resources for CRT duties (Links section) in providing interactive literacy / numeracy lessons


There are many advantages in selecting emergency teaching as a career:

-    Utilise the qualifications and education you have attained
-    Increase your efficiency in teaching
-    Build up your communication and classroom management skills
-    Increase your confidence in a variety of educational settings
-    Increase your educational practices by experiencing teaching in different community settings
-    Increase your knowledge of charter priorities within different educational establishments
-    Increase your proficiency level by teaching across various year levels.  This shows you are adaptable and multi-skilled
-    Build on current knowledge regarding course structures and assessment methodologies
-    Increase and improve your professional development by attending internal professional development sessions to satisfy accreditation and licensing requirements

-    Be informed of national literacy and numeracy testing programs
-    Keep up to date with the latest literacy and numeracy teaching strategies
-    Increase your educational knowledge and trial assorted literacy and numeracy programs
-    Establish a greater networking capacity to increase ongoing employment prospects by adding to your resume.  By keeping in contact with senior teachers who usually are on panels when interviewing prospective ongoing employees. In some cases they might keep you in mind and even contact you to attend an interview
-    Gain an awareness and assistance in how to supply, satisfy and document criteria when applying for ongoing positions
-    Be part of excursion and incursion preparation and attendance
-    Get involved in extra-curricular activities
-    Increase your knowledge on texts and resources utilised within your subject range in accordance with different year levels
-    Accumulate your teaching resources by accessing valuable information within schools to structure and formulate additional teaching material
-    Attain knowledge and experience from other fields of study
-    Gives you the opportunity to discover your own teaching methodology before undertaking a full time position
-    Obtain credit towards teacher level increments 


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