Send them overseas!
All over Australia, and in many other parts of the world, there are massive teacher shortages.
We completely understand why teachers have become tired and burned out both emotionally and physically. With all the hoops they have to jump through and the sheer amount of bureaucracy involved, there is often more emphasis on ticking boxes than the most important issue of building relationships with students.
What’s really sad is the number of new teachers who are leaving the profession altogether. Not to mention the high percentage of student teachers who leave even before graduation.
Plans to improve teaching as a long-term career
Education ministers are scrambling to find ways of making sure schools have enough teachers to cope with the number of students in Australia forecast to grow by more than 10 percent in the next decade.
They have come up with The “National Teacher Workforce Action Plan” which will focus on five areas: “elevating” the teaching profession, improving teacher supply, strengthening teaching degrees, maximising teachers’ time to teach, and a better understanding of future workforce needs.
It sounds really good! We don’t want to see an exodus of school staff from the profession. Most teachers chose this career as they love students and want to make a difference. They value education and the next generation. We want to encourage those teachers to stay doing what they love and help them rediscover that excitement and passion again.
What we think would help
While some proposed ideas have merit, they have yet to address a significant issue that may be contributing to the problem, particularly among younger more adventurous teachers. It may sound counter-intuitive but making it easier to move may help to retain more teachers in our profession.
The ‘red tape’ involved in moving overseas and difficulties in transitioning back into Australian schools can make it less attractive to teachers interested in new opportunities. Teaching is a transferable profession that can potentially lend itself to working in a variety of schools and positions worldwide.
Change is as good as a holiday
In all the strategizing that’s going on, let’s not overlook the chance to refresh and reinvigorate teachers by giving them an opportunity to teach overseas. Particularly those teachers who have taken stock and decided that there is more to life after Covid. Those teachers who want to do more and be more. Who want to see the world and enjoy a good life-work balance. International schools in particular tick a lot of the boxes that appeal to teachers.
- Students who are keen to learn.
- Class sizes are generally smaller
- Teaching assistants are on hand to help with administrative details.
- Parents are supportive and hold teachers in high esteem.
- Schools are very well-resourced.
- Wonderful opportunities for taking part in the latest professional development.
- Stong potential for savings
- Based in locations where international travel becomes more affordable and easier
We need the experience of teaching overseas to be valued by schools in Australia and the process of returning home made easier.
Teaching in a different environment could be the catalyst for encouraging teachers to not only stay in the profession but to gain valuable experience, grow professionally and then bring back a new set of skills and experiences when they return home.
Contact Search Associates if you would like to learn more about how your teaching degree can take you on the journey of a lifetime!