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11 Tips on How to get a Relief Teaching Job

11 Tips on How to get a Relief Teaching Job


A career as a teacher may often start with some Casual Relief Teaching.  As a graduate or an experienced educator you need to have the edge over other candidates.

Be well organised, enthusiastic and Promote your Skills. To be a Casual Relief Teacher you must be well organised, have a positive disposition and always be proactive if you want to work. You must be prepared to forward your resume and application to all the schools in your local vicinity. This might mean sending bulk mail to schools on a fortnightly or monthly basis. It is also advised that you contact principals and daily organisers at least once a term to make them aware of your interest in working as a casual relief teacher. School management positions often change annually so it is wise to contact the school at the commencement of each year and direct all correspondence to the appropriate personnel. It’s a repetitive task but essential if you seek a career in teaching. Online Casual Relief Teacher Referral Services can assist you in providing a valuable service in offering an online e-profile and promoting your skills and contact details to school management throughout the year!   

Online Casual Relief Teacher Referral Services. Unlike recruitment agencies these organisations do not charge commissions or apply contracts. Teacher referral agencies offer free self service job features and free career job placement and classroom resources.

Australia’s largest online teacher referral service (ETA) also offers a subscription based e-profile service where school management can contact teachers in accordance to their requirements. ETA also forwards teacher details to thousands of schools throughout the year. School management contact, employ and pay CRT staff, not Casual Relief Teacher Referral organisations.  

Volunteer.  If you are currently completing your teaching degree, you may offer to volunteer at a school as an aide if you have the time.  This will better assist you in obtaining a casual relief job once you have graduated, as the school already knows you and how you work, and for other schools, you are able to show you have classroom experience.  Get as much experience as possible.

Job search as an undergraduate.  As an undergraduate, commencing your search for teaching jobs during the last semester of your course may give you the edge over other candidates for the following year.  Many schools usually know how many teaching jobs they have for casual relief teachers by October each year. 

Be prepared.  Be prepared to leave home at a moment's notice with planned lessons for your class where possible.

Visit schools / Consider rural areas.  Depending on the area you live in it may be difficult to find a casual relief job at schools; improve your chances by visiting all the principals at the schools you may be interested in working for.  If you live in the metropolitan area, you may consider moving to a rural area for the short term when there are casual relief jobs available.

Check all employment resources.  Casual Relief Teaching jobs are sometimes advertised on the school’s employment boards – ensure you check these frequently.  Apart from utilising the internet, newspapers and employment agencies also utilise all other online casual relief employment resources that are available such as:

FREE Jobs Online Service:

FREE Jobs Alert: Twitter @reliefteachers :

Network.  Networking is the best way of searching for casual relief jobs.  Write down a list of names of anyone you know that is connected to a school; principals, teachers, teachers where you attended your practicum, non-teaching staff, board members and even friends who have children attending schools.  In most cases if a secondary or primary teaching job is available there usually is some casual relief work.

Sell yourself.  Most schools have their "preferred" casual relief teachers, some are retired teachers and others may be graduates or those returning to work. You need to sell yourself to become one of the "preferred". Ensure your passion and commitment to teaching shines through.  With some accumulated work experience you may be offered a longer term placement.  You have to be assertive when you turn up for casual relief teaching, otherwise you may be overlooked by both students and teachers.

Decide what you want to teach.  Take time to decide what your teaching focus will be, e.g. what type of teaching job you are aiming for and at which level you believe your personality and your approach to teaching will be most advantageous to students. By knowing well in advance where you want to teach, you can target those kinds of casual relief teaching jobs in your job search and improve your chances of finding that secondary or primary teaching job.

Be flexible.  You will need to be flexible about the class levels you accept to teach; although you should not accept work you are not qualified to do, such as high school teaching if you are trained only for lower primary. Also, you cannot assume the regular teacher will leave work for the kids to go on with; you should prepare your own lesson plans.

There will be times when you feel down about your opportunities, persevere and work towards the best outcomes.  Just remember there is light at the end of the tunnel, usually once you get your foot in the door the school is likely call you back for more days.

Good luck!

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