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How to become a secondary school teacher in Australia: careers in teaching

How to become a secondary school teacher in Australia: careers in teaching
Secondary school teachers help with the academic development and progress of students through the high school system. They foster and enrich accepting classroom environments, which has its challenges when dealing with adolescents. Secondary school teachers develop lesson plans to teach particular subject matter areas to their students. They also need to ensure their lessons, teaching methods and assignments meet their state or territory’s curriculum requirements. To become a teacher in Australia, you will need a relevant tertiary qualification.

Being a secondary school teacher: daily duties

Secondary school teachers foster the academic growth and general wellbeing of their students. In general, they specialise in one ore more subjects and sometimes may choose to work exclusively with younger or senior students within the high school. Secondary school teachers create lesson plans, set assignments, mark students’ work and communicate with parents and guardians. They create learning environments and encourage critical thinking ad creativity, and provide guidance and support for students.


  • Preparation of lesson plans
  • Marking student work and providing feedback
  • Foster relationships with students and parents
  • Supervision of planned activities

Being a secondary school teacher: skills for success

Secondary school teachers need to be creative and have the ability to design engaging lessons. They must also have a genuine care for their students, a genuine interest in the subjects they teach and strong interpersonal and communication skills. Secondary school teachers will also need subject-specific skills which will vary depending on their area of teaching.
  • Ability to maintain discipline in the classroom
  • Creating teaching approach
  • Sound problem solving skills
  • Able to resolve conflicts
  • Empathy and patience

Specialised roles within teaching

Secondary school teachers are able to elect their specialisations, choosing subjects they have a personal interest in. They can also opt to teach in particular geographic regions or work with students who have learning difficulties or come from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Aboriginal Education Teacher
    Aboriginal Education Teachers teach a curriculum designed for students with an indigenous cultural background in both rural and urban communities. They need flexibility, patience and an appreciation of indigenous culture to be successful in these roles.
  • Special Education
    Working with students who have physical, emotional, sensory or intellectual impairments, Special Education Teachers work in specialty schools or general schools with special education programs. They instruct their students in general life skills as well as an academic program.
  • Teacher Librarian
    Teacher Librarians have a multifaceted role that incorporates teaching research skills to students, promotion of literacy, coordination of distance education programs and managing library resources. They are an important source of information and IT skills for students.

Educational pathways for teachers

A tertiary degree is a mandatory prerequisite to work as a teacher in a secondary school in Australia. High school teachers generally complete an Bachelor’s degree in education and incorporate their subject area specialisation as a major, or they will complete a Bachelor’s degree in their subject followed by a Master’s degree in teaching.
  • Start your career
    Determine your own strengths and interests in teaching will help you to decide on your first steps.
  • Strengthen your skills
    Work on becoming an accredited teacher by taking a course deigned to build confidence and competence.
  • Build your resume
    Get the right mix of skills and experience to help your passion become your career.
  • Industry requirements
    To become a secondary school teacher in Australia you’ll need to join your state’s register for qualified teachers.
  • Finding Work
    Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your teaching career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.
  • Employment Prospects
    Employment prospects for teachers continue to grow every year in both rural and urban communities.

Resources for Secondary school teachers

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