Welcome to teaching: what you need to know...
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 124 No 1, 15 February 2019, page no. 25
To those members who have just begun their teaching career – welcome to the profession!
As well as getting your lessons planned and getting to know your students, there are a number of formal requirements you must fulfil during your first year of employment with the Department of Education.
It is a legislative requirement that, to teach in any Queensland school, a teacher must have obtained teacher registration from the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT).
This is initially granted as provisional registration and allows a teacher to teach for up to two years until full registration is granted by the QCT. Full registration as a teacher may be granted after a year of successful full-time teaching or the equivalent (200 days). Both temporary and permanent employees can apply to transition from provisional to full registration provided the 200 days has been met, although it may take longer to accrue 200 days if working supply and contract combined.
Teachers must demonstrate that they meet the graduate level Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) during provisional registration to obtain full registration (go to www.qct.edu.au to learn more). The college requires your principal to complete the “Provisional to full registration recommendation report” to verify that you have met the standards.
This process is quite separate to the DET probationary process. More information is available on the QCT website at www.qct.edu.au
All newly appointed permanent employees of DET, including graduates and teachers who have been converted to permanent after being a contract/temporary teacher, are required to undergo a period of probation, including formal induction and supervision, to satisfy the employer of their suitability for continuing employment.
The standard probation period is eight months. Teachers must be confirmed in their position or have their engagement terminated before the end of the eighth month of employment. For teachers appointed at the beginning of a school year, this will be immediately prior to the September school holidays.
The induction and monitoring process will vary according to the workplace and the needs of individual employees. The program may involve classroom observations, monitoring of planning and assessment and some form of professional support/mentoring.
At the end of your first three months, teachers will be provided with a review by their principal, which must be recorded on the applicable form. Any areas of concern must be identified, and an agreed action plan developed.
A formal appraisal will be conducted by the end of six months of service (usually July), resulting in a recommendation of either confirmation or termination of appointment.
Employees on a temporary contract are not required to undergo a probation period, however later this year the department is expected to bring in mandatory observation reports for temporary teachers who are engaged for a term or longer. Temporary teacher members will be informed once the process and a timeframe is finalised.
These are mandatory for all new casual, temporary, and permanent employees. The training is designed to raise awareness around employees’ obligation to work within an ethical and legal framework. It highlights the importance of the code of conduct, DoE’s standard of practice and internal control strategies. The program covers topics such as working ethically, protecting information, working safely and protecting students.
A comprehensive induction program may also contain information about the QTU, including the benefits of membership, the development of DET/QTU joint statements, and an outline of the QTU’s democratic decision-making structures and procedures. Other resources for new QTU members are available at http://www.qtu.asn.au/advice/brochures/
Visit www.qtu.asn.au/bribeginningtoteach for more information.
If you were an associate member while at university and are now in paid employment with DoE, you need to upgrade your membership to continue to enjoy the advantages of Union membership. You can upgrade your membership online at www.qtu.asn.au/myQTU. Contact our membership team on email@example.com or (07) 3512 9000 if you need help.
Wherever you are teaching, the QTU is here to support you. Our helpline, the Queensland Teachers’ Assist Desk (QTAD), is a good first point of contact. It can be reached on 1300 11 7823 or firstname.lastname@example.org