Teaching Ideas

Getting from Casual to Part-Time

Submitted by Anonymous (07-11-2012)

Does anyone have any hints about how to get a job??

I am casual, and this year to date, I have paid to have my two youngest children in care 2 days a week for the entire term, and I have only had 4 days work!!

There are no jobs around for full-time or part-time, I was told that there would be heaps of work for a casual teacher of K-6. I have never held a part-time or full-time position in teaching, having done casual when first graduated from July - Dec 07 and then 12mths off (unpaid maternity).

I have my name down at the 3 local schools; the Catholic school my daughter attends plus 2 public schools. I had one day at one public school in Feb and have never been called again, and 3 days in the other public school in March.

I go in to the schools with a plan for the day and my own resources just in case the teacher hasn't left any work, but in this area (unlike where I did my initial casual work) all the teachers leave their own plan and so I follow that; provided I know what they are talking about.

I've read comments like "here yr 2 do r.reading" Now to me that means running read, where they read from a set text and you mark types of errors they are making, but no such thing was lying around anywhere, and when I asked the other staff, they didn't know what was meant and said a casual shouldn't be doing that, just get them to read independently.

Same teacher has left other vague messages I couldn't work out like spelling is on s.board, have students match 'ee' words to the pics. But I opened everything on the smart board and couldn't find what she meant.

I don't know if I'm doing something wrong, or what. I so wish I had my own class, it's very hard as a new teacher to only get 1hr to get my self and my kids into the respective schools/childcare and teach someone else's class.

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What others are saying...

Susan (08-06-2013)

I graduated at the end of 2007 at one school in 2008 I had 60 casual days. The following year I got nothing as the person who rang changed. It is very random. Someone once told me that if you are a casual and get lots of days there is a chance you will find work in the school. That's not true either. There just isn't the work out there. I heard from one union that there were 4,000 graduates a year or so ago and only 2,000 jobs...so there isn't work for everyone and the graduates keep churning out.

Anonymous (21-04-2012)

The problem with the current Accreditation model is that it is geared for Permanent, Temporary, or Part-time workers who have the time to build relationships and resources in your chosen schools...

You will in essence, find it very difficult to get the schools that you casually work for, to give you the time and professional support you need to become accredited. I hate the current model personally as I too, have 3 children to worry about - my youngest is in daycare too...You are already experiencing the difficulties of employment in the first term of a school year, as very little work is thrown towards casuals due to teachers planning for the year ahead.

Consequently, 10 weeks or so are wasted on not gaining the experience needed every single year, not to mention weeks of daycare time wasted which of course you still have to pay for. If we look at those kinds of time frames and situations, then over a 5 year period which we are granted to achieve accreditation, 50 weeks + is effectively lost to first term pitfalls and other non-working days.....

I would like to see the Institute throw us casuals, who would like the flexibility to remain casuals due to family constraints, some rope and provide us with a different model of Accreditation...we are at present, discriminated against because we want to nurture and educate our own children as much as we want to nurture and educate other peoples children...sorry for the rant but I can't see any real benefits of a system that caters only for teachers who do not have lives outside their jobs.

As for the one who mentioned taking on additional studies to "stand out" in the ever increasing sea of New Scheme teachers, again we have all been through years of grueling Tertiary studies with many of us mature age students having children during this time...The last thing one needs is to promptly take ourselves back into the University arena and pay for courses that will still bring us back to the same position of wanting to remain a casual or conversely forced to remain a casual because of the lack of permanent positions...

Anonymous (12-03-2012)

Are you registered to work all five days? I know it sounds unreasonable but if you have ever had to say "no" to a day then that is all they can remember.

Not all schools have a central person who books the casuals. Many teachers have to contact their own casual. It was suggested to me to make little business cards (laminated) for their wallets and perhaps leave them in their pigeon holes. Your teaching number, name and phone numbers is all you need. Teachers are fairly stressed and don't get near a phone all that often during the day when it comes to finding a casual, you want it to be super easy for them.

I am getting work most days, and double booked many days... and just at the one school on the north shore in Sydney. I mark work, do extra duties, ring them or go and see them the afternoon before to find out what they would like me to plan for. I have all their emails and mobile numbers. I turn up around an hour before school starts and leave a bit of time each day to hang in the staffroom so that you have a presence and they often remember that they need a casual.

The teachers do often leave cryptic messages about what to do. You have to work smart, ask a series of questions when they are booking you. Remember you don't necessarily need to leave them a run down of what went poorly during the day. Also the children are my greatest helpers. They live in that room and generally know all the ins and outs, passwords, routines etc. You just have to ask one child quietly. (SRC or class captain badges are a good clue)
If you ask the whole class you will get inundated with conflicting advice.

I keep a copy of as many passwords for the computer, name of the printer, photocopier code, key (or someone who has one) and to know about any special needs children, allergies etc.

It pays to take your own copy of the schools RFF timetable, playground duty and assembly and bell times etc as they are often missing from the noticeboard where they should be!! Or ask at the office before you start the day.

I have no hopes of ever getting a full time position at a DET school anywhere near where I live. Devolution may be my only hope when they decide a mature age teacher who is also a NST is a cheap and effective option.

Anonymous (01-03-2012)

Totally agree, there needs to be another accreditation for people who are happy just teaching casual. My accreditation ends in October and I teach at independent school where I get enough casual work. I have never been approached in regards to accreditation or offered help. I have collected evidence and annotated it (with the help of a full time teacher at another school) but now I need to find someone to write my report as I don't have a supervisor. Now I can imagine how excited people will be to want to write my report.
I found out if you lose your accreditation within the 5yrs, you can NEVER teach again. Maybe in the future they will allow individuals to reapply. Soo stupid.

Anonymous (13-02-2012)

Send your CV out to as many schools as possible and they will call you. I sent resumes to all the schools in Western sydney and work is steadily coming in.

Anonymous (06-02-2012)

From my personal experience it does not matter if you stay loyal to a school you can easily stop receiving calls if a new person is in charge of ringing casuals regardless of how many years you have been working casually at a school. A friend of mine said that after 5 yrs of loyalty to a school they decided to let her go because new graduates were more cost effective.

If you register for work with an agency such as Randstad education or Keystage casuals you will get plenty of work but at different schools.

Anonymous (20-01-2012)

Do you think if many of us worked together to contact the NSW Teachers Institute and the Union something might be able to be done about the lack of willing schools to complete the paperwork for casuals?

Anonymous (20-01-2012)

I have been teaching for 4 years now - a combination of DOTT days and relief - and once again I face the prospect of unemployment at the start of the school year.

I feel as though I am constantly having to justify myself to relatives, other staff and parents that I am in fact a real teacher. There is quite simply NO teacher shortage!

It is absolutely ridiculous that there are so many hard working teachers who generally care about children and want to work yet can't. I thankfully get a lot of relief work (I work 4-5 days each week) but I know that with each year I am getting more expensive and that at some point my luck could easily run out. I spend most of first and last term stressed to the max about whether I will get called for more work - if only I could spend half the year thinking about what I do best! I pray this will end soon. I feel for all of you.

Anonymous (20-12-2011)

It's bad enough not being able to get full time work and also casual work. After reading your posts about not finding a school to help with accreditation what are we supposed to do then?

I have mine due in November 2012. I spoke to NSW Teachers Federation and they seem to think it's easy to get a school to help. After graduated in 2007 and many applications for jobs I'm considering a new career path. I am so fed up with not being appreciated as a casual and having no support either is the pits! It has caused me severe depression and anxiety.

Anonymous (20-12-2011)

As a casual teacher I have found that when I approach schools to complete my accreditation they no longer call me for casual work. This is after working for them for 3 and a half years, another school 2 years. With 3 or 4 pages of names of casuals on their list I consider myself lucky to get enough work. I am too afraid to ask schools to assist me and only have 8 months left to get accredited. Has anyone had similar experiences?

Anonymous (15-09-2011)

My advice would be to keep trying. Undergo further study that will make you stand out from the rest! Learn an instrument, do training in literacy/numeracy. Volunteer your time!! Show schools that your keen just by turning up to help out the school when needed. Also I've heard if you stay loyal to one school - they will aways call you first because they know you will say yes.

Lisa (03-08-2011)

It is very reassuring to know there are others in my position, I am currently working as a casual, getting work through an agency (I also have never heard from casual.direct), whilst I tend to get about 4 days a week at the moment, it is spread over so many schools I am unable to get a relationship or a connection with any particular school.
There needs to be more support for new casual teachers, when I go to schools there appears to be plenty of support for beginning teachers in long term positions, this just makes me feel that my work as a casual is even less recognised.

Anonymous (23-06-2011)

I am still unemployed as a teacher. I graduated in 2007. I am qualified in Secondary Visual Art and Primary k-6. I am registered with CEO and DET Casual Direct. Casual Direct have never called me! I have never been lucky enough to get an interview and now even during the winter season, I am not getting casual work either. I rely on my husband financially and have a large HECS debt that I will probably never pay off.

I pity anyone who had a dream of becoming a teacher and being told that was a large shortage then to find the dream being squashed. I have no idea what job prospects I have and have even thought about working in a factory just to save me from going mad from not teaching.

Anonymous (18-06-2011)

Wow- I have been doing casual teaching in schools since August last year and also found work hard to find, even though I sent my resume to 59 schools. With work being scarce this makes finding a referee in the school system hard when applying for jobs. I was feeling I was left to flounder; as a casual you don't get any support or mentoring that teachers receive in full time employment. I can see why 20% of new teachers leave the field in the first 3 years of teaching (read in a reseach paper). With still getting my head around teaching lessons I seem to spend my day dealing with behaviour management issues as I am constantly a new face. After reading the other posts I am glad I am not the only new teacher to feel this way. This site is invaluable with all the support it gives teachers with resources and advice Thanks....

Anonymous (02-06-2011)


I know exactly how you feel. I would love to teach full-time but have been unable to obtain a full-time position. I've applied for every temporary position I've come across even those in the middle of nowhere. There are no teaching jobs. The shortage is a myth designed to push people through teaching and I find it really annoying. Also no schools are willing to put casual teachers through accreditation which I find frustrating as I only have a year left and still have a $16,000 debt.

Anonymous (05-05-2011)

Are there other teachers like me who have been teaching casually since graduating in 2007 with a Bachelor of Education Primary? At first it was by choice. I have applied for about 40 jobs with only 3 interviews. I am finding it difficult to get any school to assist me complete my NSW new scheme teacher accreditation and am stressed that I will no longer be able to teach.

Kim (18-02-2011)

When I read your post I know what you are going through as I have had the same problems in finding work. I graduated in 2007 in high school visual arts and it was extremely impossible to get any work. I became a casual in primary schools in the South West area. I then went back to uni so I could qualify to teach primary. I have become so depressed about whether I will remain a casual teacher for the rest of my life. I have just turned 48 and at wits end as to where I'm going wrong. I have applied for many jobs and continually get rejected. Often I feel used as i am never called again and it leaves me feeling like perhaps I did something that the school didn't like. Being a casual isn't a secure way of working too because you don't get sick pay or holiday pay either. Anyway I'm glad I found this post so at least I'm not alone.

Anonymous (06-08-2010)

When I read this I thought about where you may be trying to teach and also your surname.

Many schools have their casual lists typed in alphabetical order. This is really unfortunate for anyone whose surname happens to be starting with an M onwards - as guess what - if a teacher/office staff cannot contact their preferred regular casuals - they will inevitably start calling anybody in descending order. There is nothing you can do to control that situation. In some ways you are just a number.

The problem may be also that you have your name down at the nearest local schools. How far can you travel and get to a school in time if someone calls you as late as 8:30am? In other words you may need to travel a bit further.

There is a real downturn at present - the schools have really tightened up on sick days and teachers will continue to work until they are about to collapse. Today I did relief work for a teacher who had completely lost her voice - but she had been sick for most of the week. At another school - a teacher - rather stupidly I think - worked until she was admitted to hospital. That's how fearful teachers are to take off sick days at the moment.

It's such a shame that your children are young and you are out of pocket. Only you can decide whether this is all worthwhile at this stage in your life.

Would you be prepared to work full-time ?- that might be the only solution. Part-time - it's all about luck.

Note that it is really difficult to build up a good relationship with a Principal - many are not in the office, many are so busy they don't even make it into the staffroom etc etc

Good Luck

Anonymous (01-09-2009)


I just thought I would add that you might need to go and see the person who organises the casual teachers. I handed my resume into a local school, where I completed a prac, only to find out a few weeks later the Assistant principal did not receive my resume. I have since been up to the school to speak to the AP in person.
...You just need to get past the office staff (which can be hard at times).

Anonymous (13-05-2009)

I have had the same experience as you and after a year, I have secured a contract after much rejection! I endorse the comments written previously to mine in relation to professionalism but I really want to offer you this... be prepared to travel further than you would for a regular job as it is the INVALUABLE contact that you want to make with a deputy or principal to act as a referee when jobs come up closer to where you want to work.

School leaders talk to each other and you really need to have a good referee to get your foot in the door - whether it be relief or other work. Once you establish a contact - you will succeed. It's the establishing of this contact which is the hardest! Remember, someone will eventually recognise your talents!

Kerry (09-04-2009)

I only work casual now. I find work is limited I think because of being on the top of the salary scale. It seems lots of the first year outs get the blocks and more regular work due to economics and have many staffroom conversations with casuals who have found this.

Having said that I have been teaching 22 years and I have been to many schools. The one thing I hear over and over is they love teachers who mark the work!.

I hear constantly that it is very helpful when you leave a plan at the end of the day. I leave a sheet titled: What Did We Do Today? and leave the things we did, any problems, rewards etc:and I always get positive feedback on this and I feel like my day has contributed to the program.

Sue (06-04-2009)

You need to have your name down at every school you are willing to travel to - that may mean a hundred! Once you are known you will be fine, but getting known is the hard part.

On a casual day, ensure you are friendly, positive, innovative and mark everything you do!!!!! Other staff will notice and word will get back that you are OK.

I don't know where you are from, so it makes it hard to comment on the availability of work. If you are in Sydney NSW, there is usual plenty of work in south-western and western Sydney. By that I mean Liverpool/Campbelltown or Blacktown and beyond. Try contacting all of the Catholic and Independent schools you are willing to travel to also. You will probably have to have an interview prior to receiving any offers.
I know at our school, by winter we can't get enough casuals.
Check the papers as non government schools will sometimes advertise their blocks of work or part time positions. Also check the individual non government schools' websites as they will have position vacant notices. Do this regularly.
Good luck

Flisdidy (05-04-2009)

Saw your comments re work, don't feel too badly, I pay for after school care for my daughter 3 days a week so that when I get work she is in care on the days she doesn't have after school activities. However, to date this year I have only had 4 days work despite having resumes in at approximately 30-40 local schools!

Having said this though I have friends who have done no casual - get blocks or permanent jobs and friends who are early childhood trained getting work up to year 6!

To my mind, there is no rhyme or reason but am crossing my fingers that work will pick up after the Easter break (have been advised that I need to sneak into a few staff rooms and sneeze in the milk to cause some illness!) Good luck with finding something, Flis.

PS I applied for some permanent jobs at the end of last year and was told I need more experience and to approach some schools for a block. In my experience getting a block is almost akin to winning the lottery, and not something you approach a school to ask for.


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