Leadership Development Program

Switching to a meaningful career in teaching

Wednesday, January 31st, 2024

For professionals making a career change to teaching, Teach For Australia’s employment-study pathway offers “the best of both worlds”.

“The idea of going back to uni without full time employment would have been difficult and the TFA program offers the best of both worlds in that you can study and undertake paid work at the same time,” 2023 Cohort Associate and former statistician, Luke Doyle, said.

Passionate career changers – like Luke – bring valuable experience, specialist knowledge and unique perspectives to classrooms in disadvantaged communities across Australia through our Leadership Development Program.

Our Associates work in schools teaching subjects directly related to their previous studies while they undertake a Master of Teaching (Secondary) (Leading Learning) with our academic partner Australian Catholic University (ACU).

During the two-year program, Associates receive one-on-one coaching and mentoring and earn a full salary – approximately $62,000-$65,000 base salary, depending on the placement location.

Graduated 10+ years ago?

If you’re thinking about a more meaningful career in the classroom, one of the eligibility requirements of our program is that you must have an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than teaching.

But if you graduated more than 10 years ago, you also need to have relevant further study or work experience in order to be admitted into the Master’s as part of our program.

This is required to ensure that you are up to date with the subjects you’ll be teaching from day one of your new career in the classroom.

Setting you up for success

TFA Admissions Specialist, Erie Martha Lane, said these eligibility requirements aren’t judging whether you are a skilled professional in your field – they’re setting you up for success in your new career and ensuring you’re ready to undertake a Master of Teaching.

“You’ll be stepping into the classroom with a lot of support through our program, but you will be learning how to teach – you don’t want to have to learn your content as well,” she said.

“Through the application process, ACU will look at the subjects you’re going to teach – which is determined by your undergraduate study – and you’ll need to show that you’ve kept up to date with the content you’ll be teaching.

“For example, if your undergraduate degree was in physics but you have spent the last 10 years managing a hedge fund, have you kept up to date with the basic concepts of physics? On its face, the answer would be no.

“In that situation you would either need to comprehensively map your work experience to the curriculum you’d be teaching, or you’d need to take additional units of study.”

Our advice: apply early

Erie said it can be a time-consuming process to prove currency, so it’s important to apply as early as possible in the year.

“By applying early, you won’t be rushed, and you’ll have more time to find the right units to study if required – making your entire application experience better,” she said.

“And you’ll have access to one-on-one support from our specialist team. We work with you to support you as much as possible throughout the process.

“At the end of the day, it’s about ensuring students get the best learning they deserve, from teachers who are specialists and experts in their field.”

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