Published in the ‘Sun’ in the NT, in February 2017.


Last week marked the commencement of careers for over 100 new teachers in our schools. Some have been appointed to urban schools, others to more remote corners of the NT. ‘Urban’ includes schools beyond Darwin Palmerston and Alice Springs. Katherine, Tennant Creek and Nhulunbuy are classed as urban schools.

Then there are community, settlement and outstation schools. It is to all these places that teachers new to the profession have been assigned.

An induction program for beginning teachers offered some exposure to the situation in which they will find themselves. This program of several days duration, covered departmental issues and curriculum requirements. However, it is only after taking up appointment and commencing duty that specific learning and understanding will impact the teaching experience.

The ultimate for all teachers, following probationary periods, is the gaining of permanent status. That makes them eligible for home loans and can admit them to the mortgage market.

For teachers who are permanent, a career stretches before them that may seem to be quite endless. There is no telling the end from the beginning. New teachers are full of optimism and feel good about the future. All want to make a difference, helping children learn. This motivation holds, regardless of appointment location.

Successful teachers will develop strong professional relations with colleagues. Sharing experiences and learning from each other, school leadership teams, students, parents and community will be important to their development. May they do well in their chosen profession.

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