29 November 2018
Hurry - scholarship opportunities closing soon!
The NSW Department of Education supports the best and brightest future teachers reach their teaching dream by offering scholarship opportunities.
Don’t miss out on the department’s scholarship opportunities! Make sure you submit your application by Friday 14 September 2018.
Watch the NSW Minister for Education, the Hon. Rob Stokes, MP’s message for all HSC students, university students and career changes considering teaching as a career.
Minty's social media takeover!
Leading the pats and hugs at Clarke Road School is Minty, the Therapy Dog. Minty assists the great work of special education teachers at this school for students with special needs.
Recently the teach.NSW team allowed Minty to stage a ‘takeover’ of the teach.NSW social channels. He bounced and wiggled, as only a Golden Retriever Therapy Dog can, and engaged all day across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, where he told our followers about scholarship opportunities in special education.
Teaching students with special needs brings its own unique rewards and is a great example of a career that makes a difference.
Scholarships, cadetships and internships are available, according to the program, to HSC students, university students and career changers considering becoming a special education teacher (K-12). Find out how you can get paid to study to become a special education teacher in NSW public schools!
Sponsored training programs are also available to current approved teachers who would like to become special education teachers.
With special education a high demand area, a scholarship is your chance to take a great new career direction. You might even get the chance to work with a special furry friend like Minty!
Go rural with a teach.Rural Scholarship!
Are you an HSC or university student looking to kick start your teaching career? Well, you’re in luck because applications for the teach.Rural Scholarships are still open!
A teach.Rural scholarship offers:
- $7,500 per year of full-time study;
- $500 per week while completing a rural practicum;
- An appointment allowance; and
- The potential for up to $50,000 equivalent upfront course fee.
Importantly, the scholarships also include a permanent teaching position in one of the State’s rural or remote schools. Rural and remote areas in NSW are wonderful places to live, work and build a great teaching career.
View the NSW Minister for Education, the Hon. Rob Stokes MP’s message about teach.Rural Scholarships to find out more and apply.
We’re on the move!
The move to 105 Phillip Street Parramatta brings a lot of new and exciting opportunities for us here in the teach.NSW team. The brand-new, purpose-built premises are equipped with new technologies that will bring us closer to you, such as updated video conferencing technology and larger event facilities.
We tested the new environment recently with a Facebook Live Panel discussion, where we caught up with three scholarship recipients and spoke to them about their teaching careers so far and, of course, the benefits of the scholarships. Did you miss the Live Panel? Don’t worry, the video is still available on our Facebook page.
This event was just one way that we’ll be able to connect with you through the new facilities at 105 Phillip Street, Parramatta. Watch this space - as we become more at home in our new building, we will be hosting more online and face-to-face events. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and be informed as new events are scheduled.
Three great tips from UAC
Navigating your way through university course applications involves important decisions about your future career. To help, our good friends at the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) have provided three great tips for applying for undergraduate teaching courses.
- Research: Before you apply, make sure you're eligible for selection. Check with individual institutions for teaching program requirements. Find out more
- Prepare: To enter an accredited teaching program, you'll need to achieve a minimum of three Band 5s, one of which must be in English, in your HSC. Find out more
- Apply: Complete your application before early bird closing on Friday 28 September (to avoid a higher processing fee). Select up to 5 courses: place the course you'd most like to do at the top, followed by your second preference, and so on. Find out more
Remember, when you are looking for employment as a teacher at the end of your teacher education course, the NSW Department of Education has its own requirements as an employer. Check out the Graduate Recruitment Program page for more information.
09 August 2018
Join us live at 5:30pm on August 9!
Are you considering a career in teaching? Or do you know someone else considering their career options?
Kayla Richardson, Senior Education Officer with the teach.NSW team, will host a Facebook Live Panel on August 9th from 5:30pm. This is a great opportunity to hear from current teachers who kick-started their careers with a NSW Department of Education scholarship, cadetship or internship.
Hear how they benefited from the opportunity during their university studies and beyond.
Join us live on August 9!
Transforming a passion into a career
Hand crafted canoe designed and built by Aaron – and yes, it floats!
When deciding what to study at university, Aaron knew he wanted to explore a career where his passion for Technological and Applied Studies (TAS) would enable him to remain creative while earning and income in a rewarding job.
‘I would love to see more students develop a passion for woodworking like I did at school,’ says Aaron. His positive schooling experience inspired Aaron to utilise his knowledge and skills in TAS and take up university studies to become a secondary teacher.
Aaron’s students practise fundamental skills such as ‘… measuring, marking, cutting and joining. My goal is to equip students with the skills to be able to design, build or fix anything they want,’ says Aaron.
‘University was great. I made a lifelong mate, Michael, and we both had the support of a scholarship while studying.’ The scholarships, through the NSW Department of Education, meant that they were financially supported throughout their studies and guaranteed a permanent teaching position straight out of university!
In their final year of studies, Aaron and Michael completed the Graduate Recruitment Program (GRP) as part of their teaching application and when it came to selecting where to teach they both chose rural!
Fast forward to today, Aaron and Michael are teaching TAS at separate high schools in Broken Hill, in western NSW. They are settled into their new community and making other friends quickly. ‘The people are really nice and the scenery is beautiful,’ says Aaron.
‘Teaching is a diverse job. Not only are you an educator, you’re a mentor, friend and role model,’ says Aaron.
As a male teacher, Aaron explains that he hopes to inspire other young men to take up teaching and share their experiences of making a difference whilst ‘… being able to teach what you love doing every day.’
Are you thinking about applying for a scholarship to kick-start your teaching career? Grab a mate and share the journey together!
Apply now >>
Teach our future, join our mob!
Nancy Penfold, a proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman from the Erub and Kalkadoon mobs, believed teaching was a way she could give back to her community.
‘As a teacher, my role is a diverse one - embedding Aboriginal perspectives into programs, teaching students from a range of cultures and abilities, trialling new lesson ideas and involving myself in whole school programs and communities.’
Nancy’s journey to teaching was supported by the NSW Department of Education’s Teacher Education Scholarship – Aboriginal program where she received financial assistance and a guaranteed permanent teaching position in a NSW public school.
‘The scholarship provided such a positive impact on my university experience. I received $5,000 a year, which meant that I didn’t have to focus on work too much and got to concentrate more on my studies. It was such a benefit!’ Nancy recalls.
Nancy’s advice for anyone studying and considering a career as a teacher is, ‘Keep organised! Everything else will fall into place if you’re organised and have a good routine. Ensure you have a good support network.’
`There’s always someone to call for a chat or advice – from your family, community members and even the department’s support team, they were a big help to me during my studies! And of course, apply for a scholarship.’
The department offers a range of programs to help support future teachers. Find out more through www.teach.nsw.edu.au/getpaidtostudy and take some of the pressure off as you pursue your dream career!
10 steps to become a teacher
The pathways to become a teacher may appear daunting so we’ve come up with a straight-forward 10 step guide to get your started on your teaching journey.
- Meet with your career advisor to discuss your career goals. Whilst you’re there, ask them to book a school VCwith teach.NSW so you can ask all of your burning questions with a member of our team.
- Do your research. Search for courses that align with your teaching interests. Make sure you consider high-demand subject areas like maths, science, engineering technology or special education.
- Apply for a NSW Department of Education scholarship at www.teach.nsw.edu.au. Successful applicants are paid to study and receive a permanent teaching position at the end of their studies.
- Apply for university online through UAC.
- Complete your final HSC exams.
- Receive your ATAR from UAC.
- Get your university offer, accept and enrol.
- Attend university. If you’re a DoE scholarship recipient you will receive great financial support whilst you’re studying!
- In your final year of university, apply for the Graduate Recruitment Program at www.teach.nsw.edu.au.
- Graduate! Scholars will begin their permanent classroom position and others can apply for jobs through JobFeed.
Still have questions? Come and find us at an event. The teach.NSW team will be at most of the major open days throughout August so come and say hello and have your questions answered. You can also hear about the great scholarship opportunities that could kick-start your teaching career. Check out our online events calendar to see where we’ll be heading next month, here’s a snapshot:
- University of Wollongong Open Day – Saturday, 11th August, 10:00am – 4:00pm
- Western Sydney University Open Day – Sunday, 19th August, 10:00am – 4:00pm
- University of Sydney Open Day – Saturday, 25th August, 9:00am – 4:00pm
Accessibility – Part 3: Tools of the trade
Most Microsoft Office apps include an accessibility checker, which can be found in the ‘File’ tab by clicking ‘Check for Issues’ (Windows) or in the ‘Review’ tab (Mac and online versions). It will scan your document and list any accessibility issues it finds, as well as suggest solutions for resolving them.
Figure 1: An accessibility checker can be found in most Microsoft Office apps.
Colour contrast checkers
To cater for people who have difficulties distinguishing colours, these tools allow you to compare any two colours to measure the contrast between them. They will then grade the colours as ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ depending on whether they meet appropriate standards for visual contrast.
Figure 2: WebAIM's Colour Contrast Checker.
Screen readers and assistive technology
Assistive technology in personal computers and mobile devices has come a long way – Apple, Microsoft and Google have all publicly committed to making their operating systems accessible to everyone, and the technology is only improving.
It is sometimes helpful to use some assistive technologies, such as a screen reader, to test your documents for accessibility. It also provides a healthy perspective and appreciation of the kinds of challenges that people with impairments regularly overcome.
- Apple Mac and iOS accessibility features
- Windows 10 accessibility features
- Accessibility information for Google apps, Android, and Chrome OS
- NVDA Screen Reader (Windows)
Figure 3: VoiceOver for Mac and Narrator for Windows 10 - part of your computer’s built-in accessibility features.
Often pronounced ‘wee-kag’, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are a set of universal standards released by the World Wide Web Consortium for the accessibility of digital content on the web. There are three levels of compliance: A (basic), AA (strict), and AAA (very strict).
Where to find out more
Our three-part series has covered the basics but accessibility is a broad field that encompasses a wide range of media and audience types.
The NSW Department of Education accessibility basics webpage (requires sign-in) has extensive accessibility resources available for all staff, including training courses and e-learning to assist you to learn more about accessibility.
29 June 2018
Applications for scholarships are now open!
There are great opportunities to apply for the latest round of scholarship, internship and cadetship opportunities for future teachers. These include:
- $2500 per year of full time study
- $1000 appointment allowance
- Permanent teaching job
There are also great retraining opportunities available. Current teachers - consider our great range of scholarship and sponsorship opportunities, including STEM Scholarships for Science and Mathematics.
ClassCover makes it easy
From June 2018, the department has adopted app-based platform ClassCover as its casual teacher booking solution. For casual teachers, like Abby and David from the Newcastle area, ClassCover is their on-the-go online CV and booking diary.
‘I access ClassCover with my phone, and also have it connected to my Fitbit watch so I never miss a notification!’ says Abby. ‘The app allows me to block times I’m not available, including half days when I have other appointments.’
Casual teaching is a common entry point into teaching in NSW, including through initiatives such as the department’s Graduate Recruitment Program. The uncomplicated app supports the instant information that casual teachers need.
The new system enables them to find opportunities easily to build on their skills in teaching. David adds `I credit ClassCover with helping me gain and sustain casual teaching work since I found out it existed. It has broadened my options for schools I can work at in my area greatly.’
From a school’s perspective, ClassCover reduces the administrative workload required for filling casual vacancies. Ben Peters, a head teacher at Callaghan College’s Waratah Campus, finds the system very efficient. During a trial of ClassCover, it was estimated that the school saved an average of 13 hours per week managing casual placements.
ClassCover fully replaces Casual.Direct, which will continue to provide services to its existing users until end of Term 2 and will be decommissioned during Term 3, 2018.
For more information on ClassCover or casual teaching in NSW public schools, visit the department’s Jobs and Opportunities webpage.
Seizing great career opportunities
Erin Connors quickly recognised the benefits of going rural to start her teaching journey after completing her studies in PDHPE at the University of Newcastle. Settling in the west of NSW in picturesque Broken Hill, Erin soon gained regular casual and temporary teaching employment before she saw another great opportunity – this time to apply for a scholarship.
The NSW Department of Education’s STEM Scholarship for Science and Mathematics offered Erin the ability to retrain as a mathematics teacher.
Erin explains that, initially, she was drawn to the scholarship program due to the benefits of a full-time, permanent teaching position and the financial incentives offered, but she also found the additional support of the scholarship, such as study days, greatly assisted.
`The study days were great and made studying while working so much easier. They also enabled me to take time away from teaching to study before exams.’
Erin loves the lifestyle that Broken Hill has to offer and the strong rapport that she has been able to build with her students. She has also discovered, as so many others before her have done, that teaching in rural NSW offers great employment opportunities, access to leadership roles and fantastic financial benefits and incentive packages.
Erin believes her the opportunity offered through the scholarship was another powerful kick-start to her teaching career.
‘If you are committed to teaching and ready to make a change then I would recommend applying for a STEM scholarship!’ advises Erin.
A number of NSW Department of Education scholarship programs are now open. They offer fantastic opportunities to enhance your teaching journey, just as the STEM scholarship program has done for Erin. To find out more, visit the Enhance your career pages on our website.
On the road with teach.NSW
Recently, members of the teach.NSW team travelled to the state’s far west, where they interviewed a large number of teachers, principals and directors at various stages of their careers.
The trip was part of a program of work showcasing teaching and living in rural and remote locations, through short videos published on teach.NSW web and social sites. The videos aim to inspire both future teachers and current teachers to go rural.
‘I am constantly amazed by the learning spaces, teaching facilities and professional learning opportunities offered in rural and remote schools. Tibooburra Outback Public School even has a swimming pool!’ says Kayla.
The team quickly discovered that the NSW outback is a photographer’s dream. Videographer Anh Ha loved shooting the historical town of Broken Hill and capturing stunning sunsets over Tibooburra.
It was also obvious to the team that living in rural or remote NSW has a lot offer outside of the classroom. Photographer Handy Barkha’s first experience of western NSW was an eye opener. ‘I was blown away by the number of activities to do in these communities. Plenty of sightseeing and sports, and there is great access to services and shopping centres in towns like Broken Hill.’
The NSW Department of Education offers great opportunities for HSC and university students to apply for a scholarship and gain a permanent teaching position in a NSW rural or remote public school. Qualified and experienced teachers can also experience these schools, with many locations offering a great range of benefits and incentives.
How far can teach.Rural take you?
Accessible documents – images and tables
Before you add an image into your Word document, ask yourself: Does it convey important information, or is it merely decorative?
If it is meant to convey information, then vision-impaired persons may miss out, and so it will require ‘alt text’ – that is, a short, detailed description of the image. Screen reader software will read this description aloud to the user.
After adding your image to the document right-click on it and select ‘Add alt text’. Now you can give your picture a succinct single-sentence description.
If your image is decorative then you can leave the alt text description blank. Images without alt text are ignored by screen readers.
Figure 1: To make an image accessible in Microsoft Word, right-click your image, select ‘add alt text’, and provide a concise, meaningful description.
Users of assistive technology read tables in a similar way to people who would use a keyboard to navigate the cells of a spreadsheet. To make this navigation easier, the structure of your table should be kept as simple as possible.
In general, this means making sure that your columns and rows are kept consistent. Merging and splitting cells breaks this consistency. Compare the two tables below:
Figure 2: A table featuring merged and split cells. Inconsistent rows and columns make it hard for users of screen reader software to navigate.
Figure 3: The same table made more accessible. Heading information has been moved outside the table, and rows & columns are consistent.
Of course, there’s more to accessibility than just Microsoft Word documents. In the next article, we will go beyond Word and look at some useful accessibility tools.
31 May 2018
A rural dream, now a reality
As Assistant Principal at Lapstone Public School in the Blue Mountains, Paula Buttenshaw felt ready to take on the next step in her career. Meanwhile, a long-held dream of a rural move was still alive. So, when a temporary principal position became available at Quambone Public School, a small school located in the north of NSW, Paula didn’t hesitate.
‘The 12-month contract was a great way for me to try out both being a principal and working in a rural school. Quambone is a beautiful little town with a warm and welcoming community where I am charged with leading a school of just 13 children.’
Paula quickly discovered the unique closeness of small communities.
’I’ve found that being with my students throughout the day, even while they are on their morning tea and lunch breaks, allows me to get to know them in ways that I hadn’t anticipated.’
When she’s not at school, Paula enjoys the lifestyle of a small country town.
‘The social aspect of living here is wonderful. It’s great to take off my principal’s hat and be a member of the community. Recently, I was involved with helping the town set up for the local races, which is a big event here.’
When asked if she had any advice for teachers or executive looking to make a move to rural or remote NSW, Paula explains,’ There are many temporary opportunities for people, like me, looking to try out country living before making a long-term commitment. Just go for it!’
Are you considering choosing rural just like Paula? Explore the great range of benefits and incentives available to both temporary and permanent classroom teachers!
Bringing Yuwaalaraay to the classroom
Mark Mclean’s understanding of culture and deep knowledge for the Yuwaalaraay language has been of tremendous benefit to his students and community at Lightning Ridge Central School.
His achievements have earned him a 2018 Nanga Mai Award. The Awards celebrate and recognise Aboriginal students, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal teachers, other departmental staff, Aboriginal community members and schools demonstrating excellence in education and achievement.
Mark, a British-born teacher, brought extensive experience from his work at the Institute for Aboriginal Development Language Centre, near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.
Mark explains how this experience assisted in his current project. ‘We have a very pragmatic and open-minded AECG in our area. They certainly saw the skills I had developed in the Northern Territory as a stepping stone to their long-term goal of getting the Yuwaalaraay language on the ground in our area.’
Mark still regularly consults and reports to the local AECG as part of the very important process necessary to build strong relationships between school and the Aboriginal community.
‘Together, we developed an Aboriginal language curriculum that could be delivered across the school, K-12.’ The result was a significant increase in student engagement as students saw the relevance to local language and culture. ‘The program quickly grew from just one secondary class offering to implementation across the whole-school. Now, we are being approached for advice on developing similar programs in other communities.’
Mark felt lost for words when his principal announced that he had been nominated for the prestigious Nanga Mai award. ‘It felt great to receive recognition from the Aboriginal community for the contribution I have made as a non-Aboriginal staff member.’
Did you know that the NSW Department of Education offers graduates opportunities to make a difference, just as Mark has, in schools with significant Aboriginal enrolments? Interested? Check out the Graduate Recruitment Program for more information.
One employer, many career opportunities
Primary school teacher Alex Lewandowski has grasped a great career opportunity to support schools and provide professional learning for K-12 teaching staff in road safety education.
‘I work closely with schools and teachers, helping them to develop road safety lessons that reflect their local environment. Our aim is to empower children and young people in NSW public schools to be safer road users. There are a lot of resources on our Road Safety Education website that can be used to help support teachers,’ says Alex.
As a permanent teacher, Alex was aware that she could consider secondments with a right of return to her teaching position at contract end. She looked regularly at JobFeed, where teach.NSW displays a range of current advertised teaching, teaching executive and non-school based positions in NSW public schools.
‘It was great having all of the advertised jobs for the NSW Department of Education delivered to my inbox each week,’ says Alex.
Alex encourages other teachers to explore such opportunities and to be open to taking on the great roles on offer across the department. ‘This role has been a great opportunity to develop my skills as an educator and facilitator which will be invaluable to my future career,’ says Alex.
Blacktown girls in world robotics competition
Three years ago, when the robotics team at Blacktown Girls High School was formed, no one could have imagined where their journey would take them. There are sponsorships from a major tech company, awards for achievements in developing innovative, industrial safety practices, regional titles and now, a place on the international robotics stage.
Their principal, Jeff Lumb, explains the school’s robotics program was born from the inquisitive mind of teacher Mark Johnson. Three years ago he began exploring the concept as part of the school’s approach to delivering STEM education. ‘His enthusiasm and boundless energy are astounding. Mark is in here every Saturday and Sunday!’ says Jeff.
`We’re so proud that a NSW public school has been able to accomplish so much. We’re equally proud to have one of the first all-female teams competing in robotics competitions, and taking titles!’
Where to from here? The girls’ recent success has certainly been cause for many to sit up and take notice. Along with corporate sponsorship, there is a relationship with Macquarie University for team members choosing STEM subjects at university. Their story has captured the hearts of many Australians and received national interest through SBS news. Check out the team’s website for more on the team’s successes.
The department is looking for the next generation of STEM teachers to inspire our students, just as Mark Johnson has done. Are you a current or future university student and think you have what it takes? Apply for our next round of scholarships for future teachers, opening soon. Sign up now for an email alert to be first to hear when they open!
Accessibility - styles and structure
You may have heard of the importance of document accessibility, but what does that look like in practice? In this three-part series, Michael Barter, from the teach.NSW team, guides us through the importance of accessibility, starting with using styles to structure documents.
As more documents are stored and shared electronically, it’s important that all your audience members can access the information they need. That includes considering how your documents will be accessed by people who may have disabilities.
So, what can you do to make your documents more accessible, for example, for people with a vision impairment? If you’re using Microsoft Word or similar, there are some simple things you can do. It all starts with a feature you may have overlooked: the styles panel.
Styles with substance
It turns out styles aren’t just ‘serving suggestions’. They actually provide document structure as well as appearance. They let you highlight parts of your text and signal, ‘this is a heading,’ or ‘this is a paragraph,’ and so on. This is a process known as ‘tagging’.
People with vision impairments often use screen reading software which looks for these tags and presents the user with a hierarchy that allows them to navigate documents more easily.
Documents with style
By default, your text is already tagged as ‘Normal’, so paragraphs are good to go. To tag headings and sub-headings, simply highlight the appropriate text selection and choose a heading style from the styles panel. Heading 1 is your main heading. Heading 2 is your first sub-heading. Heading 3 is your sub-sub-heading, and so on. Don’t worry about how they look at this stage! We’ll get to that later.
You can see how your hierarchy is building by opening the navigation panel. If you’ve done it right, your headings and sub-headings should align nicely underneath each other.
Once you’ve tagged all your paragraphs and headings, you can finally change their appearance. To do this, simply right-click a style on the styles panel and select ‘modify’. You can modify fonts, sizes, spacings, and lots more. And every bit of text which uses that style will all change at the same time!
Stepping out in style
Once your styles are set the way you want them, it is worth saving your document as a template. So, by shifting your work focus toward styles and structure, you’ll find that not only will your documents be more accessible, but your information will be better organised overall. I call that a win-win!
In the next part, we’ll look at accessible images and tables.
Figure 1: Styles panel in Microsoft Word – not just serving suggestions!
Figure 2: Navigation panel. Here you can see headings in action.
Figure 3: Modify style window. Every change you make here reflects throughout the document.
19 April 2018
Excited by the opportunity to go rural!
Natalie Steel and Belinda Waugh both began their careers teaching in the city before taking up the great opportunities offered in rural and remote NSW.
Natalie, Acting Head Teacher at Coomealla Public School, moved from Sydney and began teaching as a classroom science teacher before gaining a promotion within just a few months.
‘The only difference between a school in Sydney and one in Sunraysia is that there’s no traffic!’ says Natalie.
Meanwhile, Belinda enjoys spending the extra time after work ‘… by taking the dog for a walk along the Murray River and playing sport.’
Belinda, a teacher at Gol Gol Public School, enjoyed a similar experience to Natalie’s. Moving from Sydney, she immediately was impressed by the services and amenities the Sunraysia area offers. She lives in teacher housing, which has made settling into a new town easier as she is surrounded by a support network of great teachers, both at school and at home.
There are 154 schools across rural and remote NSW that offer great benefits and incentives for teachers. Take advantage of the wonderful benefits a rural or remote school has to offer! Natalie and Belinda have never looked back - they would do it ‘… over and over again’ if they could.
Great opportunities in temporary teaching
Like many other graduates, Ryan Kirby began his career as a temporary teacher. He has turned this to his advantage as he adds to his experiences and enhances his skills.
In fact, Ryan went as far as deciding to continue in his temporary role at Glenmore Park Public School, even after he was offered a permanent role at another school.
‘I chose to stay as I believed that I would gain much more development in leadership roles in my current position than I would at a new school’.
Ryan’s decision to remain at Glenmore Park Public School in a temporary engagement has led to many opportunities for him to further develop his skills both inside and outside of the classroom.
‘At first I took on roles where I would assist other teachers and then I worked my way up to leading both the school’s Student Engagement and Achievement team and the school’s Positive Behaviour for Learning team.’
Ryan believes temporary teachers should make the most of the great opportunities offered to them.
Temporary teachers can be employed in NSW public schools on either a full-time or part-time basis and they receive most of the entitlements of permanent teachers, including annual salary, on a pro-rata basis.
Temporary teachers engaged in a rural or remote schools may also be eligible for additional benefits and incentives, including up to 90% rental subsidy, extended summer vacations, and more! Visit the benefits and incentives page to find out more.
If you’re looking for great opportunities as a temporary or permanent teacher, make sure you subscribe to JobFeedto receive a weekly list of positions directly to your inbox!
Bringing life skills to mathematics teaching
Before Anthony Martin rediscovered his passion for teaching he honed his life skills in the police force. Anthony, now a mathematics teacher at Chatham High School in Taree, is a 2017 Choose Maths Awards winner for Teaching Excellence.
Anthony was nominated for his innovative approach to course delivery in HSC Extension 2 Mathematics. He spent over 300 hours creating course-related videos and other digital media content. `Rather than set homework, I created the videos for my students to consolidate what they were learning in the classroom.’
He takes particular pride in making mathematics fun and relevant for his students. ‘I do lots of outdoor activities to bring maths alive. For example, we have gone to the local park to explore the physics of playing on a swing.’
Anthony hasn’t always been a teacher. ‘Originally I trained as a teacher but changed direction and went into policing. I benefited there from some great life experience,’ says Anthony.
After eight years in the force he reviewed his career aspirations and, following a stint tutoring friends in mathematics, he paired his passion for mathematics and his desire to help others by re-engaging with his teaching career.
Anthony still highly values his previous experience as a police officer and believes it has taught him qualities of resilience and understanding of others that have greatly assisted in the successful career transition.
Are you working or studying in another field but are interested in the wonderful rewards of a teaching career? Perhaps, like Anthony, you have a passion for teaching mathematics. Consider becoming a teacher in a NSW public school! Explore teaching and take advantage of scholarship opportunities where you can be paid to study and guaranteed a permanent teaching position!
If you are already an approved teacher and are inspired by Anthony’s story, you too can consider retraining and become a recipient of a NSW Department of Education STEM Scholarship for Science and Mathematics.
Time to test your manual camera settings!
Have you ever thought about taking pictures in manual mode? Handy, our teach.NSW photographer, explains three key aspects of exposure to help you take that perfect shot in manual mode.
What is exposure, why is it important and how can I control it?
Exposure is the amount of light that reaches the sensor of your camera. The quantity of light will determine the detail you see, for example, in the shadows and highlights of your image, how colours are captured and the sharpness of your subject.
The exposure triangle
Shooting in manual mode with a DSLR camera requires you first to understand three basic aspects that interrelate closely: Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. Getting the right balance of the three is key to a great photo.
- Shutter speed controls the duration that the shutter is open to allow light to enter the lens. A slow shutter speed will result in more light. A fast shutter means less light. One key point to remember is that low shutter speeds will increase your chances of blurring, whether intentionally or not.
- Aperture, also known as f-stop, controls the size of the lens opening and the amount of light entering the lens. I like to think of aperture as my eyes. Open them wide and plenty of light enters my eyes. If I squint, there is less light. Aperture has a big impact on the depth of field of the image, that is, whether the background is in focus or is blurred, such as in portrait photography.
- ISO is about the sensitivity to the light. The lower the ISO number, the lower the sensitivity to light. Higher ISO values mean there is more sensitivity to light. In practice, this means when shooting outside in full light you may be able to afford a lower ISO value because there is plenty of light available, while in a low-light context a higher ISO value may be needed. Importantly though, be aware that ISO affects image quality. Shooting at high ISO values may be good for low light situations, but it can cause your photos to appear grainier.
The three aspects above work hand in hand and there are trade-offs involved. The clarity of the image, depth of field, and the length of time you need to leave a shutter open at certain aperture and ISO levels - these all have an impact on the exposure and therefore the appearance of the end product.
Manual, auto or in between – make an active choice
You may not need to choose either full manual or full auto. Your camera may also allow a combination of automatic and manual camera settings – for example, you may set the shutter speed yourself and the camera will work out aperture and ISO for the right exposure.
In full auto mode the camera makes key creative and technical decisions for you, often with a compromised result.
There are great rewards in taking control and getting the shot you intended, so, get off full auto and experiment a little!
We’re keen to meet you!
Did you know we’re on hand at career expos and university events to answer questions and chat to you about teaching as a career? This year the team at teach.NSW has attended 30 events and reached over 5600 university students in various stages of their teaching degrees. Attendees received information about the NSW Department of Education’s Graduate Recruitment Program, living and teaching in rural and remote locations and our latest round of scholarship offerings.
Here are just a few of our upcoming events:
- 23 April at the University of Technology Sydney
- 15 May at the Graduate Recruitment Presentation with the University of Sydney Conservatorium of Music (video conference)
Find out more by visiting our events page at https://www.teach.nsw.edu.au/news-events/events
If you’ve missed the opportunity to attend one of our Graduate Recruitment Program presentations, keep an eye on our Facebook page for upcoming Facebook Live information sessions. This is your chance to ask questions, receive the most up to date information and hear from current teachers! Make sure you have liked teach.NSW on Facebook to stay informed.
15 March 2018
A city teacher’s tree change
Why I chose public education
A lifetime ambition fulfilled
The photo tells the story. Veneta Bailey was already showing an interest in teaching in her early years, when she would use a chalk board in her backyard to teach imaginary students and, at times, even the neighbours.
Veneta’s backyard classroom became a reality this year, when she began her teaching career as a mathematics teacher at Plumpton High School. She works to make a positive difference to her students’ perception of mathematics and prepare them for success in 21st century careers.
‘I hope that, through my teaching, students will be able to discover how mathematics has the ability to explain the world around them and will want to pursue a greater understanding of its depth and relevance to them.’
Outside school, Veneta spends time volunteering in the local community and watching documentaries on topics close to her heart, such as aeronautics and megastructures.
Veneta successfully applied for a Teacher Education Scholarship through the NSW Department of Education part way through her university degree. The scholarship not only provided her with financial support but also guaranteed her a permanent teaching position.
‘It is a huge relief to know that a job will be lined up and ready for you when you complete your studies.’
Knowing that she has the support of the department, including a dedicated Facebook group for fellow scholarship recipients, also helped Veneta’s transition to her teaching career.
‘I would recommend to future teachers considering applying for a scholarship - apply, and do so early!’
In mid 2018 a new range of scholarships will be launched to support HSC and university students with financial benefits and a permanent teaching job. To make sure you get notified, sign up for an email alert!
Photography tips for teachers
#2: Keep it simple!
Last time we looked at framing and composing photographs using the rule of thirds. If you missed it, don’t worry, you can check it out on our teach.NSW news page. This issue our teach.NSW photographer Handy looks at keeping things simple to help get the best results, whether you shoot on a pro camera or a mobile device.
Before you start – is your lens clean?
A dirty lens means a compromised shot. That applies equally to your mobile – are there fingerprints all over the lens? Probably! It is so simple to fix. A soft lens cloth is your best bet. Avoid solvents – the wrong substance can permanently damage the coating on your lens.
Simplify the subject matter
It’s tempting to take complicated photos, but too many details can distract the viewer and make it harder to create that great composition we talked about last time.
If you can restrict yourself to one main subject, you will make life easier for yourself - and your photo is likely to be more eye-catching!
Don’t worry if your subject doesn’t fill your shot. It’s the `negative space’ that makes your subject stand out. It really is a case where less equals more. Don’t forget the rule of thirds when composing.
Avoid the digital zoom on your mobile
I advise against using the zoom function when you shoot on a mobile phone. If you want to zoom in, it’s better to reposition yourself closer to the main subject if possible. Zooming in digitally when you shoot is really no different to cropping an image after it is captured. Either way you will lose image quality and increase pixellation.
Keep backgrounds clean and simple for more powerful images. Busy backgrounds often distract rather than enhance, and can easily ruin a great shot. Stay in control – in the case of a portrait shot, look carefully at what’s in the background and reposition if necessary.
Check next issue of teach.NSW news for more of Handy’s tips!
Teachers change lives
15 February 2018
Temporary teachers: Fast track your career!
We spoke to Rachel Phillis-Campbell at Deniliquin North Public School about her experiences as a temporary teacher in a rural NSW public school.
When considering where to live and work, Rachel needed somewhere that would suit her active family and that had great schools. Deniliquin, like many rural towns in NSW, has access to a range of services and activities, along with schools that offer incentives and benefits for temporary teachers.
‘The river is certainly a highlight. Swimming beaches, fishing, camping, and the wildlife and just appreciating the natural beauty of the river, even from my classroom,’ says Rachel.
‘Definitely do it! Rural towns are great. Get involved in a sport or other community groups so that you can make friends quickly and keep busy.’
From 2018 temporary teachers in a wide range of rural and remote locations may be eligible for great benefits and incentives:
- Opportunity to fast track temporary to permanent employment in 12 months
- Selected advertised positions may include a recruitment bonus of $10,000
- Four point incentive schools can now access enhanced financial incentives including 50% rental subsidy.
Getting a head start
Sharing a love for maths
Photography tips for teachers
In this series of three articles, our resident teach.NSW photographer, Handy, walks through some simple tips to help you take great photographs. In this month’s article, we look at composition.
When a photograph is composed using the rule of thirds, the eyes will wander the frame and take in different details. A picture composed by the rule of thirds is usually more interesting and pleasing to the eye.
Avoid the centre
Don’t place subjects right in the middle of frame. Use the rule of thirds to help with positioning.
Fill the frame
Move in closer to your subjects to fill the frame and avoid too much empty space.
Consider the angle you are photographing from. Often taking the photograph from a lower or higher angle can make a more dramatic picture. Eye-level photos can work well with small children.
Example image: Notice the composition in the frame according to the rule of thirds, the focus on the eyes and the way the subject fills the frame.