A primary school teacher needs:
- to enjoy working with children
- a friendly and personable demeanor
- patience and tolerance
- organisational skills
- leadership and motivational skills
- a supportive and caring nature
Primary school teachers work in classrooms in primary schools, but may also undertake their duties in school libraries, administrative areas, outside in the playground or sports areas, and outside of school during excursions, field trips, sporting events or camps. Working conditions may be noisy or stressful. They usually work regular teaching hours, but are expected to work longer hours to plan and prepare lessons, mark work, and attend staff meetings or school events like fetes or graduation ceremonies.
Primary school teachers can expect to earn between $700 and $1,085* per week, depending on their level of experience and the organisation they work for.
*ABS Census (2006)
Primary school teachers use a range of educational resources such as white boards, workbooks and textbooks, audio-visual texts and equipment and a range of other teaching aids. They also use computers and other office equipment, and may also, depending on their role, use art and craft materials, musical instruments or sporting equipment.
In Western Australia anyone working with children must obtain a Working With Children check, which is comprised of a compulsory criminal check and is administered by the Working with Children Screening Unit (WWCSU), Department for Child Protection.
To become a primary school teacher you usually need to obtain a Bachelor of Education, majoring in primary education or a related area.
All teachers in Western Australia must be registered with the Western Australian College of Teaching.
Curtin University offers the Bachelor of Education (Primary Education) at its Bentley campus, Armadale centre, Esperance Community College, Geraldton University Centre, Kalgoorlie campus, Midland campus, and Pilbarra TAFE Karratha and South Hedland campuses.
Edith Cowan University offers the Bachelor of Education (Primary) at its Mount Lawley and Bunbury campuses.
Edith Cowan University also offers the Bachelor of Education (Kindergraten through Primary) at its Joondalup campus.
Edith Cowan University also offers the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Studies), which enables graduates to teach children up to eight years of age at its Mount Lawley campus.
Murdoch University offers the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary Teaching) at its South St. campus.
Murdoch University also offers the Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching) at its South St. campus.
The University of Notre Dame offers the Bachelor of Education (Kindergrarten to Year 7) at its Broome campus.
The University of Notre Dame also offers the Bachelor of Education (Primary)at its Fremantle campus.
All Bachelor of Education qualifications usually take four years full time or equivalent to complete.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification. Visit the ApprentiCentre to find out more.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.