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Primary Teachers may teach students across kindergarten to year 6 (or year 7 in some states), which includes the infants school setting. Primary Teachers are trained to teach the whole curriculum including English (reading, writing, speaking and listening), maths, science, technology, society and environment, creative arts, health, personal development and physical education. Primary Teachers endeavour to develop children's interests, abilities and strengths in the key learning areas. Typical tasks include:
- Plan and develop long-term teaching programs, including daily lessons, according to the curriculum guidelines and student/community needs
- Teach lessons or units of work using a range of teaching methods and strategies - formal lessons, practical projects, experiments and activities, excursions Ã¢â‚¬â€œ while utilising information technologies
- Assess, evaluate and report on student progress and performance
- Supervise students in the classroom and during lunch time and other breaks and coordinate student extra-curricular activities
- Contribute to the whole school direction by attending staff meetings and professional development programs
- Participate in parent and community events including Parent Teacher Evenings, School Council Committees as well as school activities such as excursions, camping trips and sporting events.
Some primary teachers undertake further study to specialise in particular areas of teaching including special needs, teacher/librarian or ESL or languages.
A Teacher Librarian manages the library resources and assists students to utilise a range of resources and technologies to search for materials, as well as how to evaluate and synthesise material from various sources. Through this process they introduce students to a variety of sources, writing styles and formats ranging from standard printed material to various digital formats and important authors from various types of literature. In addition to completing a secondary teaching qualification, teacher librarians must also have completed an approved course in teacher librarianship.
Special Education Teacher
Special Education Teachers work with students in schools (pre-school to year 12) who have physical and intellectual disabilities, visual or hearing impairment, mental health diagnosis or learning difficulties.
Teachers require a strong interest in working with children and inspiring them to develop an interest in lifelong learning. They need to be able to exhibit patience and tolerance when teaching and dealing with students with a wide range of abilities and from disparate backgrounds. Teachers require well developed communication skills in order to supervise children in the classroom, to communicate with children effectively in a range of situations and to explain the subject matter in terms that children can understand. They also need to display a high level of organisational skills to plan and deliver courses, prepare and administer assessments, mark homework and assessments and prepare reports.
Training to become a Primary Teacher requires a four year undergraduate degree that satisfies the relevant state accrediting body or a three year degree (which must also satisfy specific requirements including majors and minor areas of study) followed by a postgraduate accredited teacher trainer program. Teachers are required to be registered with the appropriate state/territory teacher regulatory authority.
Principal Employment Sectors and Industry
Primary Teachers work in public, Catholic or independent primary schools.