An update

The past couple of weeks have been quite successful for me. The most important thing that happened: I got a permanent job at my school.

Some months ago, readers will recall that I was tossing up between taking a permanent job at another school or staying in my temporary position at my current school (and hoping that a permanent job opens up soon). The job opened up a couple of months ago, I applied, interviewed, and got it.


2 thoughts on “An update

  1. Hi Thomas,

    Sorry to be commenting on a (semi) unrelated topic but I saw your posts on Jim Belshaw’s post from the start of the year and was hoping you could help me out as I can’t find any useful info about the Graduate Recruitment Program other than your thread posts!! I recently completed my GRP interview and sent off my paperwork today and I am eagerly awaiting a response from the Department regarding my results. I was wondering if you know about how you actually find out if you are a targeted grad? Is it when you get the email after your interview that tells you if you are suitable/unsuitable to teach or is that separate and they wait until they have your final Uni results to consult as well?

    Ohhh and congrats on your permanent position! I’ll have to have a read of your past posts to get up to date.


  2. Hi Nikki.

    Thanks for the comment. Yes, it does seem I’m one of the few people who actually has anything out there (including the DEC!) about the GRP process.

    Essentially, you won’t know if you are a GRP until you get the call offering you a job. That’s how I found out – and I found out during Term 2 of this year (having graduated uni at the end of last year). When you get that email saying you are suitable, then that’s pretty much telling you that you can go out, do your casual, take up temp contracts, and even apply (and, if successful, accept) for advertised jobs. The thing is all contingent on the fact that you do pass all your uni subjects. Once you do, the uni will take care of it because you will have submitted forms to them (if I remember correctly?) allowing for the release of your academic transcript to the DEC.

    So, the short of it: Don’t hold your breath to be told you’re a targetted grad. You will only find out if your codes match up to a school and there are enough positions in the GRProgram. It’s a complicated system, but if I remember correctly there are something like (don’t quote me on the numbers, but I’m confident I heard these from someone important) 400 positions in the GRP, and the first batch go to anyone on a DET scholarship. Assume that’s 200 or so people, that might mean there are then only 200 positions for targeted grads. And then there has to be a job that matches your codes (not all of them, but at least some of them – I was targeted on my Modern and Ancient codes only, none of my English). If there is a job and if your codes line up and if there are enough positions, you might find out tomorrow and be offered a job, you might find out at the end of the year, you might find out half way through next year (like me).

    What I would suggest it wait to get your suitability for employment and then get out there! Drop your resume around to all the schools you’re willing to drive to to do casual work. Contact your prac. schools (if you got along with them!) and say that you can start doing casual work and temp blocks. When y ou get in, impress everyone you meet. Doing a solid job will get you into consideration for temp blocks. Do enough of them, the school might try and keep you around.

    After this, it’s just me explaining how I got my job and a little bit of advice on what you do if you get your foot in the door. Ignore it if you want, as I think I answered the crux of your question already (pertaining to the GRP and the targeting system).

    If you’ll indulge me, this is how I (finally) got my job: I did my last prac. (the internship, as it’s known at USyd) at School X. It was 6 weeks heading to the end of Term 2. I worked my butt off to show the school that I was legit, because I knew that I’d be able to do casual work as soon as the internship finished and I wanted to get called back for casual work to School X. After about 3 weeks, a teacher in the English faculty had to take 4 weeks leave, and the school offered me that block. Then there was three more weeks left of that term, which I did as a casual. Then the HT of English retired and they offered me his place (sans the actual HT part) for all of Term 4.

    Towards the end of Term 4, I really didn’t know what I’d be doing for 2011. School X hadn’t actually made any signal that they’d want me around next year, so I applied for advertised positions. I applied for 2 and (somehow, because I really don’t know how) I got to interview for one at School Y. When I told the powers that be at School X that I had got an interview, they told me that they were expecting me to stay on as a temp in English next year until the various positions (there were 3 at the time) had been sorted out – with intimations that I should apply for any of them that came up for interview.

    I was unsuccessful in my interview at School Y, and informed School X of this. School X started to make arrangements for me to come back for Term 1 of 2011.

    Two days before Term 1 started, School Y called me and said that they were suitably impressed with my interview and offered me a temporary position for Term 1 and 2, with the expectation that it could be further extended to the whole year, and possibly beyond. I eventually accepted and started at School Y.

    Half-way through Term 2, a teacher from the history faculty in School Y left (history being my other curriculum area). Eventually, his job came up for advertisement and I applied, interviewed, and was successful in this finishing Term 3. If I hadn’t got the job, School Y had already extended my temp contract to the end of the year and had a pretty good idea that I would have one for all of next year too. So I was safe both ways. Even looking around my faculty now, I know that there are a number of people who have been employed through temp contracts for a number of years.

    I guess the whole point of telling you this is to highlight two things:
    1) School go with known quantities most of the time. If the school knows you, knows what you’re like, and what you’re capable of (and they like what they see), then they will make a concerted effort to actually retain you through the various options that are available to them (ie. a permanent casual (someone who is there every day, covering missing teachers); temp (for sustained, short blocks or whole years (ie. maternity leave)); permanent after interview or by appointment).
    2) If you impress the people at the school, they will make more of an effort to keep you. And this goes for even the other teachers, trust me. The HTs will be the people who hold the most weight, but the regular teachers gossip. If they are talking good things about you, your name will spread and your stock will increase.

    So get into any of the schools you’re prepared to travel to. Keep your eyes ofn published adverts and apply for (again) any school that has a position that you’re prepared to travel to. And when you’re in a school, you have to work harder than anyone else. It’s unfortunate, but that’s how you get noticed. Learn about the school – ask about policies (certainly on the first day ask about behaviour management and anything else that clearly seems pertinent) and show that you’re genuinely interested in working at that school. Remember: Every school has their go-to casual that they will normally offer temp contracts and casual days to; you want to get into that pool of people and, then, be the best of them!

    The best of luck to you, Nikki. Well done for getting through the GRP interview and (more importantly) through your degree! You will find teaching a very reward, very exhausting, very demanding job. But just keep reminding yourself what it is you’re doing for these kids and you’ll find the energy you never knew you had!

    If there’s any more questions, please feel free to comment again. Or email me on (email that and then I’ll email you my real and more checked address!).


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