What Does it Mean to be a Graduate Teacher?

(Last Updated On: September 13, 2023)

All Australian teachers start as Graduate teachers. 

You’ve just completed your teacher training and are ready to hit the classroom. You’ve done the assignments, made the lesson plans, and persevered through your teaching placements. You’re all set up for a fantastic career. 

How do I become a Graduate teacher?

If you’ve graduated from an Australian university with a teaching degree, you will have already met the Graduate level of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Be careful; only some education degrees will help you meet these standards. If you haven’t met the standards by the time you graduate, you will not be able to become a registered teacher and teach in Australian classrooms. 

You’ll need to ensure that you are doing an accredited Initial Teacher Education program. These programs have been reviewed by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). To be accredited, AITSL needs to confirm that to graduate from that course, you will have met the Graduate level of each of their seven standards.

What if I’ve been teaching overseas?

If you’ve been teaching overseas, you can become a qualified teacher in Australia. There are a few things that you need to do and documents that you will need to provide. AITSL has more information about what you need to do before you migrate, but the details will depend on which state you are moving to. 

Every state has their own registering body. That means that you need to become a registered teacher in the state in which you intend to work. Every state will require you to meet the Graduate level of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. They will also expect you to become an accredited Proficient teacher within the first few years of teaching in Australia. 

Can I stay as a Graduate teacher?

There is a process to becoming an accredited Proficient teacher, but you need to do it eventually. Almost every school will prevent you from exceeding a certain salary level until you reach the Proficient career stage, and some registering bodies will not let you renew your registration if you have not moved to Proficient after a certain number of years. 

This can make it very difficult for casual relief teachers, as you often need support and mentorship to move to the Proficient career stage. At the very least, you will need someone to sign off that you have fulfilled the requirements of being a Proficient teacher.

Learn more about the other career stages:

Elise is an enthusiastic and passionate Australian teacher who is on a mission to inspire and support fellow educators. With over a decade of experience in the classroom, Elise leverages her expertise and creativity to provide valuable insights and resources through her blog. Whether you're looking for innovative lesson ideas, effective teaching strategies, or just a dose of inspiration, Elise has got you covered.

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