Teaching as a Career

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Different types of teaching

There are a number of different types of teaching careers in Victorian schools and early childhood education:

Early childhood

  • Long day care, kindergartens, playgroups, parent education and specialist children’s programs
  • Work with children in individual or group programs that are developed to inspire, motivate and stimulate skill development and learning.


  • Responsibility for a group of children, with most of the day spent with the one class
  • Opportunities for creativity in the classroom, devising programs that are exciting and challenging for students
  • Generally expected to teach in seven key learning areas: English, Mathematics, Science, Technology, Health and Physical Education, The Arts, and Studies of Society and Environment
  • Some also qualify and work as specialists in art, music, Languages other than English (LOTE) or Physical Education
  • Most are also qualified to teach in the general classroom and may combine teaching a particular class with taking specialist classes.


  • Usually teach two or more subjects to a range of classes through to VCE level
  • Some school time allocated each week out of the classroom to plan and prepare lessons
  • Secondary teachers have many opportunities for creativity, devising learning programs in their area of expertise that are exciting and challenging for their students. Many teachers get involved in extra-curricular activities - coaching a sporting team, helping with drama productions and participating in school camps.

Special education

  • Work with primary or secondary students with learning difficulties or who have a disability or impairment of their physical, sensory, emotional or intellectual abilities
  • May also teach students with exceptional intellectual gifts or those with specific problems with language
  • May be qualified teachers who have undertaken additional study to obtain qualifications in a particular special education field
  • May work in a specialist setting or mainstream school, in a regular classroom, with groups of students or on an individual basis
  • In mainstream schools, special education teachers are involved with the planning and implementation of inclusive programs to enable students with difficulties to function successfully in the regular classroom.
  • Teachers of the deaf work with children with a hearing impairment in either specialist settings for the hearing impaired or in mainstream schools
  • In mainstream schools, plan and implement inclusive programs to enable students with hearing impairments to function successfully in the classroom
  • Work closely with mainstream staff helping with curriculum, assessment and reporting and often direct teaching, tutorial assistance and pastoral care. 

What makes a good teacher?

The personal qualities of successful teachers vary, but they all need to be of good character, ready to apply themselves in an enthusiastic and dedicated fashion and ready to work hard.

To be a good teacher you must be able to relate well to children and enjoy working with others. You need to be enthusiastic and creative. Patience, tact and a sense of humour will help you through the harder times. You should be willing to learn and ‘have a go’.

Principals and employers will look for a range of skills as well as expertise when they are selecting staff. If you have outside interests, for example in sport or drama, you may be able to use these to advantage in the school or early childhood centre.

Teachers in schools also need to be confident users of computer technology. Good teachers are guides for students exploring and learning from the vast knowledge available not only in their local area, but also worldwide.