The Advantages of Casual Teaching Over a Permanent Appointment

Many teachers seek casual teaching work over a permanent or temporary appointment. There are sound reasons for this. And no, it’s not that casual teaching is the only work available. There are some advantages to working in a series of casual or temporary appointments.

Most fundamentally is the opportunity to achieve a breadth of experience over a short period. Teaching is extremely contextual. Approaches to teaching that are useful in some domains are not as effective in others. This is particularly the case with regard to challenging or varied socio-economic environments.

It is generally the case that many professional attributes or aspects of professional’s effectiveness are not completely transferrable to different contexts. This is not just with regard to casual teaching or teaching generally. Professional practice is in its nature tailored to the circumstance. As circumstances, such as socio-economic environments change, so do the specific professional demands. Gaining experience in different professional environments can be rewarding in itself as well as fantastic preparation for any appointment that might eventuate.

Of course, each school and staffroom are different in themselves, notwithstanding the socio-economic circumstances. In some cases, individuals keep to themselves, at least to some extent, and in others the environment can be (occasionally) raucous. Within professional parameters it is all legitimate and helpful for professional development.

For an individual starting a career, looking for casual teaching work, it may be that experiencing a wide variety of perspectives is helpful to professional confidence and useful for making judgments about career paths.

This is not to underestimate the difficulties that can be encountered in a new casual or temporary teacher establishing themselves in a staffroom or a classroom. But that challenge itself will be powerful professional experience and development.

Teaching is a large profession and a variety of professional pathways are valid. Spending some time in casual and temporary work can be satisfying, and a sound foundation for effective future professional practice.

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