We asked 10 teachers what advice they’d give graduates joining the career. Here’s what they said.

Charles Darwin University
Thanks to our brand partner, Charles Darwin University

I had to fill out a form recently and was stumped when asked how many years I had been at my current job. Using my best finger-counting maths, I realised I had been teaching for 14 years.

My jaw dropped. It couldn’t possibly have gone that quickly. Wasn’t it just a few years ago that I was pinning up my classroom posters ready for the first class to walk through my door? And only a little while before that when I was submitting my final assignment for my Bachelor of Education?

Becoming a teacher has been one of the best decisions I have made. I love sharing my passion with students and seeing them grow from a nervous Year 7 kid wearing a uniform that is too big, into a young adult ready for their future.

I’ve even been lucky enough to take students on trips to Italy to see ancient Roman sites (and eat our body weight in pasta!). Who says teaching isn’t a job that allows for travel?       

Me, Alyssa, travelling Italy with my students. Image: Supplied.


But since it's been a fair while since I finished up my teaching degree, I thought about what pieces of advice I've gotten over my career, and what I wish I knew as a fresh-out-of-uni teacher. 

So, Mamamia spoke to 10 teachers across Australia, asking them what advice they would give incoming teaching graduates. Here’s what they told us.

You can do it all. Find a balance between study, life and final prac placements.

"To anyone thinking of starting their studies – jump in, boots and all," Hannah, Charles Darwin University Graduate of Bachelor of Education (Secondary), tells Mamamia.

"As a mother of four, working full-time, and managing our working cattle farm, I could only give a part-time commitment to studies. Charles Darwin was my university of choice as it ticked every box and was the only uni that offered me the secondary component of my undergraduate degree, without having to give up paid employment. I could participate on my own terms: 100 per cent online, and in a part-time capacity. 

"Finding a balance between study, life, and prac placements is important (and possible!), and the support of your lecturers and tutors is invaluable. In my third year, I had a life-changing experience when my son fell into a coma. I had to continue studies by his hospital bed, and the continued support from my teachers at Charles Darwin University was only ever a phone call or email away," she says. 


And her advice for those pre-service teachers anxiously awaiting their pracs?

"I also encourage students studying teaching to spread their placements across schools. In my final placement, I really understood the type of teacher I wanted to be, and knew that practicing a strengths-based approach and educating the 'whole' person was what I wanted to do."

Hannah. Image: Supplied.


Build a portfolio of your work and achievements, and always ask a question in your interview.

No matter what career you're entering, it's a truth universally acknowledged that the interview stage comes with a great deal of nerves and anxiety. But make sure you show off your enthusiasm. 

"Go into job interviews with confidence. Principals value new graduates for their eagerness to get in the classroom and teach. Also have a question up your sleeve for the end of the interview when they ask for any questions," Antra, Primary School Teacher, shares.

And the biggest way to make you shine in an interview? Build a portfolio. 

"Photocopy and collate your academic transcripts and certificates (don’t lose them like I did!), and create a portfolio of your achievements and resources so you’re prepared for interviews," Mareesa, High School Teacher, adds. 

Remember the little moments that make you realise you chose the right career.

Like anything in life, sometimes you just have to sit back and appreciate the little things. This is especially true if you're a teacher.

“Your first year of teaching is when it hits you that you have been given the responsibility of enriching young minds. It is exciting to finally be in charge of your own lessons and an honour to know you are paving the path to your students’ future,” Ben, High School Teacher, tells Mamamia.

“The very first time a student looked up at me and said, ‘yes, I get it, Miss’, followed by my first ‘thank you’, topped off with a Christmas card that read ‘you made me love school again’, made me realise I’d chosen the right career path. It’s those little moments that make the world of difference,” Amy, High School Teacher, says. 

Amy. Image: Supplied.


Embrace the experience of your colleagues, and find yourself a mentor you trust.

The connections you make at Charles Darwin University will enhance your experience and set you up for future success.

"I was offered a mentor – someone I would work with on assessments, report writing, and everything in between. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands, and feel that I developed so much by learning from experienced colleagues," Natayla, High School Teacher, says. 

"Teaching is about collaborating with colleagues. Observe them teaching, share the worksheets you create, attend pilot marking sessions, and most importantly, if you need help, ask," Alex, High School Teacher, suggests. 


Teaching is more than just following a curriculum, its understanding the students you teach and what works for them.

"Teaching is easier (and more rewarding) when you build rapport with your students. Take the teachable moments when they arise. You can revisit the syllabus another time. 

"Taking the time to get to know your students will pay dividends when you need them to work through something difficult. Plus, you may be the only adult who is taking the time to get to know them," Liam, Senior High School Teacher, tells Mamamia

Embrace extracurricular opportunities, but don’t burn yourself out. 

Like with anything, balance is important. 

"There are so many extracurricular opportunities available. Choose ones that interest you so you’re less likely to apply for all of them and feel burnt out by the end of your first year," Maddie, Primary School Teacher, says. 

"Don’t compare yourself to other teachers. Teaching is a skill that requires years to develop. You won't be a perfect teacher in year one or year thirty, but rushing the process lays the foundation for burnout," Dave, Specialist Education Teacher, adds. 

Are you looking for your next career? Charles Darwin University's can help you reach your goals with 100 per cent online and completely flexible degrees to fit around your busy schedule. You can switch between part-time and full-time as you need it, to ensure you succeed on your own time. 

As a top 5 university for graduate employment and with a variety of courses in educationhealthlawpsychologysocial work, and environmental science, make Charles Darwin University your next move.

Feature Image: Supplied.

Charles Darwin University
Charles Darwin University's degrees are 100% online and 100% flexible to handle whatever your life throws at them. We're a top 5 Australian university for graduate employment outcomes, and we've been doing online degrees for more than 30 years, so we now how to support you. Apply now to study health, teaching, law, psychology, social work, environmental science and more. Visit