How can I find alternative schools to teach at?

Hello everyone! I have seen similar questions posted constantly around the beginning teacher forums I frequent. I thought I’d see what the TC community had to share about it!

“I have finished my teaching degree, but do not feel like I am suited towards mainstream classrooms. I have found a passion for helping disadvantaged students with challenging backgrounds and behaviours. So far I have only done this in a 1:1 context, but I want to do something more. Is there a capacity to do something similar in a larger school context?”

Thanks, everyone!

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Very interesting question. Many beginning teachers find themselves teaching outside of the mainstream school classroom.

Teaching students with disadvantaged backgrounds or challenging behaviors often requires a unique set of skills and approaches. It can be extremely rewarding, but an empathetic understanding of their needs is paramount to their success. For this reason, there are indeed, many schools that specifically cater towards students with these profiles.

For beginning teachers that are passionate about this area, it would be a great investment to thoroughly research ‘flexi schools’ or ‘alternative schooling’. Smaller alternative schools that aim to support disenfranchised youth are on the rise, and are always excited to connect with beginning teachers.

There are also larger schools that cater towards this skill set, that would really value a beginning teacher. For example, rural or remote/online schooling could offer the type of teaching relationship you are after with your students. Teaching at a larger, public sector school within a low socioeconomic area could also make a big difference in a young student’s life and can offer some really valuable experiences. Of course, not every student within a low socioeconomic school will be disadvantaged or present challenging behavior, but this may be a viable option if you require a larger staff with more resources.

One massive benefit in the teaching profession, is that it allows you to follow your passions and really make it your own. It is great to hear that this person has found their passion supporting disadvantaged students.