Other Pathways

Other pathways to your first teaching position

For some new graduate teachers the pathway into their first teaching position is not direct from teacher training. There are many pathways to your first position – for new graduates it may take some time and perseverance to get there. Where possible it’s best to stay involved in the education sector. This allows you to continue to gain experience with students and current best practices, and it helps to show your commitment to education.

Relief teaching is one of the most common means of getting a 'foot in the door'. Relief teaching helps to get experience in classroom management, which can be challenging for inexperienced teachers. It’s also a good means of networking with other teachers and management staff. Being known to a school when a position becomes available can give you an advantage as many long-term roles are not advertised.

Taking on short term or Long Term Relieving (LTR) positions is also an excellent way to get your first permanent position. LTR positions are also commonly known as fixed term positions. An LTR or fixed term position is usually a position from 6 weeks to 12 months. From this type of role you can demonstrate to a potential employer that you have real experience as a full time teacher. Be the best relief teacher you can be – if you can, find out what you need for planning, implement what the teacher has requested, mark work, and leave a report on how things went. You’ll want to make an impression and be asked back.

Moving to a new location that’s harder to staff is another common path to a permanent position. It’s worth making this change if you can, as it helps you to get that crucial first experience as a full-time teacher.

While working towards your first teaching role, other education based roles such as teacher aide, holiday programme supervisor, after school/homework programme supervisor or private tutor can be good employment options, particularly if you’re working with the relevant age groups for which you’re qualified. These roles demonstrate to future employers/principals that you’re committed to working with students and have gained further experience. They’re especially useful in term one when there’s little relief teaching available and you still have bills to pay.

International Options

There are some good options for teaching and education-based positions internationally, particularly for New Zealand-trained teachers. New Zealand teachers are well respected worldwide. This can be a good option to stay involved in education and to keep your skills current and gain experience. This work may count towards your Teacher Registration. You need to check this thoroughly with the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and your recruitment agent.

International roles are listed on the following websites:

Education Personnel:


Trade Me Jobs:


Also read about Job seeking for Māori and Pasifika

Jobseek 1 darkJobseek 2 lightJobseek 3 lightJobseek 4 darkJobseek 5 light

New Zealand Teachers Council New Zealand Education Gazette New Zealand Qualifications Authority Immigration New Zealand