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Teaching Part Time

Teaching Part Time

This is part one of my three-part part-time series.

This year I was fortunate enough to work 0.6FTE and spend the remaining two weekdays at home with my own children. This was a considered choice, almost exclusively driven by the fact that I had an amazing colleague who had had a child the previous December and was wanting to work part time. He approached me with the idea, and it didn’t take long for me to decide it’d be a great thing to try.

We were both hoping to spend more time with our kids, and also dedicate time to our side-ventures (if you’re a muso, check out Harry’s site JamScene ). So in that sense we were both very keen to make it work, and work well.

Once we’d made the decision, we let our school know, and there was a tiny bit of push-back. The leadership team were nervous about the arrangement, even though there are other part time teaching teams at the school. We persevered, and I can safely say we actually had a very successful time of it!

There’s always a huge risk job-sharing a teaching role, regardless of whether you are a primary or secondary teacher. The absolute greatest risk is having a co-worker who is difficult to work with.

I’m sure you’ve heard stories of teachers job-sharing and one of them not pulling their weight. I personally know a teacher who ended up having to plan and write all the lessons in entirety for their co-worker, which meant that she was essentially doing a full-time teaching job while only being employed part time.

I knew my own experience would be vastly different though. My teaching partner Harry shares very similar teaching philosophies and styles to me. We work in a very similar way behind the scenes and also in the classroom. We also both have many years’ experience under our belts to draw from.

Overall we both thoroughly enjoyed the year, to the point where Harry has decided to continue on part time again for another year. I, however, have decided to return full-time, but that decision was not made easily by any means. In fact, it was largely finance-driven (because of the recent changes to our government child care subsidy scheme, I will take home significantly more pay working full time that I did part time, even with the kids in daycare for two extra days).

I know many other teachers consider going part time for a variety of reasons, so I thought I’d give you some guidance over the next couple of weeks.

Next week we’ll look at the pros and cons of working part time as a teacher, and the job-share teaching aspect. This, of course, is from my own personal experience as job-sharing a secondary school position. I cannot speak for what it might be like in a primary setting.

The following week I’ll detail how we used OneNote for our communication and planning, with detailed examples so if you are so inclined you can copy what we did!

Stay tuned, and make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss the posts when they go live! (Subscribing will gift you exactly one email per week, and that email will only ever contain an excerpt and link to the latest article – never any spam!)


Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash


Emily is a secondary science and math teacher in Australia. She enjoys sharing the real and human teacher life, facilitating the ‘light bulb’ moment in her students, and drinking tea and wine.

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