Teacher career journey – Launch

These are the key insights, opportunities, goals, drivers and blockers in the launch phase of the teacher career journey.


The launch phase begins when teachers complete their training and are accredited to teach. The speed of progress for 'beginning' teachers varies throughout this phase. It lasts until a teacher feels comfortable managing students and obtains a secure position.


  • Teacher’s own experience with education can challenge them to relate to and engage when students aren’t willing to learn.
  • Teachers assume their school network can provide full professional support only to discover it can’t provide confidential feedback or advice.
  • Teacher on-boarding consists of experiencing every aspect of the work at its most extreme.


  • How might we provide effective confidential feedback and advice to teachers?
  • How might we accelerate teachers’ mastery of the classroom environment and student learning dynamics?
  • How might we address inter-generational teacher dynamics so ‘beginning’ teachers can feel part of supportive teaching teams?
  • How might we reduce intrinsic competition for permanent positions?

In-depth research

The key jobs to be done in the launch phase are:

“You’ve got to get kids to love learning first. Once you have the ability to manage the classroom, get organised and understand the curriculum, then that’s when I think they start learning.”

  • How might we help teachers prepare and learn to better manage student behaviour in class?
  • How might we foster and ensure effective support networks for new teachers?
  • How might we help teachers from different generations experience the value of one another?
Key blocker
  • The effort and anxiety of obtaining adequate guidance and feedback.
Key driver
  • Delivering on the promise of teaching and seeing students progress from A to B.
General blockers
  • I find it difficult to empathise with the experience of students who find it hard to learn.
  • It's a lot of effort to engage students in schools where there are prevalent behavioural issues. It's hard to manage the behaviours of students.
  • I don’t know which teaching methods best encourage students to learn.
  • I’m afraid of making mistakes and being embarrassed in front of peers and students.
  • It’s hard to access insightful supervision over my professional performance.
  • I feel anxious requesting trustworthy guidance about the difficulties I face.
  • It takes a lot of effort to create my own lesson plans and access teaching resources.
  • It takes a lot of effort to assess the performance of each individual student and tailor appropriate methods to their needs.
  • I find it difficult to collaborate with peers who I compete with for jobs.
  • It takes effort to plan, prioritise and switch between multiple teaching duties.
  • I’m shocked at how unprepared I am by my studies and school practicum.
General drivers
  • I want to deliver a great learning experience for my students.
  • It’s rewarding to see my students progress emotionally and intellectually.
  • I like being able to foster strong relationships with students and watch them grow. It gives me great enjoyment.
  • I need constructive feedback so I know my growth is supported.
  • manage the classroom
  • plan lessons and create materials
  • assess and analyse student progress
  • provide students with emotional support
  • work cooperatively with parents and carers
  • troubleshoot student behaviour difficulties
  • participate in extracurricular activities
  • collaborate with colleagues.

“I’m still finding my feet with my new position so I just want to really ‘go for it’. I haven’t been told to do anything that I feel is a waste of time at this point. Maybe that will change in a year.”

  • How might we relieve teachers from time-consuming non-classroom tasks?
  • How might we reinforce the purposefulness of non-classroom tasks to new teachers?
  • How might we help new teachers understand the importance of having a work-life strategy?
Key blocker
  • The effort required to satisfy the sheer number of new duties.
Key driver
  • To avoid exhausting my passion for teaching early on.
General blockers
  • There is an increasing number of new duties I have to satisfy both in and out of the classroom.
  • It takes effort to plan, prioritise and switch between multiple teaching duties.
  • I struggle to maintain the high quality of such a large amount of work.
  • I want to launch my career with great professional results.
  • I feel like I could to do more to assist student growth.
  • It’s frustrating completing time-consuming tasks that don’t directly improve student outcomes.
  • I work in an environment that keeps me from being effective.
  • Having to fulfil my duty of care out of school means work never stops.
  • It takes a lot of effort to meet parental expectations around communicating their child’s needs.
General drivers
  • It’s important that I meet my family and social obligations.
  • I’m confident about what work can be compromised without impacting student outcomes.
  • I save time by reusing my own existing resources.
  • I know overwork will lead to burn-out.
  • cooperate with parents and carers
  • perform general administrative work
  • plan lessons and create materials
  • assess and analyse student progress
  • provide strong guidance to students
  • collaborate with colleagues
  • participate in school management.

“It got to the stage where I was feeling anxious in the morning. Driving to work I would decide that I would put my notice in that day. And then you get to work, in the classroom, and things are okay. You’ve convinced yourself that you don’t need to do it (teach).”

  • How might we help teachers reduce the doubt they have around which pathways will evolve their career?
  • How might we help teachers leverage a potential second passion?
Key blocker
  • Fear of committing to a profession that hasn’t provided a great experience.
Key driver
  • Feeling confident with my decision and investment in becoming a teacher.
General blockers
  • I often think about whether I should pursue my second passion.
  • I often wonder if I am sacrificing my professional opportunities in other industries.
  • I know the demanding lifestyle will never improve.
  • I’m put off by the process of applying to become a proficient teacher.
  • I’m confused about my learning curve: is it me or my environment?
  • I feel my teaching autonomy is shackled by either religious sensitivities or a focus on standardised test performance.
  • I feel anxious on my way to school every morning.
  • My enthusiasm is disrespected by other teachers.
General drivers
  • The innate drive to make consistent decisions and investments towards my teaching career.
  • I have professional experiences that meet expectations.
  • I feel energised after interacting with my students.
  • I have fulfilling bonds with the students I teach.
  • all
  • applying for proficiency.

“When I got offered a position as a permanent teacher, my husband said ‘no way!’ My mother said I was crazy. She said there’s less money for more work. But I wanted to get my students from A to B over the entire year.”

  • How might we help teachers access a broader range of professional networks?
  • How might we help teachers value the trade-off of short-term inconvenience for long-term professional gain?
Key blocker
  • The risk of further deteriorating work-life balance with additional school duties.
Key driver
  • The fulfilling experience of valuable relationships with students.
General blockers
  • My work-life balance is impacted by additional responsibilities.
  • I struggle to extend my network to target schools.
  • I don’t know how to write an application.
  • I don’t want to relocate for the sake of a promising professional opportunity.
  • I don’t want to waste my time on an application where an internal candidate is likely to succeed.
General drivers
  • Sustaining relationships with students is important to me.
  • I want to support my long-term career goals and remuneration.
  • I enjoy the freedom to teach without direct supervision.
  • I get emotional and financial comfort from job security.
  • networking
  • monitoring job forums
  • completing applications
  • interviewing.


Job to be done: A core goal that a teacher is trying to achieve to feel progress.

Driver: A factor that motivates teachers towards achieving a job.

Blocker: A factor that stops teachers from achieving a job.

Insights: A highlighted observation of teacher behaviour.

Opportunities: A thought starter that reframes key insights into potential areas for ideation.

Tasks: Activities that must be performed in order to achieve a job.

Want to know more?

Email us at askgef@det.nsw.edu.au.

Return to top of page Back to top