In Australia, there is an increasing trend of employing university students (pre-service teachers) on limited authorities to teach. These student teachers have not yet graduated and are granted permission to teach where qualified teachers cannot be secured. This trend has increased dramatically in the past two years, as a result of COVID-19 and how the pandemic has impacted on the teacher workforce.
Student teachers have their own unique ideas about teaching. They are enthusiastic, energetic and bring contemporary perspectives and knowledge into the classroom, which is great for everybody around them. They are well suited to teaching as they are skilled at developing rapport with students and have important perspectives about teaching and learning. While they bring much capacity to the workforce, we must be cautious about expecting too much of them too early, and we need to put measures in place to ensure that their impact is broad and sustained. This means investing in their preparation and supporting them to make effective transitions into teaching.