Ever thought about teaching on a remote cattle station? There are always so many families looking for wonderful Teachers/Governesses/Home Tutors.
School of the Air, Distance Education, Correspondence. These are all words used to describe how children living in remote areas are educated.
I have recently posted about my experience teaching my own children for just a few days, and I truly take my hat off to Mum’s out there teaching their own children day in and day out. For the rest of us…..we need Governesses/Home Tutors/Teachers! At the moment I have a few friends on the look out for Governesses so thought it was the perfect time to give a little insight into our wonderful life on outback cattle stations, and what Governessing is all about. (I used to be a Governess, now I employ Governesses and cannot for the life of me teach my own children)
These children usually live too far from a town or a bus route. They often live hours from the closest town. Which means the only way they can get an education is through School of the Air.
Our family is an example of this situation. Because we live 3 hours from the closest tiny school and 5 hours from a main town our children are educated through Mt Isa School of the Air – which is 5 hours away.
The school room is often separate from the main house and very well equipped. Sometimes it may be a room inside the main house, every position is very different.
This position is for you if you are patient, kind hearted, love the company of young children and are happy, bright, bubby, organised, adaptable, flexible and self motivated.
Each family and position varies with the experience required. Some positions welcome school leavers who may be after a GAP year, where as others are looking for fully qualified teachers or Governesses with some experience. In my experience I would say that a minimum of year 12 is required. The school work is full on. If you can’t spell or do fractions then this is probably not the job for you. If you are looking for a walk in the park and think it is going to be a holiday then please think again. It is hard work, and mentally draining.
In these positions you need to be flexible. Sometimes you will be asked to work outside your normal hours, and you need to be able to adjust to this. There may be times when you go away for a few days to a campdraft, for example, so it may be necessary to “get ahead” with the school work or “catch up” on weekends. If you are looking for a 9-5 job then station life may not be your cup of tea.
Here is a little something a friend of mine came up with which really cracked me up, but it s so true (thanks Kate). Perhaps something to think about when deciding weather or not you may be suited to life in the middle of nowhere, teaching children on stations…..
We are looking for normal people….whatever that means.
Must be able to live “remote” as in at least 400km from something that resembles a tiny town.
Drivers licence, and I mean a REAL licence, as in: can drive a manual with confidence.
Eye for detail.
It may be of some benefit for you to have a vehicle – not the type that bottoms out driving into your local BP, but the type that can drive across the Murranji in wet or dry conditions without getting stuck or losing an exhaust type of car – this is of course for your benefit not ours.
It is ok if you don’t have a car but just remember we are not a taxi service and you may be stuck at the station for weeks on end.
There is no **Skype, no facebook and no mobile service **, if you need any of these on an hourly basis please do not apply.
You may be exposed to extreme hot and cold weather, wind and dust. You may also experience chaffed lips, sunburn and windburn. Station life also includes critters such as ants, flies, frogs and stacks of mozzies, oh and the odd snake. If any of these are going to make you whinge and bitch within 2 days of arrival then please find a job elsewhere, perhaps a nice cozy office in the City would suit you more.
Although we may look the business and pretty darned hot when we are dressed up for town, please note that this is just a front and we don’t actually look like this on a normal day. On a good day we are dressed in jeans and boots, or shorts and joggers, clothes suited to hard work and a big hat to protect us from the sun. If you are worried about chipping your nail polish, smudging your mascara, or your bum hangs below your shorts, again….this lifestyle may not be for you.
** Ok so there will be internet in the school room (General Internet for staff varies from station to station). The school room internet is for education purposes only and certainly not for your private facebook use. You may find yourself out of a job if you abuse this service.
So I have done a pretty good job of not sugar coating station life. It is not for everyone, it is very unique.
There are loads of positives, despite all my attempts to turn you off. I love this life, wide open spaces, fresh air, healthy home cooked meals, fresh beef, fresh eggs and lots of grass for the kids to run around on. Horse riding, race meetings, campdrafts and rodeos. A lot of stations employ a cook, which means all of your food and meals are provided…..healthy home cooked meals and lots of them. Breakfast, smoko, lunch, dinner. Cakes, biscuits, desserts. You will be well fed that’s for sure.
The pay probably isn’t that brilliant, so if you are coming up here to get rich or for the money then please re-consider. This is the sort of job you do for the lifestyle, not for the money. On the bright side though you will not pay for: rent, food or electricity (some positions do charge board and keep but it is usually very minimal). You are usually a fair way from anywhere so it is a great opportunity to save money.
If you are interested in Governessing I am more than happy to help you find the right family. You are welcome to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will point you in the right direction or give you any blunt advice you may need. Hit me with your queries, no question is too silly. Ask away.
Further information about Governessing positions can be found on the following websites: