History of teaching

Teaching has always been one of the most important jobs in the world! Find out how it has changed in the last 100 years, and what the job really involves.


  • Do the preparation activity to help you with words from the video.
  • Watch the video, then play the games to check your understanding.
  • You can also print the worksheet for more practice.
  • Remember to read our discussion question and leave a comment!


Mr Jessett: Good morning, everyone.

Schoolchildren: Good morning, Mr Jessett.

Meet Mr Jessett. He's a teacher, so I can't reveal his first name.

Mr Jessett: It's Matt. 


Mr Jessett: My first name is Matt. I don't mind if you use it.

Oh, OK.

Well, Matt, or Mr Jessett to his students, has been a teacher for seven years.

Mr Jessett: So, today's lesson is going to be about computational thinking, so ...

I wanted to be a teacher because I wanted to have a career that was very sociable. I wanted to have a career which makes a difference in children's lives. 

Teaching has always been one of the most important jobs around, but it's a role that has changed quite a bit over the years.

Teacher: Any questions? Nick, you had one.

For starters, early Aussie schools were all run by the Church.

It wasn't until 1849 that the first public school was opened, and back then, teachers were a lot stricter. Every morning, they would check students' nails, hair and teeth to make sure they were clean, and teachers were allowed to use a cane to hit children who were playing up.

Teacher: Strokes of the cane.

Classrooms looked pretty different as well. There were no computers, and pens looked like this. You had to dip them into inkwells to write. There were also lessons on how to keep your back straight, and boys and girls had different subjects they had to study – home economics for the girls and wood and metalwork for the boys. And, up until the 1940s, most kids left school when they were 14.

Announcer: The engineering problem they're solving would take an experienced ...

But, over the years schools changed, and so did the way teachers taught.

Today, there are all sorts of classrooms and teachers. Some schools are bilingual, which means lessons are taught in two different languages.

And some lessons can take place without a teacher having to be in the same room.

Teacher: What's next?

Student: Um, would animal be one? 

Teacher: Yeah. An animal. That's correct.

Teachers are now educated at university, and they work hard to find the best way to help kids to learn.

Mr Jessett: These days, it's more common for children to negotiate with you about what they want to work in, what their interests are and what they would like to do.

What does movement forward mean?

And Mr Jessett's class reckon he's doing a pretty good job.

Student 1: Well, he likes to engage us in our learning, makes it fun and does most activities in groups, which allows us to collaborate and have fun while we're learning.

Student 2: Previously, with other teachers, I haven't liked maths a lot, because I'm not very good at it, but with Mr Jessett, he's really helped me, and he makes maths really fun and easy to understand.

Student 3: He's fun. He's kind. He can teach you things while not making it feel like really hard, sit-down work.

Mr Jessett: You possibly could. Do you know what the best thing to do would be? It's to try it.



Worksheet153.38 KB


Would you like to be a teacher one day? Why or why not?

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English courses for children aged 6-17

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