Trainee teachers will learn on the job from day one, as part of a pilot programme this year.
Instead of completing qualifications at universities before entering the classroom, 24 student teachers will spend a year gaining hands-on experience in classrooms at 12 secondary schools in Auckland.
The students will study papers though the University of Waikato at the same time as their practical learning. The schools will cover the costs of the trainee teachers' study and provide an allowance of about $10,000.
Trainee teacher Stacey Hughes will be immersed in the classroom at Sacred Heart College.
The opportunity to complete a diploma on school grounds instead of in lecture halls had sold it for her, she said. "To have a programme with an opportunity of being in front of students full time just made perfect sense to me."
She expected the workload would be heavy with practical learning and online study. "I believe my organisational skills will get me through," she said.
Westlake Boys High School on Auckland's North Shore has taken on three students to train on the job. They will be working in departments such as te reo Māori, performing arts, English, media, and social sciences.
Principal David Ferguson said a year of practical training would help the students slot into their first teaching job straight away.
"We're just hoping that by putting some time, effort and resource into supporting them with the initial training, it's going to mean that they're hopefully more likely to hit the ground running when they start in 2022," Ferguson said.
"We probably have about 155 teachers at the moment, so we're always going to get some turnover," he said.
"We normally have a few vacancies at the end of the year, so that's why we are positive and hopeful that we're going to be able to offer them something."
Hopes programme will encourage more to teach
Students who have a university degree usually study for a year plus placements in schools for three months to gain a teaching qualification.
University of Waikato pro vice-chancellor of education Don Klinger said he hoped the pilot programme would encourage more people to become teachers.
"For the past several years, there's been a real shortage of teachers in secondary schools, especially in math, chemistry and physics, so this is an opportunity to enhance our ability to attract people to this fantastic profession," Klinger said.
The pilot programme could expand to other regions if it is successful.