Saturday, November 15, 2008

Does the Global Financial Crisis Affect Teachers in London, England?

I've been on holiday in Vienna, Austria for the past week visiting other teacher friends and relaxing after a very busy week leading professional development workshops & our Scavenger Hunt in London. While there, my teacher friend asked me if Canadian and American teachers are affected by this "Global Financial Crisis" or "Credit Crunch" (as they call it in Europe).

I discussed this issue with most of my teachers and co-workers in the London office and we all agree. We're not really affected by this change, except through the exchange rate with Canadian or American dollars. When I first started teaching in London, I was making $2.50 for every pound earned. That was in 2004. In 2005, the rate started to change, and it has remained around $2.00 for every pound since then.

Until the global financial crisis that is! Now the exchange rate changes daily, ranging from $1.81 to $2.04. For me, this matters a great deal. I get paid in pounds from our UK office every month in Canada. So every month is different because of the exchange rate fluctuations.

For my teachers, most of them admit that they teach in London in order to travel around Europe and pay off some of their student debt. When asked, they all say that the crisis doesn't really affect them - they are still getting heaps of work (whether daily supply teaching or in long term contracts) and earning pounds. The only time they worry is when they want to send money home, but they watch the exchange rates closely and send money on a good day.

The teacher shortage in London isn't about to change any time soon. The teacher job shortage in Ontario and British Columbia is also not about to change. If anything, I predict that less teachers will leave their positions in Canada, leaving more & more new teachers without work. So more teachers will move to work in London, which makes perfect sense to me.

For more information about teaching in London, please buy the Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians and see the Classroom Canada website.

If you liked this post, you might also like this post about Sending Money Home, and this post about Teacher Holidays in Europe. Also, read 52 Reasons to Teach in London, England.

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Thanks for sharing your two pence!


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