Monday, January 26, 2009

Teaching in London: Sink or Swim?

I visited the University of British Columbia this past Friday to speak with new teachers about what it's like to teach in London, England with Classroom Canada. I met some incredible people and am excited to watch their journeys from teachers college in Canada to teaching in London.

I met one woman who had already taught for three years outside of London. Let's call her Sarah. She was recruited by an agency, brought to the outskirts and left to her own devices. She couldn't even remember the name of her agency (that's how involved they were in supporting her). This isn't unusual. Regular readers of this little blog will know that I am passionate about helping Canadian and American teachers make the transition to teaching in the UK with support. That doesn't mean I hold their hands! It just means that I don't believe it should be a "sink or swim" approach.

So, I asked Sarah if she went to Professional Development sessions with her agency, or if she at least watched Teachers TV on the weekends. She explained that she never had anything to do with the teaching agency after her initial interview & arrival in the UK. She'd never heard of Teachers TV. I hadn't written my book at that point so of course she hadn't read that resource yet. Classroom Canada was an idea in my head while I was teaching and recruiting teachers for Classroom UK.

Sarah had to sink or swim.

You don't.

You don't have to teach through Classroom Canada to get access to all of the information you need to teach in the UK and succeed. That's why I make this information easily accessible to all through this blog & my ebook. I am determined to raise the bar for teaching agencies.

So with all of that in mind, here's my advice for you today dear readers. I watched this video of a History Teacher who wants your feedback on her lesson. She's preparing for an Ofsted visit and wants to go from "good" to "outstanding" - every teacher's dream. Check out the video and please offer your advice. Secondary school teachers should watch the video simply to see what it's really like to teach in the UK. Primary school teachers should also watch the video to get some idea of what it's like for your students when they leave grade 6 (called "year 6) and enter high school.

Sign up for our newsletters to read more about teaching in London, England. Download a free chapter of the ebook, Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians. If you like that chapter, buy the ebook! If you're not satisified, I'll give you your money back. I've never had to refund anyone yet so I'm confident I won't have to!

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