A common misconception with teaching in
Sadly, this happens all the time. Some teachers show up in
Yes, the teaching is hard. It's different than teaching in
Ah this one is fun to de-bunk. There are a lot of agencies that now specialize in bringing Canadians over to the "outskirts" of
Having lived in the outskirts for several months and felt at times, both isolated and unsafe, I eventually made the move to
On the matter of money - sure I spent more living in a central location, but for me that was a compromise I was happy to make. If you’re thinking of coming to
5. You should always go with the agency that pays you the most money no matter what.
Well, you can do that of course. But first, think hard about why that agency may be offering you such attractive rates? Quite often, and through experience it can be because the agency are compensating for the terrible schools they’re planning to send you to (it’s just that they don’t tell you that). It’s a good idea to talk to other teachers registered through that agency and see what they have to say. And don't just take the names & numbers of teachers the agency give you. Do some real digging & find the teachers they don't want you to talk to. They'll give you their story, and if they're making 10 pounds more per day and they're still not happy with the company, well there’s your answer. If you decide to join up with Classroom Canada, sign up to the exclusive network we offer – a great way to swap stories, experiences and general ‘London info’ with other teachers in the same boat as you.
6. All agencies claim to offer new teachers support in setting-up, but no agencies follow through.
Sadly, this is often true, but not always. Again, quiz other teachers working through particular agencies what level of support their agency provided on their arrival. If they say they helped with accommodation, does that mean providing the link to a property search website that they recommend, or actually allocating them an apartment to live in? These are two very different versions of offering ‘support’ so it's important that you clarify in advance exactly what assistance they can provide you with.
7. Agencies make a killing off your salary.
Agencies are businesses, and naturally will be making money from placing you into schools – that’s what they do. However, the following guide to approximately what rates you can expect upon registration will ensure that you have a benchmark to follow should you be offered an either unusually high or unusually low rate at any point. Rates of pay can vary from £120 per day to £150 per day dependant on experience and the nature of role that you may be applying for. The vast majority of agencies in London will pay between £120-£125 per day for an NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) and possibly more for newly qualified Secondary teachers if their subjects are in demand (Science or Technology for example). Rates can also vary between positions – generally speaking long-term roles will pay higher than day to day, and class teacher roles will yield more than floating PPA (Preparation, Planning & Assessment positions). Money aside, it’s just as crucial to focus on the service the agency provide. Are you as the teacher just another number in a database, or do the consultants make the effort to get to know you, build a strong working relationship with you, and thus be better equipped to secure the right job for you? Agencies have long-standing relationships with schools that trust their judgements on teachers, so it’s worth your while registering with a company that are ready to listen to what you actually want.
You could always try to get a job without an agency, and you might succeed. The problem is that you will then make about 5000 pounds ($10 000 Canadian) less per year because the school will have to pay you as an "Overseas Qualified Teacher".
8. Teaching in
Read the Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians by Victoria Westcott (me!) and sign up to the Classroom Canada newsletters to read more from our teachers in London.