Sunday, July 19, 2009

Celebrating 2 Years of Helping Teachers Move to London, England

It's our Birthday! Thanks for swinging by our little virtual party.

Please leave your comment below with "Happy Birthday", tell us a bit more about yourself and don't forget to include your name to be entered to win any of these prizes:
I'll be here all day to answer your questions, participate in discussions and all 'round celebrate the last 2 amazing years of helping Canadian teachers move to teach in London, England with Classroom Canada.

Tomorrow morning I will post the winners, so be sure to pop by this blog again and see if/what you've won! Thanks for all your support. I love what I do and it's all because of you. Happy Birthday!

If you'd like to become part of the Classroom Canada team, please sign up for our newsletters & apply through our website. Be sure to read the Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians to help you understand everything you need to know about teaching in London.


  1. Hey Classroom Canada, Happy Birthday!!!!! :)
    My name is Amy Spring and i am from Winnipeg, MB. I will be moving to London at the end of August! I want to thank Classroom Canada for hiring me and helping me make this move possible. I am so excited and wish Classroom Canada all the best in the future!!! Awesome job Victoria!!

  2. Have an excellent and very very very HAPPY BIRTHDAY Classroom Canada. My name is Alifia Daud and I'm from Toronto, On. I will be coming to London in September and am so excited to teach there!! :D

  3. Happy Birthday Classroom Canada! :)

    My name is Jodi and I am moving to London at the end of August to begin a wonderful journey of teaching in London, and could not be more excited!

    Congratulations on your success as well, Victoria and thank you for providing this amazing opportunity for all of us teachers. Could not do it without you! I'm not even in London yet and I am already constantly recommending this agency.
    Thanks again!

    Jodi Bonkowski

  4. Happy Birthday Classroom Canada!!!

    My name is Destiny Franco, and I am from Edmonton, AB. I am so excited to be apart of the Classroom Canada team! I am heading to London near the end of October and I cannot stop thinking about the wonderful opportunities that await! Teaching, traveling...Victoria, you have made all my dreams come true!!! :) Thanks for all you do and will do! Congratulations on two years of success and I wish you many more years of great friends and fun in London!

    Destiny Franco :)

  5. Aw thanks so much everyone!

    Alifia, you are going to love being in London with your husband while he studies and you teach.

    Jodi & Tyson & Amy - you guys are so full of positive energy & enthusiasm and I just know you will get to Glastonbury Festival and tell us all about it when you do. Quite a few of our teachers went this year & loved it. Definitely your kind of party. :-)

    Destiny - you are so sweet! I hope your dreams do come true and that the teaching itself doesn't disappoint. Just remember, there's always Paris for the weekends! I know you will be traveling all around Europe with your new Classroom Canada friends in no time.

    Thanks everyone! Keep those comments coming and spread the word to your friends so they can win too.


    Well done Victoria and congratulations! Here's to many more years - raising a glass for you from Wien!

    Sarah x

  7. Thanks Sarah! I'm raising a glass with you all the way from Victoria, BC. :-)

    Hopefully I will see you soon in Vienna!

  8. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLASSROOM CANADA!! and congratulations Victoria for creating such a wonderful program!!! My name is Mackenzie and I'm from Ottawa, ON. I'm heading to London at the beginning of September and I can't believe how fast it's coming! Good Luck to everyone here and across the pond and a special Thanks to Victoria for helping make such amazing experiences happen!

  9. Thanks Mackenzie! I hope you enjoy your experience teaching in London with us this upcoming academic year (or two?). It seems like you're already there in a way! Hope you meet some of the other Ottawan's before you depart - there are some great teachers coming over from my old 'hood. :-)

  10. Hey! My name's Bryn and I'm a Teaching Assistant moving to London in September from Ottawa, Ontario (where I currently work as a dance and drama teacher). I'm really excited to be embarking on this new adventure!

  11. What a nice party - and everyone is dressed so nicely. You are such a wonderful hostess Victoria.

    I love this site because I'm nerdy about education policy and love to read about it. One day if I win the lottery I'll pursue a teaching career and maybe start it in London. :)

  12. Bryn - thanks for dropping by! I'm really looking forward to hearing all about being a TA in London from your perspective after already working as a drama & dance teacher. And I just know you're going to love dancing in London. Perhaps you will take up hip-hop-belly-dance like one of my teachers? The opportunities to explore drama & dance in London are endless!

    Ken - my, that's a very fancy outfit that you have on as well. Don't you just love a virtual party? ;-)

    I love that you're not a teacher but still keep up with this site for education policy stuff - thanks so much!

    On a side note, I'm watching Friday Night Lights while this party carries on and gosh dang, I can't wait for Season 4. Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose!

  13. Happy Birthday, Classroom Canada and congratulations Victoria! I can't believe that Classroom Canada is already 2 years old!

    Lisa Pathyil

  14. Thanks Lisa! You know that means we've known each other for at least 4 years right? From London to Vancouver to Victoria...where next my friend?

    Thanks for being the one to inspire me to jump ship over to Classroom from my previous agency in the first place. My life has improved 1000% because of that first step towards a better teaching agency.

    It's a good thing you were late that one day at Broadwater Farm Primary School so I could cover your class and meet my first fellow Canadian teacher. So, thanks for being tardy! lol

  15. Hi Victoria!!

    Happy Birthday from Amie and Morgan! Like a bunch of the others we can't wait to head over to London at the end of August! :D

  16. Hi Amie & Morgan!

    Thanks for coming by. Have you run a marathon yet Amie? ;-)

    I'm finally on week 6 of the Couch to 5km program and can't wait to run with you & the others for the "Run with Richard" on November 2nd. :-)

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  18. Just so ya'all know, I deleted the past comment bc it was spam. Argh-spamming sucks.

    Keep those comments coming :-) I'm loving this party!

  19. Happy Birthday Classroom!

    Wow! Everyone on here already gets to go to London in September! I am so jealous! I still have one more year of school to go, but I hope to see some of you NEXT September if I get the chance to be a part of the Classroom Canada team! ( Or maybe in May if I am really feeling eager? haha)

    Well, congratulations on all the success, and great party Victoria!

    Tarrah M.
    Parksville, BC

  20. Hi Tarrah,

    Great to see you here! It's always exciting to meet people who aren't even finished teacher's college but are already looking ahead to teaching in London.

    Which uni are you at?

    I wrote a post a while back about teacher's colleges in Canada -

    If your uni is on the list, or if it should be added, please let me know. It will be interesting to see what you have to say about your program. Hope you're enjoying the sun where you are!

  21. Hmmm... hoping my first post worked... but if not then I shall wish you Happy Birthday twice! If I were there I would be sure to add on the Hip Hip's! at the end of Happy Birthday... I love how the English do that! ;)

    Congrats on a great 2 years!
    Alex Merrick

  22. Thanks Alex! This post worked. Also, check out yesterday's comments bc I told a little story about you. :-)

    It was great to chat with you the other day! I'm so happy that you managed to kick swine flu in the butt. That was pretty scary! You're a trooper Alex.

    Can't wait to see you in November in London. Fingers crossed that you win the Scavenger Hunt a second year in a row. Hope those running shoes are on ;-)

  23. Happy Birthday Classroom Canada!!

    I am looking into going to London in a year's time (maybe sooner since the blog is making me too excited to get there!!) and am loving this blog!! Thanks for giving all us teachers looking to go abroad great information and advice. I know that I will certainly be coming to Classroom Canada first when I am ready to leave Canada!!

    Keep up the wonderful work!!

    Kaari N.
    Victoria, BC

  24. Hi Kaari! Thanks for coming by! Are you at U.Vic this year or are you teaching now? It's so exciting to know that you read the blog & are looking ahead to next year.

    Writing a blog is a funny thing. I can tell by the statistics that there are thousands of readers, but without knowing who they actually are, it's hard to know what people think.

    So thanks so much for reading and for introducing yourself here! Let me know if there's anything in particular that you'd like me to write about. I'm happy to hear suggestions! Hope you're able to get outdoors today & enjoy the fabulous Victoria weather we are having.
    PS) Sorry London teachers that you have rain today!

  25. Hi Victoria,

    I actually just graduated from UVic this year and am needing to work a bit to be able to pay for me getting over to I'm working extra hard to try and get over to London sooner! I've already read your book on Teaching in London so the blog is an added bonus and has a lot of useful information on it. Thanks so much for creating it!!!

    And I am loving this beautiful weather! Although I am currently stuck inside and wishing that I could be outside on the beach!

    Hope you are also enjoying the sun!


  26. Hi Kaari,
    I totally understand. It's good to save up before making the big move to London. It also gives you time to mentally prepare for the big move, although almost everyone will agree that it's going to be completely different than you might imagine it to be. But you are much more prepared than I was when I went, so at least you're off to a really good start!

    Just send me your resume when you're ready to apply. You could always go in January or April as well, so you don't have to wait until September 2010 (which seems like ages away right now!).

    I'm off to enjoy a short walk just to get outside a bit, but otherwise I'm attached to this laptop for the day as well. :-)

  27. Happy Birthday, Classroom Canada!
    Just thought I'd drop in and say "congratulations!"
    I know there will be many more parties like this in the future- this is definitely the most helpful and friendly agency out there! As someone who would like to teach in London this school year, this has been greatly appreciated.
    Jessica Crocker

  28. Happy Birthday Classroom Canada!
    My name is Alison Tishenko, and I am currently living in London, where I have been teaching year 4 at a school for 7 months. Prior to that I supply taught for 4 months. I am really enjoying living and working in London...learning lots, and doing a fair bit of traveling :) I love Ryanair!
    ta ta!

  29. Hi Jessica,
    Thanks so much for coming by & for your kind words. I think we will have many more parties like this one in the future and hope you will be participating wherever you end up, whether it be London or somewhere else (hopefully London though of course!)

    Thanks so much for your amazing teaching this year. I was just thinking about you yesterday & giggling to myself picturing you singing opera to the students in London. That's such a great mental image. Where have you travelled to this year? I remember that you went to China & Russia on your way to London from Victoria (talk about the long way around!), but where have you been since you arrived in the UK?

    And what was the cheapest flight you managed to get with Ryan Air? My cheapest was 1 pence plus taxes to Barcelona. So proud of that one! It was an amazing trip. Hope to see you in London in November!

  30. I am actually also inside working on this gorgeous day on the west coast... lame! But nessecary in order to save all my pennies for a possible trip to London!

    I am studying at Bishop's University in QC, and I will finish my courses on May 2 2010! What is the liklihood of one being able to make the move in May? And if so when is the best time to send in a resume? I know I am getting way ahead of myself again, but my mind always wanders to far away places while sitting in an office job on a beautiful sunny day! :)


  31. Happy Birthday Classroom Canada!! I am just learning about you and look forward to learning much more.

    Shauna P.

  32. Happy 2nd Birthday Classroom Canada! I'm Tim from Vancouver, Canada, a recent graduate in UBC and looking forward to teach in London! My E-mail is


  33. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLASSROOM CANADA and the lovely Victoria Westcott! :)

    It's Kirbie from New Brunswick, Canada. I'm a French Second Language teacher, and graduated from UNB in May.

    Glad to read that y'all had fabulous weather in Victoria today! It was beautiful in Miramichi, NB as well! :) Let's hope the trend continues!

    Great party Victoria! You deserve a party! You work hard to make sure others can hit the ground running in London! I love reading your blog, I think it's a great tool to help me mentally prepare before I cross the pond!

    Congratulations on your second birthday, Classroom Canada! I'm sure there will be many more to come! :)

    PS. I'll also be looking out for cheap flights from Ryan Air soon...I luuuuuvvveee travelling!


    Kirbie :)

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  35. Aw Tyson, you just made me a bit teary-eyed reading your post. Dang, I do love what I do, especially when it involves helping people like you & Jodi! You guys are awesome.

    Kirbie, Thanks so much for stopping by as well! Your loyalty & dedication to your agency is admirable, but I do still hope you end up teaching with us someday. ;-)

    Hi Tim! Have we met before? I have a few Tim's that I work with, so please help me know which one, or if you are a new Tim to our little world. If you haven't applied yet, be sure to send your resume to apply at classroomcanada dot com. Thanks!

    Shauna, I'm pleased to see you here as well. Doing research into the various teaching agencies is the first step and probably the most important in your journey into teaching abroad. I'm here to answer any questions you may have, so please don't be shy.

    Tarrah, May is a very good option for you. If you look to the right hand side of this page, you will see the Coffee Time series with our teachers. Jenn & Kiran both arrived straight from teachers college in May and shared their experiences through their interviews with me. If you want to be competitive, get that daily supply teaching under your belt so you can land a full-time job starting in September, then May is by far the best possible time for you to arrive in London. That gives you a few months of UK experience, which makes you a much stronger candidate for schools.

    I would recommend that you apply anytime between December & January, as you will want to have more practicum experience under your belt before you interview with me. If selected, you'll really have to move quickly to get things rolling, but I am happy to help of course. Keep in touch through the blog in the meantime & ask questions as you go through your program. Oh, and watch Teachers TV - your uni might like it as well. - best way to prepare for teaching in the UK, besides reading my ebook of course. ;-)

    Woohoo! This party rocks! I'm ordering pizza now :-)

  36. Happy Birthday Classroom Canada! We hope you had a fantastic day. Can't believe it has been 2 years already. You should really be proud of yourself.
    Cheers from Australia.
    Leading Out

    I'm Joyet from Toronto. I've been working as a teacher in Toronto for 3 years now and decided i was ready for a change of scenery and a new adventure! Thanks for making it all possible Victoria! I can't wait till September so I can meet more of the people that make up Classroom Canada... in person!

  38. Hi Vicky! Thanks so much for popping by all the way from Australia. When will you mark 2 years of Leading Out? That must be coming up soon as well. :-)

    Hi Joyet! I was just speaking about you to Alex Merrick yesterday on the phone. I think you two will really get along. I loved interviewing you in Toronto and really enjoy our conversations as you prepare for your upcoming journey into teaching in London. I think you're going to particularly love the weekends in Spain, France, Germany, Scotland, Ireland...that travel bug has you bad! ;-)

  39. Happy Birthday Classroom Canada!

    I'm Heather, and signed up with Classroom about this time last year. I've spent this past school year in London doing PPA at a school, and heading back for another year with my own Year 4 class.

    It's been an amazing experience - living in London, learning a different education system and travelling around just as much as you work.

    I'm at home in Ontario for a bit right now, and updating everyone on this past year for me has made me realize how great it's been.

    Cheers to Vic and Classroom!

  40. Happy Birthday Classroom Canada! Congratulations on what I can only assume have been 2 wonderful years. My name is Meghan Dick, I'll be moving to London in late September and I am beyond excited. Thanks again for the opportunity of a lifetime - and preparing for it both nerve wracking and thrilling. So if anyone has any tips for a newbie, please inform! :)
    My first impression of CC was that it was a company that truly cares for its teachers; you hooked me in! Here's to many successes in the future.


  41. Hi Heather!

    Welcome "home" and thanks for popping by. You look smashing this fine evening. I'm looking forward to seeing you when you come to Victoria this summer. We'll have to sit down & have a pint together - can't wait to hear all about your experiences in teaching & traveling!

    Hi Meghan,
    Thanks so much! I can't wait for you to meet the other Megan's (& Meghan's) that we have with us - they are all amazing as well. I'm happy to hear that we hooked you in with our caring attitude. It's the teachers that do it - they're amazing people, completely dedicated to the profession & their own professional development through teaching & of course to learning & growing as much as possible in the short time that they're abroad. Who wouldn't love this job? You guys rock! :-)

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  43. Happy Birthday Classroom Canada! My name is Bethany Peat. I am preparing to move to London for September. I am going to be working as a teaching assistant. I look forward to the opportunity. I am currently living in Victoria BC. I look forward to meeting everyone in London during the coming school year.

  44. wooooooooooooweee..I almost missed it-which would have been tragic.

    Sending happy and warm birthday kisses your way CLAssROOM CAnada!

    My name is Karin Terluk (Orillia, Ontario) and I'm heading to London in August. My email is

    Thanks for being born classroom Canada-you rule my world.

  45. Hi Karen & Bethany! You're not too late at all, although I am getting sleepy after being on the computer all day haha. Thanks so much for your support!

    Bethany, I hope you enjoy being a TA in London, and Karin, I just know you will love London. If you look at the comments from yesterday's post, you'll see a story I told about Alex Merrick & all the connections we made with Classroom Canada. I should have included you in that list since you lived with her cousin at some point, and know my former boss from Octopus Books. Small world indeed!

    Keep those comments coming & I'll post the winners tomorrow morning when I wake up (between 7 and 8am BC time).

    Thanks everyone!

  46. Happy Birthday! You are amazing! At least Loretta in Key West thinks so! Happy Happy, Smiley Smiley!


Thanks for sharing your two pence!


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