Friday, July 3, 2009

Teaching in the UK: How to Keep Your Friends

I am probably more proud of the friendships I've helped to form through Classroom Canada than anything else. I often joke that I should start a match-making service for teacher friends as most of the teachers I introduce end up becoming best friends and travel buddies.

Take Krissy and Lindsay for example. Krissy is from Niagara Falls, and Lindsay is from Vancouver. I introduced them in 2007 and they quickly became very good friends while in Canada, then flatmates when they arrived to teach in London, then travel buddies, and finally when they both returned to Canada they maintained their friendships at "home." Lindsay teaches secondary school (English and History) and special needs, and Krissy teaches primary school (now Kindergarten, but in London she taught K-6).

Krissy traveled to Whistler last year for Lindsay's wedding. See what I mean about becoming great friends?

In my own life, it's been 5 years since I first graduated from teachers college at Queen's University. I then moved to teach in London for three years and have been in Victoria for the past 2 years with Classroom Canada. My best friends live in London, Vienna, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, Vancouver, Barrie and Toronto and some are visiting this summer. I am so lucky!

One of my friends married an Austrian after teacher's college and they're here in Victoria for a visit. Another is in Barrie teaching and she's coming with her 5 year old boy for a visit. Another teaches and is a singer in Toronto and also happens to be visiting at the same time. We all met at teacher's college and have maintained our friendships these past five years by traveling & visiting each other around the world.

So the point?

Teachers, hang on the friends you make in teacher's college! They are your most important resource, and will help you through the tough times & laugh through the ridiculous times. They will understand you more than most other people in your life especially as you travel the world and teach abroad. Even though I went to London by myself, I always knew my friends around the world were just a phone call away. And then of course, I made all new friends while teaching in the UK and that support network just grows and grows.

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

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Thanks for sharing your two pence!

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