Monday, October 26, 2009

Classroom Canada's London Scavenger Hunt - Just What Are You Playing For?

I'm heading out to London tomorrow and madly packing all of the amazing prizes for the Classroom Canada London Scavenger Hunt.  It's madness! It's mayhem!

Here is the list of events that we organize for our teachers & teaching assistants in London from November 2nd-6th, 2009. 

The Scavenger Hunt is always very popular and ridiculously fun.  We have some amazing sponsors who help provide us with some healthy competitive spirits.

Prize #1: For the Winning Team

Topdeck have once again generously donated 250 GBP worth of travel vouchers to be used against any of their tours in Europe or Africa.  You can see how last year's winning team used their vouchers here.

Here's the blurb about what Topdeck is all about:
At Topdeck our passion is providing unforgettable travel experiences for 18-30 something’s. Extended trips & festivals in Europe, ski & sailing holidays, adventures in Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Israel, safaris in Africa: your choice of great holidays with like-minded travellers is huge! Travel with Topdeck and Share the Experience.
Thanks Topdeck!

Prize#2: A Cross Pen & Pencil Gift Set from Lloyd's TSB Offshore - Vancouver Office

Our friends, Michael & Tony, in the Vancouver Lloyd's office have generously donated a Cross Pen & Pencil gift set for one of the winners of the Scavenger Hunt.  They wanted to help our teachers & teaching assistants celebrate their new careers in education by giving a very grown-up gift.  Cross pens are well known amongst professionals for being the pen of choice.

Prize #3: The Mystery Prize

I can't tell you what this prize is yet.  But trust me, this one is AWESOME.  And who doesn't love a surprise?

Prize #4: Random Canadian Goodies

All year, whenever I see something Canadian  that I think might make a cool Scavenger Hunt prize I pick it up and toss it into my suitcase.  So, in my suitcase I have found:
  • Canadian Flag Cupcake Holders and Toothpicks.  
  • 2 Canadian Baseball Hats. 
  • Loads of Canadian Stickers. 
  • Maple Syrup - Organic and in a really cool bottle.
  • Kraft Dinner.  Because someone out there is really missing their KD.
  • Tim Horton's Coffee (Not actually Canadian, but loads of Canadians miss this coffee)
  • Stuart McLean's Extreme Vinyl Cafe - because his stories make me almost wet my pants in laughter and he's just oh-so-Canadian.
Between my house and London, I still have more places to pick up random Canadian bits & pieces so you'll just have to come to the Scavenger Hunt to see what other treasures I find.

See many of you in a week. 

To become part of the Classroom Canada team, 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.

Friday, October 23, 2009

"That's So Gay": How to Deal With Homophobic Comments in Schools

I love the video above. It's circulating on facebook with quite a few of the Classroom Canada teachers and I am excited to share it with you here.  Wanda Sykes shows us how we can deal with homophobia with young people in a witty, and fun way.  Brilliant.

It's half term break in the UK as of right now.  Teachers and Teaching Assistants are catching flights around Europe (to Ireland, Scotland, Paris, Portugal...those are the places I know of right now, but I'm sure next week I will get reports of more travels) as well as taking this week to get to know their new home city, London.  There are loads of free things to do in London, and plenty of our teachers are taking advantage of this time off to visit museums, meet up with other Canadian and American teachers, get to know their new accommodations at Oxford Circus, find their "locals" (aka pubs) and play frisbee in Hyde Park. 

I'm catching up on paperwork this weekend, watching the Canucks vs Maple Leafs game on Saturday (I always enjoy a good ol' BC vs ON game, being from both parts myself), catching a flight to London as soon as I can (Tuesday? Wednesday? Thursday?  It's all last minute folks...) and preparing for our PD week in London.  You can read more about the events here.  I haven't jogged since I did an 8km run a couple of weeks ago and pulled a muscle- it was an amazing run though! 7am along Dallas Road with the sun rising and the sound of thousands of feet hitting the pavement - music to my ears.  So I better get out there and prepare for our Run with Richard.  Bailing just isn't an option.

I probably won't post on this blog for a week or so.  Enjoy this week everyone!  We all deserve it.

To become part of the Classroom Canada team, 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.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Classroom Canada Visits Canadian Universities - Updated List 2009/2010

I'm hitting the road again folks!

First, I'm heading off to London to do our PD and Socials Week (Nov 2-6th) and I can't even tell you how excited I am to see all our teachers and teaching assistants in person. 

We're running a 5km tour with Richard, an avid runner and one of the founders of Classroom Ltd.  We're hanging out with blogging teachers & TA's and sharing a few drinks and stories at the Maple Leaf Pub.  We're doing workshops on SEN teaching and how to survive and succeed in any London school.  Then, finally, we're having our 2nd Classroom Canada London Scavenger Hunt.  To sign up for any of these events, just see this post.

Second, I'm planning my visits to the universities below:
  1. OISE, December 18th, 2009
  2. York University, January 7th, 2010
  3. Brock University, January 8th, 2010
  4. Queen's University, January 12th, 2010
  5. Lakehead University, January 15th, 2010
  6. Trent University, January 16th, 2010
  7. University of Alberta, January 18th, 2010
  8. Lethbridge University, January 20, 2010
  9. UBC, January 22, 2010
  10. McGill, February 1, 2010
  11. Concordia, February 3, 2010
  12. University of Ottawa, February 5, 2010
If your university isn't on the list and you would like me to visit, please just let me know by leaving a comment below.  Experienced teachers will be interviewed in person and on the phone and don't need to attend these events to meet with me.

For interviews, January and February are very important months.  I will be interviewing in each city I visit (where time permits of course) and I will continue to interview teachers and teaching assistants by using Skype.  These interviews will be for positions that start in April/May 2010 and September/October 2010.

Before coming to meet me, please read this post: The Do's and Don'ts of University Teacher Job Fairs

Questions? Comments?  Please share your thoughts below.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another Interview with a Canadian Teacher in London, England - this time all the way from Nova Scotia via England

Who is successful in their teaching in London?  I've said it a million times, and I'll say it again: the most successful teachers and TA's are positive thinkers.  They see every challenge as an opportunity to grow, expand and explore.  They love learning, life and laughter.  They carry on doing what they love most in their free time, whether it be playing rugby, swing dancing or jogging along the Thames River.

Here's another great example of one of our recent arrivals who is doing really well in our London schools.  Jonathan hails from Nova Scotia and taught in Korea and Canada before moving to teach in London with Classroom Canada.

Name: Jonathan Bartlett
University: University of Maine at Presque Isle
Subjects: Elementary Education
Ages You Teach: Key Stage 1 and 2 (aka K-6)
How long have you been teaching in London?

I have been teaching here for just over a month.
What do you teach? 

I teach elementary, which are called primary schools here, and have a particular focus on key stage 2 (grades 3-6). I have been lucky enough to teach every year level at multiple primary schools in London so far. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed teaching every level from reception to year 6.
Why did you choose to work with Classroom Canada?

I chose Classroom Canada because I felt like I was being treated as a unique individual. Some companies simply view you as another cog in the wheel and do not take the time to converse on a personal level. Any correspondence before I departed for London, via email or phone conversation, was helpful and I felt like I was being recognized for my individual characteristics as a teacher. I also like that Classroom Canada focuses on teaching in London, whereas other agencies will try to convince you that teaching in a small rural town is the way to go. I cannot imagine living anywhere else in England rather than central London.
What was the biggest adjustment for you to make in your teaching in London compared to Canada?

My teaching in Canada has been, for the most part, in smaller towns and suburbs. London is a vibrant and extremely diverse city. I would say the biggest adjustment, and also the greatest source for potential growth as a teacher here, is understanding the issues that inner-city London students deal with everyday. Obviously, behaviour management in London and Canadian schools is different. This is nothing new. The main thing I try to do, even as a daily supply teacher, is attempt to understand where each student is coming from. This can make a world of difference in your classroom environment.
Describe a typical London day in 3-4 sentences.

I wake up around 6:30am, head to the tube station and enjoy a cozy train ride to the school I am with for that day. Finish teaching around 3:30pm and head for home. Go to the gym for a workout or a swim and then home for a nice dinner and conversation with the people from all walks of life that live in my building. Friday evenings are spent socializing at the local pub with fellow teachers and locals, aged 20 to 77, that we have befriended.
What is the one piece of advice you can offer a Canadian teacher considering the move to London?

I would suggest being yourself yet also being very open to new ideas and teaching styles. Go with the flow of life in London and within the schools you are teaching with. Remember you are not in Canada anymore and things are bound to be different, sometimes drastically different. Then again, that's why I think most of us are here.
Describe the funniest thing that's happened to you in your year so far:

After telling a year five class that I am from Canada, a girl with a puzzled look on her face says, "Sir, I'm confused. How can you be Canadian if you have an American accent and Australian hair?"
Describe the worst thing:

I have been lucky and haven't had to deal with any really negative situations in any schools or with life in London so far. "The only difference between an ordeal and an adventure is your attitude." Difficult to swallow at times but it works for me.
What made you stay with Classroom Canada, rather than any other agency?

I plan to stay with Classroom Canada as long as I am teaching in London. Since I arrived, the staff at the London office have been more than helpful and a pleasure to work with. Whenever I speak with them, even at 7:00am on a Monday morning, they are cheerful and eager to get me in a class for that day and for every day that week. I really feel as though they take pride in their work and go out of their way to find great schools that are a good fit for me. That's what I think sets them apart from other agencies.
Thanks to Jonathan for this "Coffee Time with Classroom Canada."  To read more interviews with our teachers, just see the right hand side of this blog and sign up for our newsletters.  To apply to teach with us, please see our website.  Be sure to read the Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bloggers Bash: A Game for the Blogosphere

First off, congrats to Eric and Joyet for landing full-time teaching contracts with us in London.  Well done!  Eric is teaching in secondary, and Joyet in primary, and I just know they're both going to do exceptionally well in their schools.

Second, let's play a little game.

I mentioned on Wednesday that I want to get together for drinks at the Maple Leaf Pub in Covent Garden on Tuesday, November 3rd at 6pm with our blogging teachers and teaching assistants in London.  I'm stoked to hang out with you all in person.

So, here's the game:  let's see how quickly we can spread this little invite to all the blogging teachers and TAs with Classroom Canada.  Here are the rules:

1. Copy this message:   "You rock! I love your blog!  Come to the Maple Leaf Pub on November 3rd at 6pm to celebrate your awesomeness with Classroom Canada. Can't wait to see you there!"

2. Paste it into the comments section of your favourite teacher/ta blogging friends.

3. Once you've done that, leave a comment here and tell me who you invited.

4. When someone copies the invite in your blog, come back to this blog and RSVP in the comments section here.

5. And finally, meet me at the Maple Leaf and talk-blog-shop with me and all the others. 

I hope this little game works! Thanks for participating everyone and have a fabulous weekend.

To become part of the Classroom Canada team, 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.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Updated: PD Week in London - November 2nd-6th 2009

I'm excited to share with you our Updated List of Workshops and Socials coming up during the week of November 2nd-6th in London, England with Classroom London and Classroom Canada.

Monday, November 2nd 2009: Classroom Canada Run With Richard

Richard Gilbey is one of the founders of Classroom Ltd and an all 'round great guy. He's also an avid runner, and often jokes that he'd love to take our teachers on a tour of London with his favourite jogging routes. I finally took him up on the offer and I'm amazed at the positive response from our teachers! I had no idea we had so many joggers in our bunch, or people who are keen to give it a go anyway.

So we're doing a 5km jogging tour near our office in Oxford Circus. You can sign up here if you'd like to join us - all are welcome!

We'll meet at the London office at 6pm.

Tuesday, November 3rd 2009: Bloggers Bash - Our Blogging Teachers & TA's get together with me and talk blog-shop.

We'll meet at the Porter House in Covent Garden, THE MAPLE LEAF PUB (Sorry, I accidentally wrote down the wrong pub before) at 6pm.  All are welcome to join us, whether you blog or not.  We will be talking blog-shop though, so if that doesn't interest you, don't fret - the Scavenger Hunt on Friday is wicked-fun as well.

For me, this will be the first time that I'll be meeting some of you in person!  Strange, but true.  Most of our blogging teachers and teaching assistants met via this blog, by leaving comments and then adding each other as friends through our facebook group, as well as following each other's blogs.  Now, they all hang out in London!  How cool is that?  So, let's get together and talk blog-shop, all while enjoying a relaxing bevy in my favourite Covent Garden pub.  And they serve Canadian beer. Woohoo!

Please let me know if you plan to attend by emailing me directly. I need to know how large of an area to reserve. Thanks!

I'll be the one in the Queen's hoodie. 

Wednesday November 4th 2009: How to Survive & Succeed With Sophie Walker

6-8pm in our London office.

Sophie Walker returns to deliver another free workshop for our primary & secondary teachers in London. This workshop will help all new-comers understand the ins and outs of supply teaching in London, with a view to securing long term employment as well. Please read Sophie's bio below.
Seats are limited! Sign up by emailing me (victoria at classroomcanada dot com).
Thursday, November 5th 2009: SEN Survival Tips & Tricks with Sophie Walker

6-8pm, in our London office.

Sophie Walker offers another free workshop for teachers that are keen to work in Special Educational Needs in London. Whether you have experience with SEN or not, this is a great workshop to help you understand all you need to know to succeed in our SEN schools in London.

Seats are limited! Sign up by emailing me (victoria at classroomcanada dot com).

Friday, November 6th 2009: Classroom Canada London Scavenger Hunt

You can't miss this incredible event! It's always a huge hit, and this year will be even bigger and better than last.
We will meet at the Maple Leaf in Covent Garden at 6pm.

I'll organize the teachers and teaching assistants into small teams of 4 or 5 people. I'll give them directions and a set of instructions and they have about 2 hours to get as many items checked on the list as possible, all while running around the streets of London of course. 
This year, we have Classroom Canada teachers who completed the event last year, so they will be involved as team leaders, or I will handicap them in some way (Three legged race perhaps? Potato sacks? Something equally silly I'm sure).

We also have prizes from Flight Centre, Topdeck and the Canada Shop which are highly coveted by the winning teams. To sign up for this event, please click here.  I will be posting more about the prizes in a few days. They're awesome!
Sophie Walker's Bio:

We are so pleased that Sophie Walker will be running the workshops again this year.

Sophie Walker came to London for a year nearly ten years ago. She left her native Melbourne where she taught English and Drama at a boys Catholic School, holding the position of Head of the Performing Arts Department for two years.

Sophie left to travel and look for new educational experiences. She started out working in London as a supply teacher, through Classroom, teaching the subjects she was trained in to secondary pupils. Two of her long term placements were a 'fresh start' school in Hammersmith and an about to be 'fresh start' school in Hillingdon.

While doing this she lived on friends floors and for a while moved house once a year!

Sophie has experienced day to day supply and long term positions and has also worked as a Hearing Support Teacher for an inner city Borough. She ran a centre for excluded pupils for two years dealing with a variety of emotional behavioural needs. She also worked for Classroom as a consultant in the SEN Section.

Sophie now works as an Advisory Support Teacher for a London Borough, her focus is supporting pupils who have a diagnosis of Autism and are between the ages of 3 and 7. She has recently started her Masters of Education.

Sophie's wide range of experience means that she is in a great position to pass on a wealth of information about surviving (and enjoying) your first year in London.

To become part of the Classroom Canada team, 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.

PS) My apologies for the wonky formatting with today's post - blogger is acting strange today.  Anyone have any advice for this? Thanks!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another Interview with a Canadian Teacher in London, England

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone! Thanks to Shannon for completing this Coffee Time interview in time to share it with you all today.

Name: Shannon Mullen
University: Queen's, OISE
Subjects: Physical Education and English
Ages Taught: Intermediate/Secondary

How long have you been teaching in London now?
Since the beginning of September, 2009.

What do you teach?
My preference is Secondary PE but since I've been here, I have taught English, Religion, Food Technology, Geography, Math, French, and Spanish (which was interesting because I have never taken a Spanish course myself!) When you cover Secondary classes, the teacher usually leaves seat work for the class to do, so you don't really have to be an expert in that particular subject. Instead of teaching new information, you tend to guide students through their work and answer questions. It had been great because I have actually learned alot about topics that I am not too familiar with. I have also done a few primary teaching days, which I love too.

Why did you choose Classroom Canada?
I did research on many different agencies and really liked the "feel" I got from Classroom. I loved how Classroom seemed genuinely interested in making sure that its teachers were set up for the full experience of living in London (helping to make social connections, accommodations, suggestions for things to do).

Other agencies seemed to strictly focus on helping me get a job. I came to London only partly for teaching- I wanted to travel, meet new people, and experience a new city and culture- and Classroom Canada seemed to care about these aspects of my life as well.

What was the biggest adjustment for you to make in your teaching in London compared to Canada?
I'm a P.E. teacher and had never played some of the sports that are part of the curriculum here: netball, cricket, I had to spend time learning how to play them. It's a great opportunity for me to expand my knowledge of sports- hopefully, I'll be able to teach my students some new games when I come back to Canada (uh...if I come back?).

Also, I have been able to teach the students here some new games. For example, I played soccer-baseball (I called it football-baseball though!) with a class and they loved it! I couldn't believe that they had never played it before since soccer (football) is so popular here!

Describe a typical London day in 3-4 sentences:
I get up at 6:30, and get ready for work. If I am not already booked, I wait for a call from Classroom (which usually comes between 7-8). If I'm working, I go to work, come home and go for a run in Regent's Park, have dinner, and then usually go for coffee or do something with a friend. If I'm not working, I try to take advantage of the time off- I either go for a bike ride, do some errands, or explore the city.

What is the one piece of advice you can offer a Canadian teacher considering the move to London?
You will be living here, not simply travelling. It is important to incorporate things that you value into your life when you get here and get involved in activities that you enjoy.

For example, I joined a rugby club, which has been a great way to meet people and continue to be involved in sports. I also brought my road bike over with me (yes, it was a struggle getting all my luggage from the airport to my residence, but so worth it!). This has been a great way to explore England!

Describe the funniest thing that's happened to you in your year so far:
One student asked me if I could speak "Canadian." It is really funny to learn the misconceptions that people have about Canada.

Describe the worst thing:
A Year 7 student in one of my classes kept spontaneously dancing during the middle of class, which was obviously distracting for everyone. I made a deal with her that if she sat and did her work for the rest of class, that she could could have "the floor" for the last two minutes and dance for the class. She seemed to like this idea, and actually did her work!

Unfortunately, during her "performance minute", another teacher walked into the room to ask me how the class had behaved. It looked like I had absolutely no control over the class because the girl was breaking out her best dance moves while her classmates cheered her on. The teacher looked at me like I was a complete idiot when I said that the class was great! She laughed when I explained the deal to her, but I can imagine what was going through her head when she entered the class and saw a dance party.

Why did you stay with Classroom Canada, rather than with any other agency?
Everyone at Classroom is super positive and I feel that they are working really hard to get me work that I will enjoy and benefit from. I also like how easy it has been to network with other Classroom Canada teachers- it is so nice to have Canadian friends here! (I am going to attempt to make some sort of Thanksgiving dinner on Monday...the only problem is that I haven't been able to find a turkey...I'll probably just cook a chicken!)

To apply for teaching and teaching assistant jobs with Classroom Canada, please see our website and sign up for our newsletters. Don't forget to check out the Guide to Teaching in London.

Questions? Comments? Please share below!

Friday, October 9, 2009

How to Apply for a Teaching Job in the UK: The Importance of Taking 3 Minutes...

I try to cut teachers and teaching assistants a lot of slack when they apply for jobs with Classroom Canada in London.  If their cover letter is written to "Timeplan" by mistake, I understand that they're just applying to loads of teaching jobs in the UK, and are in too much of a hurry to stop and see who they are applying to.

Sometimes, I get a little bit cranky though.  Hey, I'm a positive person - this doesn't happen too often, but lately...well...spell check is important folks.  It's actually really important for teachers.

Here are my personal favourite mistakes from this week's applications alone:
  • email subject heading: Teacing Application
  • Resume/CV education section: Batchelor of Education
  • Dear Timeplan
 Come on people.  You are applying to teach children how to read and write.  Please show me you know how to spell "teach" if you want to be a teacher.  And please, find my name and use it.  I like my name.  It makes me feel special.  I don't address you as "hey applicant."  Just learn my name.  And Classroom Canada is not Timeplan. Nor Protocol.  Nor Smart Teachers.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

To apply for teaching and teaching assistant jobs with Classroom Canada, please see our website and sign up for our newsletters.  Don't forget to check out the Guide to Teaching in London.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How to Increase Your Chances of Landing a Teaching Job in London

To follow on from Monday's post about the job situation for secondary teachers in London, here's how you can improve your chances of landing that perfect teaching job in London.

Attend these workshops in London October 16th and 17th for Special Educational Needs Teaching.  The workshops cost only 12 pounds each and are filling up fast.   

You can choose between primary and secondary focused workshops.  I would personally sign up for as many as possible and use the 2 days to increase my understanding of the UK education system and SEN in particular.  You will meet teachers and administrators from all walks of life.  What a great networking opportunity!

One bit of advice for Canadian and American teachers and teaching assistants: These workshops are intended for all kinds of teachers, not just foreigners. So, while we are all welcome to attend, please remember that most of the participants will be British and not there to learn the basics.  If you want the basics from a Canadian perspective, just read my ebook.  That will give you a good understanding of the UK system.

After attending the workshops, head home and edit your resume/CV to show your participation at the events.  This is very important!  It shows that you're not just in London to travel the world and using teaching as your means to an end. Instead, it shows that you are passionate about teaching in the UK, you want to know as much as possible to make you a better teacher and will do whatever it takes to get that teaching job you want so badly.

Classroom also offers workshops for our new arrivals and experienced teachers.  To see our workshops and sign up, please see this post.

To apply for teaching and teaching assistant jobs with Classroom Canada, please see our website and sign up for our newsletters.  Don't forget to check out the Guide to Teaching in London.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Secondary Teacher Jobs in London: What's Happening Over There?

*Please read the comments section of this particular blog post as there is a good discussion and update on this post*

What's happening in London with Secondary teacher jobs? Well, it's a whole new year and a whole new experience for all of us in recruitment and in teaching. 

Normally, secondary school teachers have a pretty easy go of getting a full-time job and/or supply teaching right away.  Primary and SEN teachers get jobs fairly quickly as well.  How quickly?  Well, with Classroom it can take as little as a day or as much as a year depending on the teacher's likeability, experience levels and all 'round passion for teaching. 

Personally, I never had a problem getting work as a primary school teacher, whether it be day to day supply teaching (I always got 5 days/week) or long term positions teaching one class for a year.  Compared to Canada, it was a cinch to get a job!

But this is a new year.  The UK is just now climbing out of the "financial crisis" (or "credit crunch" as they call it there), and Secondary schools have made some changes in how they hire. Namely, they now hire what are called "cover supervisors", which I prefer to call security guards.  They are people who don't have formal training as teachers.  They cover the classes where the teachers are absent due to courses or illness.  They're cheap and they get the job done.  How well is a different story, but that's a whole other post.

We never thought the schools would actually go this route.  The government made the changes last year, to help schools that just didn't have enough teachers.  You see, they have  a shortage of teachers. That hasn't changed. 

But the change in taking on cover supervisors means that schools are now hiring anyone and everyone to supply teach.  This is a problem! Luckily, Classroom has a very good reputation with London schools, so we are still getting daily supply positions, but just not as much as we have in previous years, for secondary schools anyway.  Primary and SEN are still growing and doing very well compared to the other agencies in London.

Why does this affect the Secondary long term positions?  Well, schools used to choose their full-time teachers from the teachers they meet on a day to day basis. Now, schools are still hiring full-time teachers, but they are doing it very differently.  And everyone's in a panic.

So, what's the real deal?  Well, we have amazing teachers and they are working.  We have plenty of full-time teachers in jobs that they love (or grin and bear it anyway - we are talking about secondary teaching here! It's tough to say the least).  The most affected teachers are the ones who have just arrived in the last month.  They are trying their best to keep their heads up, and stay positive and not panic.

Teachers who can teach primary and SEN are in a much better position.  Some of those secondary teachers with SEN and primary experience are actually getting 3-5 days/week and being offered full-time positions.  That's amazing!

Which brings me to Amie's question on last week's post: What is my plan of attack for Classroom Canada?

I'm not making any changes to my Primary and SEN recruitment as those areas are still great.  But I am making changes to how I recruit Secondary school teachers.  Specifically, I'm not selecting anyone who can only teach Secondary.  They have to show that they have experience in Primary and/or SEN as well, so that I can rest assured that they will be able to work in Secondary and Primary and SEN.  As stressful as it is for the teachers it is just as stressful for me.  I want you people working!  So, I'm not selecting anyone who is a higher risk.  Sad, but true.

So, for those secondary school teachers with us in London, you can also rest assured that you will have first dibs on the jobs that do come in.  And they will. They always do.  Cover supervisors can't teach full-time, so don't stress about that anyway.

I hope this helps explains things a little better, particularly for the amazing teachers who are being so patient, keeping their heads up, and staying positive.  You rock!  I can't wait to see you in November for the Classroom Canada PD sessions and Scavenger Hunt.  I'll even buy your drinks.

To apply for teaching jobs with Classroom Canada, please see our website and sign up for our newsletters. Read the Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians by yours truly.

Questions? Comments? Thoughts? Wonderings? Please share below.

Friday, October 2, 2009

And the applications come pouring in...

I've been away participating in my own professional development for the past week and a half and let me tell you - my inbox is jam-packed with applications from teachers and teaching assistants who want to teach in London, England with Classroom Canada.  Wow.  I knew I'd have a lot, but honestly, this is way more than even I expected.

I have a few ideas as to why this might be the case:
  1. Teachers across Canada and the USA realize in late September and early October that they might as well apply to teach in the UK since they still don't have work "back home."  Not the best reason to apply, but I get it.
  2. Teachers arrive in London with other agencies and realize that the agency they picked doesn't have enough work to go around (This is particularly the case for Secondary School Teachers this year, and a blog post will follow to explain this more), so they apply to teach with us because they've heard great things and/or read this blog.
  3. Teachers panic.  They apply everywhere and anywhere.  When I call them, I have to remind them what they've applied for.  It makes me giggle inside.  It really does.  "Oh London?  England? Oh! Uhhh....okay, sure!"
  4. Teachers read this blog and after doing heaps and heaps of research and looking internally to see if they're ready for the big move to the UK, they finally just click "send" on that email they've been working on for weeks (or even months!).  These are my favourites of course.  
Needless to say, I am swamped.  Happily swamped, but swamped.

So, I am back to blogging and will post every Mon/Wed/Fri as usual, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays on my Moving to the UK blog.  Please share your comments, questions, thoughts, concerns in the comments box below!

To apply to teach in London, England with Classroom Canada just send me your CV/Resume by email to apply at classroomcanada dot com.  


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