Monday, February 1, 2010

Coffee Time with Classroom Canada - Karin from Ontario

I am pleased to say that we are still accepting applications from teachers & teaching assistants for positions that start in April/May and Sept/Oct 2010. To apply, submit your CV and cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada DOT com.
To help you decide, here's another Coffee Time interview with one of our fabulous teachers currently in London with Classroom Canada.
Grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy!

Coffee Time with Karin
Name: Karin Terluk
University: University of Waterloo/University of Western Ontario
Subjects: Art/English
Ages You Teach: Secondary, but now Primary

How long have you been teaching in London?
I’ve been teaching in London since September 2009.
What do you teach?
I supplied in Key Stage 3 and 4 (aka "Senior/Intermediate" in Canada) in English/Art/Maths/Computers. Currently I am teaching SEN (Special Education) in a Year 2 Class.
Why did you choose to work with Classroom Canada?
Classroom Canada, and specifically Victoria, had a personal approach that genuinely made me feel confident about my success in London. Originally I had started interviewing with another agency but Victoria took the time to get to know my interests/personality and helped me to find the best suited jobs that highlighted the skills that I had to offer.
What was the biggest adjustment for you to make in your teaching in London compared to Canada?
Learning British catch phrases like “Easy Peasey Lemon Squeezy” and “Who’s sitting sensibly?” Actually, as a newly qualified teacher everything was an adjustment but I had the support of Classroom agency as well as an excellent group of other Canadian teachers who were all in the same boat as I was. The networking efforts of Classroom Canada helped me to meet other teachers and we all sort of figured things out together.
Describe a typical London day in 3-4 sentences.
Nothing is typical about living in London. Everyday is an exciting adventure. Personally, I fall into routines where I wake up, teach, go to the gym, make dinner, go to bed and repeat. Recently, however, I’ve decided to make an effort to take advantage of all this city has to offer. I’ve been loving the art galleries (which are free!) and the commercial art gallery openings (with free drinks/food!). Also, it’s been fun meeting new people at work, on the tube, on the bus etc.
What is the one piece of advice you can offer a Canadian teacher considering the move to London?
Be open-minded and flexible. When I moved here I thought I would be teaching Art/English in Secondary schools, and now I am teaching one-on-one with a 7 year old boy in a year 2 class who is in a wheelchair. He is integrated into a mainstream school (which doesn’t happen too often over here) and it is both a challenging and rewarding role. I’m so grateful that Classroom gave me the opportunity to try different roles and I’m positively thrilled with the outcome!
Describe the funniest thing that's happened to you in your year so far:
I was standing at the bus stop last week and one of the 7 year old students in my class stopped and said “Hi Miss Terluk, what bus are you waiting for?”. I said “The 333”. She said “Does that go to the airport?” She thought I flew home to Canada every night!
Describe the worst thing:
I suppose the worst thing so far has been when I’ve discovered aspects of children’s home lives that seem so unfair. London is an ethnically and economically diverse city. As a teacher I have to try to keep things in perspective. More often than not, the children who are struggling in class have daily struggles at home.
What made you stay with Classroom Canada, rather than any other agency?
There are tonnes of agencies that offer similar services but Classroom has a good reputation with London schools and has consistently placed me at well suited schools. I shouldn’t forget to mention that the staff at Classroom are friendly and professional as well.
What qualities do you have that make your teaching in London enjoyable?
Is this where I’m supposed to ‘toot my own horn’? Positivity is key! I focus on the good things that happen. I love London. I love going to see Arsenal play football. I love Fridays because it’s the start of my weekend. I love Mondays because I get to see the students that I missed all weekend. I love shopping. J’adore France. I love seeing live music. This list will never end…
Thanks Karin!

Resources About Teaching in London

Classroom Canada website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians
Sign Up For Our Newsletters
Canadians & Americans in the UK

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Thanks for sharing your two pence!


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