Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"How do you Purell that?" aka Coffee Time With Maggie

This interview with yet another one of our fabulous Canadian teachers in London had me laughing and cringing at the same time.  I'm sure you will too when you reach the Purell part.  Read on my friends, read on...

Name: Maggie Liu

University: University of British Columbia
Subjects: Physical Education and Social Studies
Ages You Teach: I have primarily taught Key Stage 3 and 4 (Secondary) but I have also taught Key Stage 1 and 2 (primary)

1. How long have you been teaching in London?
I've been in London since October 2009.
2. What do you teach?
I have supplied for Key Stage 1-4 (Primary and Secondary Levels), but I am currently teaching a year five Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) class.
3. Why did you chose to work with Classroom Canada?
In Vancouver, I met a few teachers who had already worked for Classroom Canada and their genuine and positive feedback about their entire work and life experience in London reassured me that Classroom would be able to provide me with the support I needed to make the big leap.
4. What was the biggest adjustment for you to make in your teaching in London compared to Canada?
Grasping the numeracy and literacy curriculum, learning how to plan for a Special Needs class and carrying out assessments for pupils in a SEN class. Apart from that, repeating "good sitting" and signing "sad" for when one of my pupils hits another child in the class.
5. Describe a typical London day in 3-4 sentences.
The weekends are what London is all about (for me, at least):
  • Wake up between 9-10a.m. and relax with a cup of tea and breakfast.
  • Consult my 1000 Things to Do in London book to plan out my day.
  • Visit the local produce market stalls down the street for an assortment of one pounds bowls of fruits and vegetables.
  • Accomplish Part 1 on the To Do in London List
  • Eat lunch at a food market (option 1: three moroccan curries and couscous; option 2: seafood and chorizo paella; option 3: freshly melted emmental cheese on boiled potatoes)
  • Accomplish Part 2 on the To Do In London List
  • End the day with cooking a recipe from my Jamie Oliver cookbook and relaxing with the flat mate or meet up with fellow Classroom Canada teachers at a pub.
6. What is the one piece of advice you can offer a Canadian teacher considering the move to London?
Make Goals. Plan to accomplish at least 1-2 things each week. Don't let yourself fall into feeling like you're not taking advantage of living in this great city. Believe me, it can and will happen!
7. Describe the funniest thing that’s happened to you in your year so far:
Refer to the next Q & A...
8. Describe the worst thing:
Having a pupil's saliva flicked from five feet away landing in my mouth. How do you Purell that?
You just have to laugh when things like that happen.
9. What made you stay with Classroom Canada, rather than any other agency?
I felt comfortable letting Classroom know if I was concerned about the amount of work I was getting and they were very receptive to me being so honest. The staff genuinely care for their employees' best interests. The consultants are dedicated to following up with requests, inquiries, concerns and even just to ask how your first day went at a new school.
10. What qualities do you have that make your stay in London more enjoyable?
Knack for discovery (with the help of my 1000 Things to Do in London book). I'm a child in a new playground, but instead of hours of self-directed entertainment, I have months!
Thanks for sharing Maggie.  Good luck finding a Purell product that will clean a student's saliva from your mouth.

On another note, I am booking interviews with Canadian and American teachers & teaching assistants for jobs that start in April/May 2010 (only a couple of spots left!) and September/October 2010.  Apply now to see if you qualify for an interview.

More Resources About Teaching in London, England:
Classroom Canada website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians
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Canadians & Americans in the UK blog

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