Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tackling Homophobia in Secondary Schools: Get Your Gleek On

I'm a Gleek.  I'll admit it.  And here's why.

I can't watch the above video without simultaneously having shivers run down my arms, tears down my cheeks and a huge, proud smile on my face.  THIS is what teaching is all about.  The really tough moments.  The moments when kids need us as adults to help them stand up for what is right & wrong.  Discrimination is discrimination my friends, whether it's homophobia or racism or sexism or ...   name your ism.

I love the writers of Glee and every single person that has helped make this scene reach mainstream television.  Thank you. 

Watch the video before it gets taken down.  Or find Glee's episode from last night for this scene alone, even if you don't care for teenagers singing and dancing (and I'm sorry, but what?  How can anyone not love singing and dancing teenagers?!).

That's my  two pence anyway. 

Now, back to writing a blog post for Sarah Ebner over at SchoolGate. I'm petrified and overwhelmed.  And completely scared to answer her question "What are the differences between teaching in England and Canada?"  It should be an easy one for me to answer, but somehow knowing that thousands of people read her blog leaves me staring at a blank screen for the past 2 months.  Sorry Sarah - I promise I'll get it done soon!  Is this blogger stage fright?  Anyone have any ideas on how to start?  Please do share below.

Resources for Teaching in London
Classroom Canada website

Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
Sign up for our newsletters
Canadians & Americans in the UK blog

Monday, May 24, 2010

London in Summer - What Every Teacher Wants

There's a heat wave in London right now, and I haven't seen so many of our teachers blogging about the climate since the Iceland Volcano erupted.

Here are some of my personal faves this week:

Teaching in London - Trish talks about her journey to Hamstead Heath.  Be sure the read the next post about the British terms she now uses every day - good clean fun.

Get an Eyepatch, Man - Amie shares photos from her day in the sun with a bottle of vino.  I always love how Canadians turn European so quickly when it comes to picnics with wine outdoors, which is unacceptable in Canada but perfectly normal in Europe.

City of London - a new Canadian teacher in London who hails all the way from Newfoundland.  This blogger shares her pictures of Regents Park (just down the street from our accommodations) and stories of what a supply teacher does when she doesn't get called in for work.

Just Take Me Where I've Never Been Before - Erika shares photos of Hampton Court Palace and tells of her farmers tan & adventures in sunburning in London's heat wave.  I enjoyed her description of the "stink-hot tube," which is the London subway system that could learn a thing or two from Toronto's climate controlled underground.

If you want to see more of our teachers blogs just check out the right hand side of this blog & scroll down to "Our Teachers Blogs".  I try to link to all of them when I can, so please do visit them & leave comments so they know you've popped by. Bloggers always love to read comments from their readers, myself included.

Resources for Teaching in London, England

Classroom Canada website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
Sign up for our newsletters
Canadians & Americans in the UK blog

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Can Do Anything Good: "I like" vs "I hate" & Teaching in the UK

Ever notice that the words, "I hate..." just sound so awful coming out of a child's mouth?  My niece, Sophie, is seven years old and sometimes she'll say how much she hates something and it's usually very trivial, like "I hate brushing my hair." 

It drives me batty.  I always remind her that hate is a very strong word and then she'll edit herself and say "Okay, fine. Well I don't like it anyway." 

While teaching in the UK, you will hear worse things than "I hate brushing my hair."  And if you're like me, you will look for a positive spin.  A positive classroom is a happy place to be.

So when I saw the video of Jessica proclaiming her love for everything in her world, I just had to share with you here. If only all of our students could feel such an outpouring of love for what they have, even when what they have is so little.  Check it out!

Resources for Teaching in London, England

Classroom Canada website
Guide to Teaching in London ebook
Sign up for our newsletters
Canadians & Americans in the UK blog

Monday, May 17, 2010

Seth Godin on standing out | Video on

Seth Godin on standing out Video on

I'm off to Vancouver to meet with our former teachers & to conduct a few interviews with teachers who are hoping to work with Classroom Canada in London, England. But before I go, I thought I'd leave you with a TED video with Seth Godin, the marketing God that I follow for my own work with marketing and teaching in the UK. Love him. Love his work. He changed everything I do with recruiting teachers for the UK (and really, he's the reason I stopped advertising and instead look to our teachers to tell it like it really is - see the interviews with our teachers on the right hand side of this page to see what I'm talking about). Thanks Seth!

I hope you enjoy it as well.

Resources for Teaching in London, England
Classroom Canada website
Guide to Teaching in London ebook
Sign up for our newsletters
Canadians & Americans in the UK blog

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Interviews for Teaching Jobs in London, England with Classroom Canada - in Vancouver May 17 & 18th

I'm in Vancouver this upcoming Monday & Tuesday to conduct interviews with teachers who are interested in teaching in London, England in September/October 2010 and January/February 2011.

Intreviews will be booked over the next few days so please help spread the word to your teacher friends & colleagues and apply as soon as possible.

To apply, simply send your CV & cover letter to apply at classroom canada dot com and see our website for more information & details.

Festival of Education: Come & Discuss Issues Related to UK Education

Sarah Ebner just informed us of this amazing event coming up on July 3rd and 4th, 2010, just outside of London, England.  She will be speaking at the event and as a fellow education blogger & enthusiast, I'd  love to hear her speak in person.

The Festival of Education is a 2 day event for educators, parents & students to discuss all things UK education-related.  Tickets are only 27 pounds and since the event is on a Saturday and Sunday, and it's just outside of London, I imagine that quite a few of the Classroom Canada and Classroom America teachers will be in attendance.

I will be in Seattle and Alaska on those dates, so can't make it myself, but hope to attend next year's event if they announce it far enough in advance.

Here's the write-up on their website:

Be part of the debate. Hear the latest thinking. See where education is heading.
The Sunday Times Festival of Education, in partnership with Wellington College, will be held in Berkshire on the weekend of 3rd and 4th July 2010. The Festival aims to make a significant contribution to the national debate about education, by inviting a wide range of experts to explore the key issues that face British education today and tomorrow.
As well as listening to panellists express thoughtful and expert opinions on aspects of primary, secondary and higher education, the Festival goer will also experience a range of informative and thought-provoking debates, workshops and entertainments.
This is the first venture of its kind where high profile speakers share information, argue policies and challenge opinions for the benefit of a public audience.
 How exciting! Do check out their website and try to attend if you are in London or thereabouts.

Resources for Teaching in London, England
Classroom Canada website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
Sign up for our newsletters
Canadians & Americans in the UK blog

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Cross-Canada Road Trip & Teacher Interviews for Jobs in London, England

I've purchased my first car and will be taking my road test in about a month so I can actually drive it on my own.  How excited am I?  Well, I'm planning the biggest road trip of my life!

Since I recruit teachers to work in London, England with Classroom Canada I've decided to combine conducting interviews with teachers in America & Canada as I travel across the country to eventually land in Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario.

Here's the plan as it stands so far:

American Teacher Recruitment for Jobs in London, England:
Interviews in person with teachers who have:
a) EU passports or
b) eligibility to apply for the Highly Skilled Migrant Visa.  For more information about visas and work permits to teach in England, please see this site.

Dates & Locations Planned so far:
July 1st-July 3rd, Seattle, Washington
August (date TBD), Chicago Illinois
August (date TBD), NYC, New York

Canadian Teacher Recruitment for Jobs in London, England
Interviews in person with teachers who have:
a) UK Ancestry visa eligibility
b) Youth Mobility Visa eligibility
c) EU passports
d) Highly Skilled Migrant Visa eligibility
For all of these visas, please see

Jobs will start in September/October 2010, and January/February 2011.

Dates/Locations Planned so far:
July 21-22nd, Vancouver BC
July 23rd Whistler
July 23-29th, at locations across Canada, depending on how organized I can be before I depart.  If you want me to visit your city, please let me know by applying right away &/or leaving a comment here.
Most likely: Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal.

I'll be spending 6 weeks spread out between Ottawa, Toronto, Niagara on the Lake, Montreal and Chicago, which means that I will be conducting interviews in person wherever and whenever possible.

If you don't live in any of the above areas, or want to get organized for teaching in London before the summer, then please apply by sending me your CV to apply at classroomcanada dot com. I interview regularly with skype and on the phone so please don't wait for an in-person interview to apply.

I will also be planning socials for our teachers in the major city centres, as we have plenty of teachers who are now back from London as well as teachers about to depart. It's always fun to meet everyone in person.  If you know of a British-themed pub in your city that would fit the Classroom Canada theme, please let me know.

Do you recommend any audio books that I should listen to as I drive my way across the country?  What would make your play list?  I think I'm most excited to listen to music & books as I drive! What would you listen to?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

PD Session & a Spring Social for our Teachers in London, England

We are pleased to offer 2 spectacular events:

Survival Guide to Teaching in London Workshop with Sophie Walker
May 20th 2010
6:00 - 8:00pm
296 Regent Street, in our London office
RSVP here.
Free for all Classroom Canada  teachers and teaching assistants in London, England.

Sophie's workshops are extremely popular and we're so pleased to have her back with our teachers again this Spring.  You can read more about Sophie Walker here.

You can see from the photo above that I couldn't get everyone squeezed into the board room last year.  Please RSVP so we can sort out the chairs before hand & offer a second workshop if we have too many participants. Thanks!

Classroom Ltd.'s Spring Social
May 27, 2010

To thank teachers & teaching assistants for all their hard work this year, Classroom is delighted to invite you to summer drinks at the Coach Makers of Marylebone from 6pm on Thursday May 27, 2010. 

Enjoy summer drinks & a light buffet.

Please RSVP directly to party at classroomteachers dot co dot uk.

Free for all teachers & teaching assistants working with Classroom Canada and Classroom Ltd in London, England.

And of course, I am starting to plan our PD sessions and socials for the new arrivals for September and October 2010.  The Classroom Canada London Scavenger Hunt is always a huge hit, and I'm already getting prizes together for the winning teams.  Check out last year's event here.

Resources for Teaching in London, England
Classroom Canada website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
Sign up for our newsletters
Canadians & Americans in the UK blog

Monday, May 3, 2010

Coffee Time with Classroom Canada - Esi from Toronto

Name: Esi Hayford

University: York University
Subjects: Math and Literacy
Ages You Teach: (ie KS1/KS2...) KS2, (grades 3-6)

1. How long have you been teaching in London?
I have been teaching in London since the beginning of November.

2. What do you teach?
I started out doing daily supply work but as of right now I am doing one to one with year six students that need extra support in either math or literacy.

3. Why did you chose to work with Classroom Canada?
I had heard very positive reviews about the agency. In addition to this, the fact that Victoria had started out working as an agency teacher was comforting because I knew I would be well taken care of by someone who would know what I would be going through inside the classroom.
4. What was the biggest adjustment for you to make in your teaching in London compared to Canada?
I think the fact that I had just come out of teacher’s college helped me to adjust better to teaching in another country because I was more flexible. I didn’t really have a set way or well defined teaching style so adapting to the system over here was a little easier.
5. Describe a typical London day in 3-4 sentences.
I drag myself out of bed at 6:30 and leave for work at 7:15. By midday after working with a few students, I’m reminded of why I love teaching. I usually get home around 4:30 and just relax. Pretty simple!
6. What is the one piece of advice you can offer a Canadian teacher considering the move to London?
Ask yourself if you are a flexible and easygoing person. If not reconsider teaching overseas. This experience has been amazing for me and I would not change it for the world but I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much if I came here with rigid expectations.
7. Describe the funniest thing that’s happened to you in your year so far:
I was working one on one with a student and I had begun to wonder if he was actually taking in any of the things that I was teaching him because he was so easily distracted. During a recent session he had to answer an addition question and he used all the math concepts that I had ever taught him(even the ones that had nothing to do with the question). His answer was completely wrong but just knowing that he had actually been listening came as a complete shock and I could not help but laugh.
8. Describe the worst thing:
At the beginning of one of my one to one programmes at a new school, I was introduced to the students in a way that implied that all the students that I worked with were dumb. Instead of taking the students aside to introduce myself, a member of staff at the school had the students stand up in front of their classmates so that I could identify them. As a result, the students’ self-esteem was lowered and I had to work extremely hard to show them that there was nothing wrong with getting extra support.
9. What made you stay with Classroom Canada, rather than any other agency?
There were times in the beginning when I felt a little worried about whether I was going to get enough work but in the end I realised that all I needed was to be more patient. From the receptionist, Eve, to the consultants, everyone was so friendly.
What qualities do you have that make your stay in London more enjoyable?
I think being flexible, easy going and open-minded are the main qualities that have helped me to enjoy myself in London.
Anything else to add?
Classroom management is an issue in many London classrooms BUT these children are just like children everywhere. Just like in Toronto, children react to teachers based on the way they are treated. When you walk into a classroom be strong AND compassionate.
Thanks so much Esi!  Any questions or comments from our readers? Please share your thoughts below.  To join our team of teachers & teaching assistants in London, just send your resume & cover letter to apply at classroomcanada dot com.

More Resources for Teaching in London, England

Classroom Canada website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
Sign up for our Newsletters
Canadians & Americans in the UK blog


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