Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life's a Carnival: The Education Buzz #7 is up

This is not a blog carnival, but it is a carnival.
A blog carnival is a great place to check out bloggers' favourite posts with a group focus on one theme.  I often participate in the Education Carnival, which is now called the Education Buzz.  It's a monthly event, and I'm always so proud to be included amongst other amazing education bloggers.  Joanne Jacobs, Sarah Ebner, Mr Teacher, Carol Richtsmeier, Siobhan Curious...there are so many!

Check out Bellringers blog to see this month's carnival, and if you are a teacher blogger, or education blogger in general, then please submit your personal favourite post for next month. 

Please leave your comments and share the love!

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

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Classroom Canada's London Scavenger Hunt - November 4th 2010

Classroom Canada teachers from the 2008 Scavenger Hunt
Every year, we here at Classroom Canada, organize a social event for our Canadian & American teachers in London, England that's a bit different than the norm.  We start at the Maple Leaf Pub, the only Canadian pub in London, and have a quick drink before sending the teams out to look for the answers to clues in our Scavenger Hunt.  It's ridiculously fun and silly and a great way for our teachers from abroad to make new friends in London.  Last year, three of our teachers actually got full-time teaching jobs simply by chatting with one of our London consultants about their experiences.  Sometimes, a social environment is all a teacher needs to score their first teaching job in London.  But it's also just an all 'round good time.

I'm pleased to announce our sponsors & prizes for the 2010 Classroom Canada Scavenger Hunt.  Without them, we'd have really pathetic prizes to give out.

Prize #1: 250 GBP vouchers from TopDeck Travel  

Once again, the good folks at Topdeck are providing the most sought after prize, vouchers for their amazing tours in Europe and Africa.  They also give a 10% discount to our teachers in Classroom Canada and Classroom America.  Thanks Topdeck!  Be sure to follow them on twitter  and facebook to get deals and competitions.

Prize # 2: $75 off your next flight booked with Laura Buchan of Flight Centre Westshore

Our favourite travel agent is at it again!  One lucky prize winner will receive $75 off their next flight booked with Laura from Flight Centre in the Westshore. Thanks Laura! Not only do you manage to always find me the most amazing deals and free stopovers, but you continue to impress with our teachers flights as well.

Some of the 2009 Scavenger Hunt Winners

Prize #3: Teacher Tools from Conversation Works: Whats Gone Well Today Cards
"The What’s Gone Well Today ™ cards are designed to help people quickly connect and engage in deeper conversation. As there is often a disconnect between people in our communities, and organizations, there is distinct advantage to have people who can quickly connect with others. Folks in many organizations have difficulty in asking the right questions, the questions that develop and strengthen relationships so crucial to business, social enterprise and effective human resource management. WGWT offers powerful tools to help people connect and engage at multiple levels, for multiple purposes."

I've used these cards myself and think they're an excellent tool for new teachers in London.  They aren't just for teachers, but we can use them in our classrooms and at home.  Four decks of these cards (valued at $29.95 each) will be given out as prizes.



Prize #4: Lloyd's TSB Offshore Pens and Cross Pens
Our friends in the Vancouver office of Lloyd's TSB have once again given us 2 Cross Pens and various Lloyds pens as prizes.  The Cross Pens are very fancy writing tools, and as my new friend in Austin just said, "They're the kind of pens that you don't let anyone else use.  This is my pen.  I have a spare for you to use, that isn't mine."   What teacher doesn't need their very own Cross Pen?  Thanks Michael & Tony.  As always, you rock.
Bryn showing us how to be Canadian, eh?
Prize #5: Random Canadiana from Classroom Canada
I love collecting random Canadiana for our teachers in London.  This year, I'm bringing a beach towel that says "EH?" (love it), baseball caps, paper plates, napkins, some postcards from Texas (that's the random Americana for y'all since I'm in Austin Texas as I type this) and whatever else I find in my suitcase that I threw in there when I was packing.
Mike at the 2010 Scavenger Hunt
Prize #6: British Randomness
My colleague, Matt, and I went out last year at the very last minute and bought some weird British prizes and had a ridiculous time shopping for the hunt.  So, I imagine we will do it again this year.  Head on over to the photos from last year's hunt to see some of the prizes in action.
Grant showing off his prize, while still wet from the rainy 2010 Scavenger Hunt
Prize #7: Whatever Else I can Find
We're still looking for more prizes from companies that fit our theme - Canadians and Americans teaching in London.  So if you're reading this and know of a cool company that might want some online exposure, please send them my way!


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

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Love to Kibera - the power of teaching and poverty

I'm in Austin, Texas for the Austin Film Festival before my big trip to London, England to see our Canadian & American teachers. The other night I met a documentary director, Lee Rothenflue, who told a story that sent shivers up my arm.  As an educator who focuses on teaching kids from all the world, and a recruiter who selects teachers for jobs in inner city schools in London - this particular story touched me.

I know I can't do it justice here, but I will try to sum it up for 'y'all.'

A secondary school teacher in a poor, mostly black, Austin school noticed that her students needed a reality check on what they actually have compared to other kids around the world.  She wanted them to see kids living in slums, and their experiences so that her students could embrace their own educations & opportunities despite the setbacks presented to them in Austin.  So a video was made.  From Kibera slums to the kids in Austin - and their message was clear: love to Austin and please visit us.

When the teacher showed the video to her class, she was surprised by their response.  They wanted to accept the invitation and go to Kibera to meet the kids.

$30 000 of funds raised later, and a whole lot of planning and preparation brought the Texan kids to Kibera.

Here's a quick video to see the students discussing their upcoming journey.  Keep in mind that the kids at the school in Austin and the kids in Kibera have a Christian background, so you will notice a focus on Jesus Christ, which for us in Canadian public education is uncomfortable.  We don't tend to touch religion like they do here in Texas, so ... just a heads up for those who might not be accustomed to the Christ focus.  The school in Austin is a public school, but this is Texas, so Christianity is the norm folks.



While there, the Texans learned about laughter and love and a documentary was made.  I'm excited to see it complete.

What do you think?  Would you take your students to a slum?  What do you think they'd learn?

Here is the website for Love to Kibera. Go check it out!  Spread the word. Share the love.

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

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Videos Recommended by a Canadian teacher on her way to London, England


I love it when our teachers send me emails with interesting videos or blogs for others teachers to check out. So when "M" sent me the email below I asked her if I could share it with you all here.  She agreed.  Thanks M!

Hi Victoria,


Hope things are well. I am doing good, slowly preparing. I got my visa and will submit all the documents for the bank account this week. I also have to tell my current boss about my decision very soon.

I found these videos, I am not sure if you ever saw them. But I wanted to share them with you. You can put them on your blog! I think teachers would be interested to hear these.

The first video is a presentation by Dan Meyer (a math teacher) - "Math class needs a makeover"

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/dan_meyer_math_curriculum_makeover.html

The second is a presentation by Ken Robinson on how in his opinion schools kill creativity.

http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html


P.S.Congratulations on the honorable mention (from Writer's Digest) for your book! It's awesome, easy to read and to the point, I found a lot of answers to my questions in it. Thanks for writing it!

Best wishes and I will be in touch soon again,
M...
I've taken out her name as she hasn't told her boss that she's leaving to teach in London, England so I figured she didn't want them to find out here.

I have seen the second video before and enjoyed it, but I'm about to watch the first video now.  Thanks for sharing!

Keep those emails & comments coming folks.  They are why we do what we do.

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

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Wear Purple on October 20th and Twitter

I noticed that the Wear Purple on October 20th campaign didn't have a Twitter hashtag so I've started to use #Oct20WearPurple.

If you tweet, please tweet this:

#Oct20WearPurple - please RT often! http://on.fb.me/bHtvc1 Help teens know that #ItGetsBetter http://on.ted.com/8dxb


It's so exciting to see how many people are participating in this event.  If you don't know what on earth I'm talking about, please click the links.
 
Teachers, this is your call to action to help teenagers know that you're there if they need to talk. 

Teaching Jobs in London and Classroom Canada: University Job Fairs & Presentations for 2010/2011

I just received a comment from a reader who wants to know what universities we'll be visiting this academic year to meet new teachers & discuss our teaching jobs in London. 

So, here it is.  Thanks for asking & leaving your comments. We really appreciate it.

We'll be updating this list with more universities and locations across Canada and the USA as we go along.  If you want us to come to your university or city please leave a comment & let us know.  Also, this year we're doing things a bit differently and bringing teachers who have returned home after teaching with us in London.  They'll be our ambassadors, telling all the new teachers what it's really like to teach in London with Classroom Canada.  I'm so excited to see these teachers again as I travel the country.  They make my job so much more fun!

I've linked to Coffee Time Interviews with our Teachers who have graduated from the universities below where I can.  It's always a great idea to read about teachers who are working in London and graduated from your university.  Please do click on the links & read about their experiences in teaching and traveling.

Here goes:

Oct. 20th-29th 2010
Austin, Texas
Interviews with American teachers who want to work in London, England.

Oct. 29th-30th
Chicago, Illinois
Interviews with American teachers who want to work in London, England.


Oct 31st-Nov 8th
London, England
This is our Professional Development & Socials Week for our new arrivals in London, England. 

Nov 15th & 17th
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
University of Victoria
Workshops: Resume & Cover Letter Writing for Overseas Teacher Jobs,
What's it Really Like to Teach in London, England? 
4 workshops spread throughout primary & secondary teacher classes.  If you go to UVic come & find us to discuss your job prospects!

December 1st
Vancouver, BC, Canada
SFU
Teacher Job Fair & Interviews with new teachers who want to work in London, England.

December 17th
Toronto, ON, Canada
OISE Teacher Career Fair
Interviews on December 18th.

January 7th, 2011
St Catharines, ON, Canada
Brock University
Teacher Career Fair, Presentation & Interviews

January 11th 2011
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Queen's University (my alma mater!)
Teacher Career Fair, Presentation & Interviews (likely will do the interviews on January 12th)

January 13th, 2011
Toronto, ON, Canada
York University
Teacher Career Fair, Interviews will be same day

January 14th, 2011
London, ON, Canada
Western University
Teacher Career Fair

January 15th 2011
Peterborough, ON, Canada
Trent University
Teacher Career Fair

January 17th, 2011
Edmonton, Alberta
University of Alberta
Teacher Career Fair

January 19th
Lethbridge, Alberta
Lethbridge University
Teacher Career Fair

January 21st
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Lakehead University
Teacher Career Fair

January 21st
Vancouver, BC, Canada
UBC
Teacher Career Fair

January 25th
Fredericton, New Brunswick
UNB
Teacher Career Fair

January 28th
North Bay, ON
Nipissing
Teacher Career Fair

February 7th, 2011
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
McGill
Teacher Career Fair

February 8th, 2011
Montreal, Quebec Canada
Interviews with teachers who want to teach in London, England

February 9th, 2011
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Concordia
Teacher Career Fair

Do you want us to come to your university or city and don't see it above?  Please let us know by leaving your comment below.  That's how we decide where to go!

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

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Wear Purple on October 20th & Some News

Wow.  What a day!

First off, welcome to all the new readers to this blog that have found us through the "Wear Purple on Oct. 20th" campaign.  It was started on facebook by a high school student who wanted to do something to help other teens to know that it gets better.  Samantha saw that 6 students commited suicide in the last few months as a result of bullying (because they came out as gay, or were perceived as gay by their "peers") and so she put up an event on facebook for her friends to wear purple on Oct 20th.  Purple represents "Spirit" in the pride flag, so it seemed fitting that supporters would wear purple. 

Well, almost 100 000 have RSVP'ed since that first day when Samantha thought just a few kids at her school would sign up.  Such is the power of one.

If you tweet, please copy & paste the words below and tweet them often:
#Oct20WearPurple - please RT often! http://on.fb.me/bHtvc1 Help teens know that #ItGetsBetter

Last week, I saw the event, RSVP'ed and put up a quick blog post about it.  I had no idea I'd see my blog stats jump 1000% as a result.  Wowsers!  There are a whole lotta people swinging by this little blog & it sure is exciting.
 
As teachers, I think wearing purple on October 20th is the very least we can do in our schools.  It's simple & effective. I'm proud of the teachers that have signed up & will be wearing purple to help their students see that if they need someone to talk to, we're here.  Send in your pictures if you want me to post them here. I'll probably put something up next week after the event.
 
So, check out the facebook page and RSVP and be sure to retweet the above.
 
Also, for NEWS - I have some exciting news to share with you all here.  I just received this email from Writer's Digest:
One of my most enjoyable tasks as editor of Writer’s Digest is passing along good news to writers.

This is one of those fun occasions. It is my pleasure to tell you that your book, Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians in the Reference Books category, has been chosen to receive an Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest 18th Annual International Self-Published Book Awards. Your book will be promoted in the March/April 2011 issue of Writer’s Digest. In addition, you will receive a Notable Award Certificate and $50 worth of Writer’s Digest Books. Your award package will be sent out towards the end of the year.
Score! Thanks Writers Digest. You made my day! 

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
 
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Life's a Carnival: The Education Buzz #6 - Hallowe'en Edition


The Latest Education Carnival is now up over at Bellringers' Blog.  An Education Carnival is "an eclectic smattering of things buzzing about in the EduSphere" and includes some of my favourite bloggers.  If you're a blogger and an educator or education-enthusiast, you can submit your favourite posts to the Carnival here. 

Go check it out & read the other fabulous teacher & education blogs out there.  Don't forget to check the guidelines first before you submit.

I'm off to grab a latte, curl up with a blanket and read all the amazing blog posts over at the Carnival. Hope to see you there in the comments.

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 

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Death of a Blogger: Goodbye to Snuffy, of 'To Miss with Love'

If you've been following this blog for a few years, you will know that I often write about other great education bloggers out there, particularly those that write about teaching in London schools.  One of my favourites, was To Miss with Love, written by an anonymous teacher who went by the name of "Snuffy."  Here's her self-description:

I teach in a state school in inner-city London. I'm black. I want to change the world - one kid - one school - one policy at a time. Nowadays, I'm one of the ones at the top of the school who runs things. Let's see if I can make a difference...
Last week, I received her last blog post on my reader, which basically said "Goodbye blog world" - Snuffy would be writing no longer.  I've been blogging for about 6 years now so I'm well used to the "death of a blogger" syndrome.  It's always a sad day when a blogger I've been reading for years decides to call it quits.

In Snuffy's case, I wasn't surprised.  She often wrote about how she was concerned about being caught out for blogging about the issues in education in London, and how difficult it was to speak her mind without getting in trouble as a teacher and eventually as a Senior Management member of her school.  I've often wondered if I ever taught along with Snuffy in any of our London schools.  Her "voice" seemed so familiar to me.  But maybe it's just that what she wrote about really hit home for me. I taught in many schools in London, but the schools I remember most had the same issues that Snuffy wrote about so often.

Well, today Joanne Jacobs posted the most recent story about Snuffy, whose name we now know.  It turns out that Snuffy got in trouble speaking her opinions on British education again, this time using her real name & voice.  She even had to take 2 days off school for it.

Here's my favourite Snuffy quote from Joanne Jacobs blog: “This idea that because you are poor you cannot achieve is ridiculous.”

I'm so pleased to see that Snuffy's voice has not been silenced.  While she often says things that cause people to squirm in their seats, at least she says them.   So, goodbye to Snuffy the blogger, and hello to Katharine Birbalsingh the teacher who speaks her mind.

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 

Like this blog? Be sure to flick "follow" on the right hand side so you're the first to get our blog posts.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wear Purple on October 20, 2010 to Commemorate the Suicides Caused by Homophobia


I've been writing quite a bit lately about homophobia in schools and what teachers can do about it.  I don't intend this to be a political blog by any means, but when it comes to teenagers, and the issues they face, I feel I have a place here to help other teachers around the world to know just a little bit more, and hope that in their knowing, they do just a little bit more.

So, here's something pro-active that teachers can do on October 20, 2010.  Wear purple.  Wear purple socks, or a purple tie, or a purple shirt, or a purple pin.  Whatever you do, on October 20th, wear some purple to show that you care about LGBT youth (and no, wearing purple does not mean that you are gay).  This is a movement started on facebook, and by simply RSVP'ing, you're helping one more teenager see that it's okay.  They're going to be okay.

Here's the event. Please participate. I'll post pictures if any of you send them in.  I love these kinds of events because they're subtle, effective and fun. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Teachers are Reflective: What's Gone Well Today? What Made You Smile?



Following on from my conversations with Christopher of Conversation Works, I asked our teachers on facebook the question, "What's Gone Well Today?"  The idea behind asking this simple question is to help people to notice all the amazing things that happen in a day instead of focusing on the few negatives.  Christopher has also started the "What's Gone Well Today at School?" page for teachers to comment and share.  Please do go check it out & share your thoughts.

Here are some of the answers that our teachers gave to my facebook question yesterday:


Krystal: I was teaching grade 12 French today here in Winnipeg for a class I sub for pretty regularly and one of the boys said "Crikey Ms. K!! You're jumping the pond?? You know they don't speak French there right??" I just laughed..."uh Brad, you know I speak English too, right??"
Ilona: teaching Nursery today and having little little ones mesmerized by singing Wheels on the Bus and doing actions-they're really little here, younger than JK back home. So cute.
Bryn: I work in Nursery too, Ilona. They're lovely, aren't they?? I work 1:1 (well actually 2:1) with a child with severe Autism in the afternoons, and he fell asleep as soon as we went into the sensory room (right when he arrived), and kept on sleeping...ALL afternoon. So adorable. 
Lots of things went well today. I have really good people around me.
Taylor: So many things today it was glorious!! - children talking in my accent - a child with tactile defensivness and anxiety climb up then slide down - another held on tight while riding on the back platform of the bike I was on ! A very anxiouis child go on the spinner on his own!! And then..saw a beautiful sunset while leaving school...
Erika: I went to a fitness class at the gym for the first time and I didn't throw up. Hurray.
Rebecca: Having the incredible honour and priviledge to coach a very dedicated and talented group of grade 6/7 girls volleyball. God I love my job.
What about you?  What's Gone Well Today for you, dear reader?  Please share below.


Christopher was also very generous and gave us 4 packs of his new shift-your-thinking cards to some of our winners of the upcoming London Scavenger Hunt.  The Scavenger Hunt is an annual event where our new teachers wander the streets of London looking for the answers to questions we pose, all along the journey of making new friends with other Canadian & American teachers in London. It's silly, it's fun and I love it.  We give out lots of prizes from organizations & businesses that fit in with what we do and so I'm pleased to give the What's Gone Well Today Cards to 4 lucky winners this year.

So you've read this far.  Now what?  Well, answer the question silly! What's Gone Well for YOU Today?



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 

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Coffee Time with Classroom Canada - Trisha from Toronto

Name: Trisha Geronimo
University: York University
Subjects: Primary/Junior (K-6)
Ages You Teach: KS2 (Key Stage 2, grades 4-6)

How long have you been teaching in London?
I've been teaching since January 2010.
What do you teach?
I teach Year 4 (ages 8-9) at a junior school in North London. With the exception of P.E., Geography, History, Spanish and Music, I teach all the subjects.
Why did you choose to work with Classroom Canada?
I stumbled across Classroom Canada on Facebook and truthfully, it was Victoria's blog that initially got my attention. It was very informative and I liked that she had prior experience teaching in London. Victoria was very personable and extremely helpful and she responded to my concerns really quickly.
What was the biggest adjustment for you to make in your teaching in London compared to Canada?
Using Interactive Whiteboards for most of my lessons (I never used one before) and dealing with behaviour management.
Describe a typical London day in 3-4 sentences.
During the weekdays, I get up at 6:00 and leave my flat just after 7:00. I arrive at school between 7:45 - 8:00 and school starts at 8:50. I prefer to arrive pretty early in the morning and get my work done so I can leave soon after the children are dismissed. Since I'm usually knackered by the end of the day, I unwind by watching television or reading a good book. I reserve the weekends for day trips throughout England and sightseeing in the city.
What is the one piece of advice you can offer a Canadian teacher considering the move to London?
Go for it! A year before my arrival, I kept toying with the idea, "Should I? Shouldn't I?" because the thought of leaving all the comforts of home frightened me. I realized that coming to London would be an amazing opportunity for personal and professional growth and I don't regret my decision one bit. I was homesick at first but I quickly connected with other Canadian (and American) teachers who were going through the same thing as me. Despite having only taught in the UK for several months, I know I'll never forget this experience.

Also, like anything new, it will take time to adjust to the curriculum, the children and how to do assessments. You'll have good and bad days, but who doesn't?
Describe the funniest thing that's happened to you in your year so far:
During my first week of teaching, the students asked me where to put their homework folders. I pointed to the large plastic container that you'd typically find at a dollar store back in Canada and said, "Put them in the bin." To that, the children replied, "What?! You want us to put our homework in the bin?!" I quickly learned not to make that mistake again.
Describe the worst thing:
Having arrived in London less than a week before my long-term position was to begin, I hardly had any time to adjust to living in a new country. The first Monday after the Christmas holiday was an INSET day at the school and I was "thrown" into it all. It was incredibly overwhelming at first but it's gotten easier with time.
The worst thing was the feeling that I've lost control of my class (in my case, due to excessive chattiness!) despite all my best efforts and tried, tested and true behaviour management techniques that worked brilliantly back in my Canadian classroom. You'll have good and bad days but consistency is key.
What made you stay with Classroom Canada, rather than any other agency?
Victoria helped to make my transition to the UK as smooth as possible by answering my questions and getting me in touch with other teachers who've already made the move and who were arriving at the same time as me.
What qualities do you have that make your teaching in London enjoyable?
Patience, understanding, a sense of humour and a love for exploring the beautiful places around me.
Thanks Trisha! 
We're currently interviews teachers who would like to work in London starting in January 2011.  To apply, please submit your resume & cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada DOT com.

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

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chris Colfer from Glee on the Trevor Project - Teachers Please Help Spread the Word



Please also read this post on homophobia & teens, what we as teachers can do about it, with a couple of great videos with Ellen & Wanda Sykes.

Spread the word.  Even if all you do is re-post this on facebook.  Or twitter.  Or through discussions with your family, your friends, your class.  C'mon teachers - this is your call to action.

Happy World Teachers' Day 2010: Especially to our Amazing Canadian & American Teachers in London, England



Today, October 5th, is World Teachers' Day - a day meant to celebrate all those incredible teachers in our lives.  According to the World Teachers Day 2010 website:
On World Teachers’ Day 2010 hundreds of thousands of students, parents and activists around the world will pay homage to all teachers who have been directly or indirectly affected by a major crisis.

Be it a humanitarian crisis, such as the earthquake in Haiti and China, or the global economic crisis that has devastated many developed economies over the past year, the role of teachers and other education personnel is vital to social, economic and intellectual rebuilding.

All those who are fighting to provide quality education to children of the world can join teachers and their representative organisations to celebrate the profession and show them their support!
While our teachers aren't really working in humanitarian crisis zones, they are certainly working to provide quality education from all around the world in London, England.  Our schools are incredibly diverse, and are mostly in inner city locations.

You can participate in World Teachers' Day by:
  • adding your teacher & school photos to the WTD 2010 flickr stream. At least go check it out - it's pretty cool to see all these teachers around the world.
  • send an e-card to your favourite teacher(s) in English, Francais, Espanol or Deutsch! How cool is that?
  •  download the posters for your classroom
  • tag your tweets with #wtd2010 to have them appear on their website.
  • tell everyone you know on facebook, twitter, through email, snail mail or by the old school telephone.
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

Like this blog? Be sure to flick "follow" on the right hand side so you're the first to get our blog posts.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Homophobia & What Teachers Can Do About It



*My apologies that the video cuts off most of Ellen here! Click on it & you will go to the real clip on youtube. It's a blogger issue...
Ellen's message is being spread around facebook amongst our teachers today.  It makes me proud & grateful to know that others feel the same way as I do - that more of us need to take active, vocal positions to help teenagers & youth deal with homophobia and bullying.

Just last night one my facebook friends, who is a teenage boy and a distant family member, wrote the status update "I'm a &&^%$ing faggit"  after last week writing, "I am gay."  From the comments he received, I gather someone went into his facebook account to change his status as a joke.  It seems they think it's funny.  He's a popular kid, and told his friend off on the status, but it's obviously a banter they have going back & forth.  As if being gay was a bad thing. 

This really disturbs me.

Facebook is just one of the many places online where teenagers go to joke, poke fun, and put each other down. I wholeheartedly agree with the clip by Wanda Sykes below.



I'm in an awkward position.  Do I say something?  I don't know this kid very well, but I do really like him. He's 15.  Remember being 15? 

What would you do?  If you're a teacher, or a friend, or a family member (or all of these things as I am) - what would you do?

Resources for Teaching in London

Classroom Canada website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
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Friday, October 1, 2010

Food Canadians Miss Most While Teaching in London, England



Yesterday, I was contacted by a journalist with cnn.com about poutine and a blog post I had written on my 2nd blog for Canadians & Americans in the UK.  It was the funniest thing.  The journalist, Grace Wong, is doing a piece on why Canadians abroad miss poutine so much, and what makes it so "Canadian."

As a transplanted Ottawan, I know my poutine well.  And while teaching in London for three years, I got to know where I could find my poutine fix, which was usually at the Maple Leaf Pub in Covent Garden, the only Canadian pub in England.  They don't serve proper poutine though - they use shredded cheddar cheese, not cheese curds.  Trying to explain the difference to an American reporter who lives in London was ridiculously funny.  She called it an "intriguing dish" and I giggled.  I mean, we are talking about poutine here.

(For our non-Canadian readers who still don't know what I'm talking about, here's a good blog post about the Toronto Poutine Scene.)

All of this brought me to wonder,

What food do Canadians miss most while teaching in London, England?


For me it was poutine and PC White Cheddar Organic Mac & Cheese.  I hardly ever eat this kind of "food" by the way, but for some reason, while living abroad I missed those two dishes the most.

What about you?  What Canadian food do you miss while abroad?  Or, if you're not abroad, what do you think you would miss most?

Resources for Teaching in London 

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

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