Name: Patrick Briscoe
I've been teaching since October 2010.What do you teach?
Coming out of teacher’s college, I was qualified to teach Politics and General Social Science. Before coming to London, I picked up a Family Studies AQ to help my job prospects. Since arriving in London, I have been doing day-to-day supply, teaching mainly Food Technology. However, as a daily supply cover, you can expect to teach a range of other subjects—Math, Science, English, etc—since not all schools can match your subject each period. I have also done some Primary cover (from Year 1 through 6), which is a nice way to mix things up, broaden your teaching experience, and make yourself more available for work. In the New Year, I am hoping to find something long-term.What is the one piece of advice you can offer a Canadian teacher considering the move to London?
Head across the pond open to new adventures and experiences. London has so much to offer and, from the UK, you are able to connect with the rest of the world so easily. Make the most of your time here and be willing to go out on a whim and try something new. One Saturday, my girlfriend and I went to a travel show and came home with an unexpected tour of Egypt that we bid on at an auction. These are the types of things you can easily do once over here. Finding work and expanding your skills as a teacher is an important part of the experience, but I would also recommend taking advantage of what the UK has to offer.Describe the funniest thing that's happened to you in your year so far:
I think the day-to-day sayings of the students are what make me chuckle the most. I frequently hear the questions: “Are you from Canadia?” “Are you related to Justin Bieber? How about Drake?” “Can you speak Canadian?” “Canadia isn’t part of America?” When they ask where in Canada I’m from and I say “London” they really start to get confused.Describe the worst thing:
The worst was a supply day for a year 3 class that had been without its teacher for over a week and had lost most of its structure. From a soccer ball being kicked around to one child trying to stand on a chair to turn off the projector while another ran out of the room to flush someone’s playing card down the toilet, this was one of those days you like to forget about!What made you stay with Classroom Canada, rather than any other agency?
Classroom is a personable agency. They actually care about you as a person and don't seem to herd teachers together for their own benefit like some of the other agencies do. We came to London with another agency, which quickly put their priorities first once we arrived in the country. After a couple weeks of very little work and poor communication, we decided to contact Classroom. We were promptly asked to come in for an interview, welcomed by the staff, given steady work, and felt like part of the Classroom "family." Since then, we have had great support for the staff and have been able to meet other Classroom teachers. The teaching experience is much better when you have an agency that you feel comfortable with and Classroom has done that for us.
What qualities do you have that make your teaching in London enjoyable?
I would say that adaptability is a key quality. Life moves at a fast pace in London and being flexible makes things much easier and also brings about opportunities that may not have come about otherwise. Enjoy your time here; you only live once!
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.