Monday, March 7, 2011

Coffee Time with Classroom Canada - Dunja from Windsor

Name: Dunja Bejtic
University: University of Windsor
Subjects: All
Ages You Teach: Primary/Junior

How long have you been teaching in London?
I have been teaching in London for 4 months.
What do you teach?
I teach in a Nursery classroom.
Why did you choose to work with Classroom Canada?
I heard about Classroom Canada from a friend and decided to apply and send my CV. I immediately heard from their recruiter and the ball was rolling. Their recruiters were extremely nice to chat with and ALWAYS there to answer questions or inquiries that I had via email or phone call. This agency also provides applications for accommodation and a bank account making the transition overseas easier.
What was the biggest adjustment for you to make in your teaching in London compared to Canada?
I had never used a Smart Board before moving to England. Technology scares me most of the time but I have learned that all it takes is familiarity and practise.
Describe a typical London day in 3-4 sentences.
I wake up at 6:30 and I am out of my room by 7:20. I take the tube as well as the overground train and I usually arrive to the school by 8:05. The children come in at 9:00 and leave at 3:30. I leave the school anywhere between 4:30-5:45 depending on the amount of work I have to do. In the evenings I enjoy having tea and dinners with my friends, shopping, watching movies, and reading.
What is the one piece of advice you can offer a Canadian teacher considering the move to London?
JUST DO IT! What have you got to lose? I have met amazing new friends, and traveled to three different countries in such a short amount of time. This experience has been unbelievable and the memories will last a lifetime. I have been given an incredible opportunity to do what I love in one of the most amazing cities in the world. Not much to complain about!

Describe the funniest thing that's happened to you in your year so far:
I can't think of anything specific, however, my TA will often laugh or make fun of the way I speak and the children will give me strange looks as I tell them to put their lovely artwork in the bin. After four months I still struggle with that word.
Describe the worst thing:
I wouldn't say this is the worst thing but definitely challenging. English is an additional language to many of my students and their parents so it is often hard to communicate with them. Providing a welcoming, safe, exciting, yet motivating environment is all you can do at the beginning and hope that their transition is as smooth as possible from that moment on.
What made you stay with Classroom Canada, rather than any other agency?
Classroom Canada has had me working full-time since the moment I arrived to London. I started out with a month and a half long position in one Nursery classroom and followed right into my second Nursery position which is still ongoing. The Classroom team is extremely friendly, and very easy to talk to.
What qualities do you have that make your teaching in London enjoyable?
I like to think that I am flexible and that I have a positive attitude along with a great sense of humour. You have to be able to laugh at yourself or you won't get too far.
Thanks Dunja!

We're currently interviews teachers who would like to work in London starting in September/October 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
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Canadians & Americans in the UK blog

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Thanks for sharing your two pence!


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