Thursday, March 3, 2011

What makes Classroom Canada unique? We offer competitive wages and lots of holidays!




OK, so offering competitive wages doesn’t necessarily make us unique – all agencies offer competitive wages and all schools generally offer the same holiday schedule. But almost all teachers we interview ask us “how much money can I make as a teacher abroad?” so I felt the question needed to be addressed in this, the final day of the “unique” series.

For teaching jobs in England, many applicants particularly worry about the cost of living and if they will earn enough to survive living there. We completely understand. We've answered this question a thousand times and will likely answer it a thousand more and it is a legitimate concern. Before I go on, however, here are some past blog posts I recommend:


So to answer the question: Yes, you'll earn decent money. Yes, you may be able to pay off some debt (especially if our Canadian dollar gets weak again!) and yes, you'll travel heaps.

The most important thing for you to remember is that when you are in London you must stop converting prices to Canadian dollars. You will be living in London and one latte will cost 4 pounds. In Canada, it costs 4 dollars. Now that you are getting paid in pounds, the prices are the same. See how easy that is?

If money is your goal, you may want to reconsider London as your destination and instead go to Asia and teach ESL. But if gaining invaluable teaching experience in inner city schools and amazing life experiences being in an exciting, thriving, culturally-rich city such as London, then Classroom Canada is your agency.

Typically our teachers start out working supply for 2-3 months, getting 3-5 days per week. We have found this to be a good work scheme as it allows you to get experience in a wide variety of schools and settings before you end up in a long-term position. It also helps you to be a bit choosy about the kinds of long-term positions you might accept.

To work with Classroom Canada and get called for teaching jobs, you have to be a good teacher, in inner city schools, in London. How do you do that? Read our book, follow our advice, get along with everyone and don’t do anything stupid. After a year, you should have schools calling for you.

So now enough about work, because that’s not the only reason you are going to London, right? You also go for the 13 weeks of holidays that are spread throughout the year!
The school holidays are different for each borough, but they all follow a general pattern. Here's how we break it down for our teachers:


Sept. 1st - mid October = Autumn 1st Half Term
mid-October = 1 week break, called "Half term break"
mid-October - December 22nd (ish) = Autumn 2nd Half Term
December 22nd(ish) - January 5th (ish) = Winter holidays for 2 weeks

January 5th (ish) - mid-February = Winter 1st Half Term
mid-February = 1 week break, again "Half term break"
mid-February to April (Easter) = Winter 2nd Half Term
Easter Break = 2 weeks

May - mid-June = Spring 1st Half Term
mid-June = 1 week break, another "Half Term Break"
mid-June - July 22nd (ish) = Spring 2nd Half Term
July 22nd (ish) to Sept. 1st (ish) = Summer holidays for 6 weeks

Your school will give you specific dates, but this is a good guide to follow. Some schools and LEA's (Local Education Authority) will arrange their school holidays around Muslim holidays depending on the size of the Muslim population.

There are always 195 teaching days in the year. If you expect to make 115-125 pounds/day (a good starting rate for a Canadian teacher with no UK experience), you just take that number and multiply it by 195. That will give you a salary of 22, 000 - 24 000 pounds (approximately). Keep in mind you will pay 22% in taxes in the UK but you will not be double-taxed in Canada.

So what to do on these holidays? Our teachers travel - to Italy, Germany, France, Scotland, Ireland, all throughout England, Portugal, Tunisia…you get the idea.

I hope you have enjoyed learning more about this fabulous agency that I work for and more importantly, I hope that you have been inspired to check out opportunities to teach in London with us.

We are currently recruiting for teaching positions beginning in April/May and September/October 2011 so please send us your resume if you feel that teaching in London, UK is for you: apply AT classroom Canada DOT com.

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