Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Coffee Time with Classroom Canada - Kristen from Nipissing

Name: Kristen Rossetti

University: Nipissing University

Subjects: A little bit of everything!

Ages You Teach: Right now I have students from year 2 to year 11

How long have you been teaching in London?
I've been teaching since October 2010 - a little over six months.
What do you teach?
Originally I trained to teach secondary English and History. Since moving here though I have definitely enjoyed branching out! Right now I am in a long-term position at a pupil referral unit in East London. I work with 8 different really great students who aren’t able to attend mainstream school for medical or behavioural reasons, helping them get caught up in maths, english and science. I also spend one day a week teaching at the local hospital in the borough.
Why did you choose to work with Classroom Canada?
When I was looking into moving to London some of the other agencies felt very impersonal. They seemed to be selling all the benefits of their particular agency more than the benefits of teaching in London. With Classroom, I never felt that way. I had to show them why I would be a good asset to the Classroom team, a sure sign that I would be working with a company that had a reputation for good teachers.
What was the biggest adjustment for you to make in your teaching in London compared to Canada?
I know that the first instinct for a lot of people might be to say the students--but for me it really hasn’t been. Kids are kids no matter where you find them. Sure, they have different sets of obstacles and issues that they may be dealing with, which definitely influences their behaviour at times, but usually it’s just a case of recognizing that and working with them to find a common ground.
Describe a typical London day in 3-4 sentences.
Every weekday I get up around 6.30 before traveling about 45 minutes to work in East London. My job requires that I do a lot of home visits in order to see my students, two in the morning, and one in the afternoon. I get home about half past four and usually do about an hour or so of planning and marking before....well, all sorts of things! Lately the warm weather has meant visits to the park, practicing ukulele and a pint on a patio with friends.
What is the one piece of advice you can offer a Canadian teacher considering the move to London?
Do it! Moving to a new city and saying goodbyes to friends and family can be terrifying--but so worth it! Teaching in London is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that you won’t ever forget, or regret!
Describe the funniest thing that's happened to you in your year so far:

Teaching wise, it’s definitely a good laugh when my students ask about or try and copy my accent. Because of the huge influence of American television, being a teacher from North America is usually a good way to get their attention from the very beginning, which can definitely be helpful for classroom management! I get a lot of the usual questions--"do you know Justin Bieber?" and "my Granny lives in Canada, do you know her?" but probably one of the funniest things I’ve been told by a student is “Miss, you are just like Beyonce!”
Describe the worst thing:

I thought for a long time about this question...and am really happy to say that I couldn’t think of anything! Don’t get me wrong--I definitely have had some days where everything has seemed to go poorly--from my alarm not going off, to a classroom of students who all seem to be misbehaving. But I’ve had so many other wonderful experiences both inside the classroom and out that all of those other things haven’t even been significant enough to really remember.
What made you stay with Classroom Canada, rather than any other agency?

Classroom has always been there for me--right from my very first meeting with Victoria to now. Thanks to Classroom I have a place to live, a great network of other Canadian teachers and a long-term position in a job that I absolutely love. I also really appreciate that even though I have a long-term position, representatives from Classroom still make sure to call every now and then and make sure that I am still happy and enjoying it--which I am!
What qualities do you have that make your teaching in London enjoyable?
Being relaxed and flexible are definitely the two qualities I have that have really helped me in London. I tend not to take myself, or little things, too seriously. If you worry about every little detail it’s really hard to just stop and enjoy the moment--and teaching in London has given me so many wonderful moments! I would hate to have missed out on having a laugh with my students or learning more about them just because I was worrying about something I couldn’t change anyway! For me, teaching to London and “going with the flow” have become synonymous. Every single day might be totally different than the last--which is only stressful if you let it be. I like to embrace the difference and I think because of that I have been able to find something to love, or learn from, in every day.
Thanks Kristen!

We're currently interviews teachers who would like to work in London starting in 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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