Sunday, December 30, 2012

5 Classroom Canada Goals for 2013

This year I am going to hold myself accountable by actually writing down my goals for 2013. I've already written my personal goals (which involve more world travel for free by house sitting my way around the globe - see this post if you are curious how I do it). Now it's time to state my goals for Classroom Canada for 2013:

  1. Continue to focus on the quality of the teachers over the quantity.  I learned this lesson the painful way. Now I know just how important it is to work with the most amazing, inspiring & motivated teachers as opposed to focusing on sending over as many teachers as I can (which is the approach of many agencies). I remind myself of this focus on quality over quantity at the start of every term & so it's at the top of the list. It's hard to reject good teachers, but we need great teachers not just "good enough."
  2. Find these amazing, inspiring & motivated teachers wherever they are. More than half of our teachers come from word of mouth (which is awesome), but I'd like to reach other teachers that might not ever hear of us. I suspect they're on facebook so I'll put a bit of money into advertising on there. I tend to be someone that prefers to find great teachers through word of mouth but I also recognize that Canada is a large spread-out country so I should reach a bit further to find those bright sparks.
  3. Bring in another blogger to write more quality posts on teaching in London & around the world.  I can't believe I've written almost 600 posts on this blog!  It's time to bring in some fresh blood and some new perspectives on teaching in London.  Education & travel bloggers - this is for you!  Let's discuss and see if we're a good fit.  Ideally, I'd like 3 quality blog posts per week - but again, it's quality over quantity.  And I'd love for this blog to be updated in its appearance as well but have no idea how to go about that.  I've tried and failed miserably in the past, so I'm really hoping the right education/travel blogger joins our team & can do all the formatting too.  This blog is jam packed with quality posts, but how do the readers find the ones they want? I want this to be an information packed, but also easy to use.  Anyone out there?
  4. Offer One Live Workshop Per Month. I absolutely love giving workshops at universities (check out my personal website if you want to see what I do as a public speaker), and I sort of love doing webinars - although I find them too "one-way" for me.  I'll be finding ways to offer workshops online for small groups of 10 teachers so we can interact with each other.  I'm working on the details now, but I'm really excited about it!
  5. Update all the paperwork & keep on track of it. As a teacher, I am one of the worst at doing paperwork. I know it has to be done, but I prefer actual teaching to doing paperwork by far.  It's no different for me as a recruiter for Classroom Canada - I procrastinate at updating the paperwork & much prefer just talking to the teachers on the phone.  But enough is enough! I plan to update all the paperwork for our teachers and make it even easier to go through the steps to move abroad.  This should probably be at the top of the list, but let's face it - this is the one that I am least looking forward to on the list.
That's it for now, but I'm sure I'll come up with more as the year gets going.  I'm really excited for 2013 and hope you are as well.  I'd love to hear your goals for 2013 below in the comments section.  Happy New Years everyone!  


PS) I am actively recruiting teachers for April/May 2013. If you're interested in teaching in London and can leave as soon as April or May, please submit your resume & cover letter to apply AT 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Love, Healing, Reflection

 When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” - Mr Rogers. 

For three days, I've tried to write a post about the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut and for three days I've stared at a blank screen with no words.  What can I possibly say that hasn't already been said?  What can I say that will make any of this any better?  There are simply no words.  What happened on Friday will forever haunt us all.

And so, to the teachers & parents & community members that are actively involved in making our world a better place, I cherish you. I send you light, love, healing & as much space as you need right now.  I'm trying to focus on the helpers.  And I'm playing a lot more with my nieces and nephews. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Latest Teaching Jobs in London, England

The applications are starting to pour in for teaching jobs in London, so I thought it would be a good time to highlight a few of the jobs that we are currently trying to fill.  This is just a small sample of the jobs we have for primary, secondary, & SEN teachers as well as teaching assistant positions.  To apply, send your resume/CV and cover letter to

Food Technology Teacher (SEN), Southwark

Salary: GBP 130 - 150
Job Type: Temporary
Location: London, England
Start Date: immediately
Job Category: Special Needs
Position Type: Food Technology
Application Closing Date: December 18 2012
Minimum required qualification: PGCE/B.Ed

A special needs school in Southwark are currently looking to appoint an experienced and creative Food Technology Teacher.

The school caters for students age 11-19 who have Severe, Profound and Complex Learning Difficulties. Students will have a wide range of needs including severe physical disabilities, fine and gross motor difficulties, severe intellectual and / or sensory impairment, developmental delay and extreme communication difficulties as well as challenging behaviours.

The role is for four days a week (Tuesday-Friday) and will involve teaching Food Technology and a session of personalised learning to post 16 students. You will be required to manage and maintain the food technology room and plan and teach structured lessons whilst recording progress of the students.
The senior management team are looking for an enthusiastic teacher with previous SEN experience and the ability to work within a multi-disciplinary team.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join a dedicated team of professionals at a modern school with specialist facilities designed to meet the needs of all students.

To apply, send your resume/CV and cover letter to

English Teacher, SEBD/ASD School, North West London

Salary: GBP 125 - 150
Job Type: Temporary
Location: London, England
Start Date: immediately.
Job Category: SEN Unit
Position Type: EBD Unit
Application Closing Date: December 14 2012
Classroom Ltd are currently looking to recruit a qualified English Teacher for a position at a secondary school for students with SEBD and ASD in North West London.

The Head Teacher is looking to appoint a qualified and experienced English specialist with excellent behaviour management skills and previous experience of working with children with SEBD and SEN. Previous leadership experience is also desirable for this role.

You will be expected to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and will be required to liaise and work in partnership with external professionals and agencies to meet the needs of all pupils. You must also work in partnership with parents/carers to encourage their support and provide regular feedback on their child’s progress.
We are looking for a conscientious and versatile teacher who enjoys teaching children with SEN.

To apply, send your resume/CV and cover letter to

Special Needs Teacher (ASD), Southwark

Salary: GBP 125 - 150
Job Type: Temporary
Location: London, England
Start Date: immediately.
Job Category: SEN Unit
Position Type: Autistic Unit
Application Closing Date: December 13 2012
Minimum required qualification: PGCE/B.Ed

A special needs school in Southwark are looking to recruit an experienced ASD Teacher to start in January 2013.
The school is a small, specialist school for primary children who are on the Autistic Spectrum (ASD) and have social and communication difficulties, significant speech and language difficulties, developmental delay and complex learning needs. There is a strong emphasis on Music Therapy at the school and students are encouraged to develop as independently as possible.

The role will involve teaching a class of five KS2 children who are working below Level 2 of the National Curriculum. The children have a range of needs and some will be non-verbal. The head teacher therefore requires an experienced special needs teacher who has previously taught children with Autism. You will also need to have had TEACCH, PECS and Team Teach training.

This is an exciting opportunity for a dedicated and professional teacher to join a friendly and supportive school.

 To apply, send your resume/CV and cover letter to

KS2 SEBD Teacher, West London

Salary: GBP 125 - 150
Job Type: Temporary
Location: London, England
Start Date: immediately.
Job Category: SEN Unit
Position Type: EBD Unit
Application Closing Date: December 13 2012
Minimum required qualification: PGCE/B.Ed

A primary pupil referral unit (PRU) in West London is currently looking to recruit a KS2 Teacher to start in January 2013.

As part of the wider Behaviour and Social Inclusion Service, the centre provides education for primary children who have been permanently excluded from school as well as those on dual roll 2 day placements.

The role will involve working with a KS2 class of children with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD) and you will be expected to provide effective teaching and learning to raise attainment, remove barriers to learning and prepare them for transition to their long term educational placement.

You will be expected to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and will be required to liaise and work in partnership with external professionals and agencies to meet the additional needs of referred pupils. You must also work in partnership with parents/carers to encourage their support and provide regular feedback on their child’s progress.

The headteacher is looking for a conscientious primary teacher with QTS who has previous experience teaching children with SEBD. You must have the ability to deal with challenging behaviour.
 To apply, send your resume/CV and cover letter to


Salary: GBP 120 - 150
Job Type: Temporary
Location: Hackney
Start Date: immediately.
Job Category: Secondary
Position Type: Health and Social Care
Application Closing Date: December 14 2012
Minimum required qualification: B.Ed

A school in Hackney is looking for a qualified teacher to cover the HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE timetable. This is a long term position to at least the end of July 2013.

The school is a rapidly improving mixed comprehensive school. The school has a large and diverse student population and a very vibrant and friendly staff environment. The school prides itself on the professional development of its teachers - ensuring that all staff have support and the resources they need to succeed in the classroom.

The successful candidate will:
-Be a trained TEACHER with QTS and at least 2 years' teaching experience
-Have taught HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE from KS3-KS4
-2+ years' experience at an inner London mixed comprehensive school will be beneficial
-Track record of raising achievement at GCSE and A-Level
-Come highly recommended, with written letters of reference from previous employers 

To apply, send your resume/CV and cover letter to

Jan start, English Teacher for a successful school in Ealing

Salary: GBP 120 - 150
Job Type: Temporary
Location: Ealing
Start Date: January 1 2013
Job Category: Secondary
Position Type: English
Application Closing Date: December 14 2012
Minimum required qualification:B.Ed

A successful school in East London is looking for a highly qualified ENGLISH TEACHER to cover a timetable including GCSE and A-Level classes from January 2013. This is a long term position to at least the end of July 2013. 

The successful candidate will:
-Be a trained ENGLISH TEACHER with QTS and at least 2 years' teaching experience
-Have successfully completed their NQT year
-Have taught ENGLISH from KS3-KS5, with a strong working knowledge of Edexcel curriculum specification
-2+ years' experience at an inner London mixed comprehensive school will be beneficial
-Track record of raising achievement at GCSE and A-Level
-Come highly recommended, with written letters of reference from previous employers 
This school requires an ENGLISH TEACHER who is enthusiastic and dynamic; they should want to join a team of already high achieving staff and not be afraid to go the extra mile to ensure student success. Applicants should be teamwork oriented and collaborative.
To apply, send your resume/CV and cover letter to

TA required to support a pupil with Downs Syndrome

Salary: GBP 60 - 65
Job Type: Temporary
Location: London, England
Start Date: immediately
Job Category: CA - Ancillary
Position Type: CA
Application Closing Date: December 21 2012
Minimum required qualification: A-Level

We are actively looking for Teaching Assistants to work at a Primary school in East London supporting a pupil with Downs Syndrome.

We would love to hear from Level 3 Teaching Assistants who have experience supporting children and young people on a one to one and small group basis, with special needs.

We would be particularly interested in hearing from those who have support experience working with EBD, SLD. MLD, and Autism. If you are actively looking for temporary work we can offer positions in a variety of schools.

To apply, send your resume/CV and cover letter to

Class Teacher (SLD) Lambeth

Salary: GBP 130 - 150
Job Type: Temporary
Location: London, England
Start Date: immediately
Job Category: SEN Unit
Position Type: SLD Unit
Application Closing Date: December 16 2012
Minimum required qualification: B.Ed.

A special needs school in Lambeth are currently looking to recruit a qualified and experienced special needs teacher.
The role will involve teaching a small class of secondary age students with severe learning difficulties and you will be required to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team to plan, develop and implement individual curriculum programmes. There will be support from experienced and dedicated teaching assistants within the class.

The school itself provides a fantastic, modern environment for students with a range of special needs including ASD, Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD) and Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD). There are high quality facilities and resources at the school and this is a great opportunity to join a friendly and supportive team.
To be considered for this role you must be a qualified teacher with previous experience teaching children with special needs. Additional SEN training and specific experience teaching children with SLD is strongly preferred.

Please only apply for this position if you have a recognised teaching qualification, a recent police check and the right to work in the UK (check out for visa requirements).

To apply, send your resume/CV and cover letter to
We will start interviewing for jobs that start in April/May 2013 as well as Sept/Oct 2013 in the new year. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How to Travel During Your Teacher Holidays for Practically Free

So you're teaching & you realize that you have lots of holidays, but don't want to spend all your money on the costs of travel.  What do you do besides camp, or stay in hostels (which all add up when you're really trying to save money)? 

Pet Sit or House Sit or both!

I've recently discovered house sitting websites, where you can create a profile highlighting your amazing skills at taking care of animals (especially if you have experience with dogs &/or cats as these are the most common pets), and showing your availability.  You can then search for assignments that match your dates, or get alerts daily that show what assignments are available. 

Some of these will pay (I get paid about $25/night for one pet, more if they require more care but it really varies on the location & the need for each family), but many will just give you an amazing opportunity to stay somewhere cool for free, just like a local.  Instead of coughing up lots of cash eating out at restaurants, staying in hotels & not quite knowing what to do otherwise, you can save that money and live like a local would.

Most homes have wifi & you can literally house sit all over the world.  I'm heading down to California for January, since I can do my work from virtually anywhere in the world provided there is decent wifi.  After living in England & British Columbia for the past 8 years, I'm ready for some January sunshine in California!

A few of our teachers stayed in a farm house in the south of France, taking care of goats, chickens & the like and had an absolute blast.  What better way to get to know an area of the world that you might not otherwise discover at all?

On the sites, you will find other house sitters profiles, and most are retired couples.  As a teacher, you can make yourself stand out by highlighting how responsible you are and that you want to teach & travel the world. If you're a Canadian living in London, then they might find that intriguing and want to discuss their homes with you.  Afterall, the French farm house family was super keen on having 3 Canadian teachers care for their animals. 

There are plenty of sites to check out and from what I can tell, most charge a small fee (from $10 - $45/year for the house sitters and they seem to all be free for the home owners).  If you do take it on, please let me know about your experiences  & if you'd recommend this as a way to save cash while traveling the world. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Letter from a Canadian Teacher in London, England

I always love to hear from our teachers, especially after they've scored the job of their dreams in one of our schools in London.  I asked Dusan if I could share his letter to me & he agreed (thanks Dusan!). I've just changed the school names and locations for safety. 

Hi Victoria,

I hope you are well. I wanted to let you know how things were coming along in London this last month! Work really started to pick up after half term break. I worked in a couple of different schools, teaching such a variety of subjects and levels, such as PE, Geography, English, and even French. I particularly enjoyed that Year 7 class, learning about new animals in French...brought a lot of memories back from my middle school days. :) ABC Girls Academy, not too far from me at Rainbow Road, has become a regular call up. I have a good rapport with the staff, it's always an eventful, exciting day of teaching, and I have a good system set up there as well. All the experiences I have had so far have been really rewarding, enriching, and so invaluable.

The best news came today when I had my second interview for a long-term position in just over a month! It was at the very successful FGH Catholic High School in London for an English teacher position, full-time maternity cover from January to July. I had a 25 minute trial lesson I had to deliver to a Year 12 class - which was great - and my interview went really well. The school offered me the position before I even left and I have been just filled with joy and excitement ever since! I'm really looking forward to teaching at the school. I think the students are incredibly bright, the school itself and the area around it is so beautiful, the staff is excellent and it is going to be such tremendous experience for me (there's even another teacher from Toronto in the school who has been teaching here for four years!).

The Classroom team was  fantastic during the whole process. Kelly and Caroline on the Secondary team were always providing encouragement and support as I was preparing for the interview earlier this week and even helped out with extra resources and links for me to look at when prepping for my lesson.

Coincidentally, Katie also got a posting today with a Primary school that lasts all of next week and the first two days of the following week. Six solid days of work.

Like you always say on your blog, just be patient, enjoy the city, and work will come. I'm just so thrilled to be back in the classroom doing what I love the most!

Best regards,


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Montreal Teachers: Interviews for Teaching in London This Weekend

Montreal teachers take note:

I'm speaking at McGill University this weekend, on Saturday, November 24th & conducting interviews with primary & secondary teachers all day on Sunday, November 25th and Monday, November 26th.  I'm interviewing teachers for positions in primary, secondary & special needs schools.

To apply, please send your resume & cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada DOT com and include "MONTREAL TEACHER" in the subject heading so I look at your resume quickly. 

Positions will start in London in January 2013, April 2013 and September 2013.  

Qualities of the kind of teacher we're looking for:

  • Adaptable, flexible & positive
  • A desire to teach & travel
  • Open minded
  • Passionate about teaching inner city kids
What we can offer successful applicants:

  • We're Canadian and we've taught in London ourselves
  • We're passionate about helping other Canadian teachers succeed in teaching in London
  • Since 2007, we've helped hundreds of Canadian teachers succeed.
  • Help with accommodations, networking with the other Canadians, and a free copy of the only book that explains clearly what it's really like to teach in London. (see for a free chapter).
  • Honest, clear advice & guidance
Read through the testimonials above to hear it first-hand from our teachers.  They tell you exactly what it's like to teach in London, from their worst days to their best days.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

News from a London Teacher: What It's Like to Teach in London After Months of Preparing

It's always so wonderful to hear from the Canadian teachers after they've arrived in London.  We tend to spend about 6 months over email & phone calls getting the teachers ready to go and when they finally arrive and get settled, it's a relief both for the teachers and for us back home.  All those questions, all those worries, all those concerns...and then...they arrive, they settle in, they get to work.  Sometimes it's not that smooth of course, and sometimes the teachers have to wait around for the supply teaching days to pick up, but oftentimes - it's easier than they think it will be.

Here's an email I just received from a teacher who arrived last week:

Hi Victoria,
 Just wanted to send you a quick email to let you know things are going great in London.
 I moved into (the accommodations) on Thursday.  Now that my clothes are hung up, I finally feel settled. My room is great and just down two doors down from another Classroom teacher.
 I was also fortunate last week, the week after break, to get booked for the whole week in one class in Stratford. It was great being with the same kids everyday and getting to know them and the routines.
 Anyways, I thought that since most of my emails to you have been filled with questions and stresses I would send you a quick email to let you know everything worked out and everything is going great!
I must admit - I do mostly deal with the questions & stresses from my end, and my colleagues in London take over once the teachers arrive so I tend to wonder how they're doing. I check in of course, but emails like this always make my day.  And once again, I'm reminded why I love what I do!

If you're looking for a teaching job in London, it's time to apply for January 2013 and April 2013 start dates.
Send me your resume & cover letter and I'll see what I can do. Email: apply AT classroomcanada dot com.

Monday, October 29, 2012

School Term Dates in London, England

Canadian teachers know that there are plenty of job opportunities in London, but that's not the only reason they teach there. They also go for the 13 weeks of holidays spread throughout the year.

The school holidays are different for each borough, but they all follow a general pattern. Here's how I break it down for our teachers:

Sept. 1st - mid October = Autumn 1st Half Term
mid-October = 1 week break, called "Half term break" *right now in London!*
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.

You can see the Islington term dates here. There are 33 LEAs in London, so it would take quite a while to get exact term dates for every LEA. Islington is a large North London borough and a good place for you to start.

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).

Some Canadian teachers make more, but this all depends on the contract and your experience level. Keep in mind that you will pay about 22% in taxes in the UK as well, but you won't be double-taxed in Canada.

To work out what your Canadian salary will be, go to this site and type in your figures. You should expect to make more than you would in Canada, and the cost of living needs to be taken into account. If you're concerned about money, you should get a copy of Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians. You'll learn everything you need to know about living & teaching in London, England.

Like this post? You might also like How to Find an Apartment, 10 Myths About Teaching in London, and How to Open a UK Bank Account. Don't forget to subscribe to the RSS feed as well!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

How to Travel Europe on the Cheap While You're Teaching in London

Let's face it. One of the biggest draws to teaching in London is that you get to travel Europe on your weekends and breaks.  Not only are there more teaching jobs in London than in Canada as a general rule, but you get to see the world at the same time! 

But teachers don't make what they should (if you don't believe me, watch this video), so how can they afford to travel all over Europe on a tight budget?  The good news is traveling in Europe is cheaper than traveling in Canada.  You can get flights for pennies, stay in hostels that are really much better than you'd expect or even stay in hotels.  But let's say you want to really do it on the cheap.  Even cheaper than all the other teachers you know over there. 

Here are my tips & tricks for traveling on the cheap while having the experience of a lifetime:

  1. Voluntourism is big.  I did myself, where you look through their database of "workcamps" or projects and apply to be a volunteer in exchange for room & board.  The projects are usually 2-3 weeks and cover everything from building restoration to teaching ESL to eye cataract surgery assistance.  I built latrines, assisted surgeons with eye cataract surgery and planted trees in Bangladesh for 2 weeks. I highly recommend travelling in this way as you get to know the people, the culture & actually live like the locals do. 
  2. WWOOF - which used to stand for Willing Workers on Organic Farms and is now World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.  It's perfect for someone who likes to get their hands dirty and learn all about farming in different areas of the world.  Some WWOOF farms are for people with disabilities, so you could get some good SEN experience in there too.
  3. Get on the Bus. The Megabus! The Megabus often has really great deals where you can travel to far off places for 1 GBP.  Yes, one pound. You have to book in advance, and you can't be in a hurry as the bus takes a really long time compared to flying or taking the high speed trains.  But if you're an adventurer looking for a fun time on the cheap, then the Megabus is great. I took it to Cambridge, Oxford & Brighton while I was teaching in London.  It does take forever, but hey - for a pound, what do you expect?
  4. Fly RyanAirThere are a million reasons why this airline isn't up to par.  The planes are often dirty, they treat you like cattle, and they fly to areas outside of the main cities you want to go to so you have to get expensive buses to get to your city of choice from the airport. You have to pay for your baggage. But.  Listen up.  You can get flights for a pound if you pay attention & hunt for the awesome deals.  I've done it.  And for a pound, I'm willing to put up with all the reasons against the airline. 
  5. Travel when you know the teaching is slow.  Supply teachers have it made for this one. You know it will slow down around Christmas and that traveling at Christmas is killer, so avoid the lines & high prices and take off before the schools close for the holidays, and return after they re-open. The supply days will be few & far between anyway, so take advantage and book those cheaper off-season flights.  Travel in Europe is mostly priced around the school holidays so if you can avoid those dates you'll save heaps.
  6. Travel in a group. Contiki Tours and Top Deck Tours are really popular with teachers as they take care of all the planning for you.  They are relatively affordable, and you'll make loads of friends as you go which is a bonus.  Personally I've never done one, but I hear great things particularly from Australian teachers.
  7. Stay with a friend. I prefer to visit friends as a I travel, so that I get that great social time in plus free accommodations.  I went to Vienna 5 times to visit a fellow Canadian teacher who was working there. I love that city now as I know it more like my friend does, and not as much as a tourist.  Find friends that are working in other countries & visit them.  You'll love the experience so much more than staying in hostels/hotels!
I'm sure there are a million other awesome tips for traveling Europe on the cheap and I'd love to hear them from you. If you know any, please share! 

I'm also interviewing teachers for jobs that start in January 2013 so apply today:  send your resume & cover letter to apply AT

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Latest Teaching Jobs in London, England

Here is a small sample of the types of jobs we are currently trying to fill for our schools in London, England:

Intervention Teacher (Special Educational Needs Department)

Salary: GBP 125 - 150/day
Job Type: Temporary

Minimum required qualification: PGCE (Bachelor of Education)
A mainstream primary school in Ealing are looking for an experienced Intervention Teacher to join their team on a full time basis.

The role will involve working with small groups of children with special educational needs. You will be expected to work with students across KS1 and KS2 who require additional support with literacy and numeracy.

To be considered for this position, you must be a qualified primary teacher with QTS. The school are looking for someone with previous experience of working with children with a wide range of special needs. A strong background in Intervention with Literacy and Numeracy is essential.
This is a fantastic opportunity for a conscientious teacher to join a supportive and friendly primary school.

ASD Teacher, Lambeth

Salary: GBP 125 - 150
Job Type: Temporary

A special needs school in Lambeth are currently looking to recruit a qualified and experienced special needs teacher to start immediately on a temporary to permanent basis.

The role will involve teaching a small class of 5 secondary age students with high-functioning Autism. You will be responsible for planning and teaching a balanced curriculum for students according to their individual needs as well as managing their behaviour within the classroom. You will have the support of two experienced and dedicated teaching assistants.

The school itself provides a fantastic, modern environment for students with a range of special needs including ASD, Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD) and Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD). There are high quality facilities and resources and staff have the opportunity to work as part of a supportive and friendly multi-disciplinary team.

To be considered for this role you must be a qualified teacher with previous experience teaching children with special needs. Additional SEN training and experience teaching children with ASD is strongly preferred.

Science teacher

Salary: GBP 120 - 150/day
Job Type: Permanent

A school in the London Borough of Hackney are looking for a Science Teacher.

This school located in Hackney is a well respected school by pupils and teachers alike and has excellent facilities. Students regularly achieve good results and the school are seeking a teacher capable of continuing to deliver an exceptional level of teaching. An inspirational and enthusiastic educator will do well in this ever improving school.

The ideal teacher will have solid UK teaching experience and will be comfortable to teach Science, particularly Biology. The school will consider someone who has experience teaching up to KS4. A willingness and ethusiasm for teaching KS5 is beneficial for applications.

Year 3 Teacher, Westminster

Salary: GBP 120 - 150
Job Type: Temporary
Are you a qualified Primary Teacher ideally with experience across grades 2-4?
Are you looking for a permanent, full time post in Central London for the full academic year?

An exciting opportunity has arisen in a friendly and vibrant Primary school in Westminster, Central London. They are looking for a skilled, confident and experienced Key Stage 2 Teacher to head up a good Year 3 Class.

The school has made good progress over the last 2 years with the focus being on raising attainment more recently. This is a lovely school, looking to appoint a personable character with the experience and motivation to raise attainment within this settled and polite Year 3 class.

As a possible staff member, you will be required to develop on the current teachers’ success and hard work and continue to raise and improve pupil progress and raise attainment.

We are currently interviewing Canadian teachers for jobs that start in January 2013.  Rather than applying for a specific job, the best thing to do is to send your resume & cover letter to apply AT and we'll reply with a quick questionnaire for you to complete before we can offer you an interview.  I am currently booking interviews one week in advance. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

London top attractions - things to see and do when you first arrive in London

I just returned from my fastest trip to London yet.  I was literally in London for only 3 days - which is insane, and I don't really recommend it!  But I was there for the World Premiere of the movie that I produced with my sister, which was showing at Raindance Film Festival.  Everyone has to have something they do in their free time, and while others train for marathons or hiking the Himalayas, I produce movies. Anyway, London was fabulous of course - I only wish I had more time to visit my teachers with Classroom Canada!

In the meantime, our teachers are arriving in London from all parts of Canada. When they first arrive, they're a bit overwhelmed & stressed about getting settled in, getting to schools & even just getting enough work to pay their bills. It's the same every year, and they always settle in eventually.  Some get annoyed that I tell them to enjoy this time, and that they will look back on this time and wonder why they didn't enjoy it more. They'll eventually have too much work or full-time jobs with no time to visit the London sites. But when they first arrive, it takes time for schools to get to know them. It takes time to get the calls for daily supply - there will be many days when they won't get the call. It always takes a couple of months! 

Some teachers will be lucky enough to get a call for full-time work right away, like the teacher I have who is arriving today in London and my colleagues are madly trying to reach him as they have a perfect full-time job that could start as soon as 2 days from now if he's interested.  I suspect he will be! But most teachers will start in daily supply teaching and have to just be patient.

So what to do while you wait? You phone every day between 7:00 and 7:30 am to let my colleagues know that you're available of course. But then what to do if you don't get the call?

Go out!  Get on your walking shoes and see London!  Check the video above which is meant for tourists, and is kind of perfect for you when you first arrive in London. You're a bit of a tourist after all.  Pack a lunch so you don't spend too much eating out, get on your comfy shoes & just start walking. Go see all the tourist sites that you won't have time to see later.  Or you won't appreciate as much later, because eventually you will settle into your London life and you'll forget that feeling of seeing Big Ben for the first time, or St. Paul's or Spittlefields Market.

Most of the tourist sites are actually walkable - you just have to have a solid map and great shoes. I can't stress the shoes enough.  This trip I did with just 3 days involved high heels and I was dying for a good pair of running shoes that didn't look like running shoes! Fashion is still really important in London (especially compared to the yoga-pants capital of the world, Victoria BC).

I actually really like this website that the video above points to:  Check it out and let me know what you think. 

Any other tips for teachers just arriving in London? Please share your thoughts below! Don't be shy - comments make the world go round.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

American Thanksgiving in London

I just received an invitation to attend this event in London, and thought I should share it with our American readers in London:

Celebrate American Thanksgiving in London.

This will be our third year celebrating American Thanksgiving in our East London pub. We offer one group seating at 6pm, and the main course is served "family style". The Marksman is cosy and intimate, and it fills up quickly. In previous years we were fully booked by early October.

Book your seat now with a £15 deposit (50% of £30/person)
(0)207 739 7393
The Marksman Pub Annual Thanksgiving Dinner 2012
£30 per person

Chicken Gumbo Soup
Twice Baked Goats Cheese Souffle – red wine poached pears
Maldon Rock Oysters – red wine & shallot vinegar

MAINS (served family style)
Roast Norfolk Turkey & Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Roast Pumpkin
Green Beans & Almonds
Creamed Leeks & Prunes
Butterd Carrots
Cranberry Sauce

Pumpkin & Bourbon Pie
Pecan Pie – clotted cream

Tea & Coffee

Book your seat now with a £15 deposit
(0)207 739 7393

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teaching Gifted & Talented Students with TED

For students looking for that little bit extra, the context around the math they're learning and the visual explanation for why we do the things we do in math, this little video will work wonders.

I love TED videos, and did a TED X talk myself so I'm particularly keen on this new TED-ED idea.  Take a look at the playlist, and if you find something you think will work with your classroom, program it into your smart board lessons.  Great stuff in there!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Seminars for Teachers, Special Educational Needs in London, 2012

It's time to register for the TES Special Educational Needs seminars that take place October 12th and 13th in London, England.

Check out the list of workshops & seminars here & be sure to sign up before they fill up. If you're unaware of TES, check out the site and especially see the forums & resources. There is no better site for teachers interested in knowing more about teaching in the UK.  You can download resources that have been shared by fellow teachers, participate in lively debates on the forums, see the available jobs all over the UK and just generally keep on top of all things education-related.

I can not recommend attending the SEN seminars enough.  These are affordable, and a fantastic way to get yourself more acquainted with SEN in London.  If you're serioues about teaching in the UK, or even just curious about teaching Special Educational Needs, you need to take these 2 days in October to attend.  Have fun with it, meet new people & enjoy the journey!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Sid Shuffle - Ice Age: Continental Drift

One of our Canadian teachers just shared this video which she used to teach her Year 4 students to dance.  Looks like it would be heaps of fun in primary schools, and maybe even in secondary schools.  I love that they show kids around the world doing the dance.

Know any other dances you can teach students?  Please share below.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

BoredShortsTV - Kid Snippets: Salesman

This is comedic gold.  Teachers, I know you'll love this as much as I do.  Parents, aunties & uncles - anyone with kids in their life will appreciate this.  As a movie producer on the side, I wish I had created this.  It's GOLD, gold I tell ya, GOLD.

Enjoy. :-)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Now Hiring: Primary, Secondary & SEN Teachers for January 2013 in London, England

It's hard to believe that it's already time to start applying for jobs that start next term in London, England.  We have teachers from across Canada arriving in London this month and next, but I have to always think ahead by at least one term and look for teachers for a few months down the road.

I've been doing interviews with some outstanding teachers lately. I'm not sure what's changed, but the quality of the candidates for January is incredible.  The teachers are mostly coming from referrals from our other teachers (I love that!), so they know more of what they're actually applying for which always helps. 

I suspect the Olympics are playing a large role here too.  I know for me, watching the Olympics in London on my tv for a few weeks really got my "I love London!" vibes flowing again.  The worst candidates are always the ones that only want to go to London because "they can't get any work back home" (which trust me, we all understand - but it's not a good enough reason to teach in London - you have to love the city itself, and the students & their diversity & the travel in Europe too).

So - what are we looking for right now in Canadian teachers who want to move to London for January?

We're looking for dynamic teachers who want to teach & travel the world.
  • They have experience with students from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of needs.
  • They know it's going to be challenging, but that makes them excited. 
  • They want to meet new friends from around the world & across Canada. 
  • They can teach primary, secondary and/or special needs students, and ideally a combination of the three.
  • They know what visa they qualify for (if you're not sure, just see and they know how long it takes to get ready to teach in London.  
  • They are reflective, able to take feedback & learn from the bumps in the journey. They take responsibility and don't blame others ("It's his/her fault!" doesn't fly with us or with London schools in general).
If this sounds like you, and you're really excited about the prospect of getting to live & teach in London, England then please do submit your resume & cover letter right away to apply at  We're swamped with applications right now (yay!), but we do look at each and every one that comes in.  Good luck!

Monday, August 27, 2012

2 New Teaching Jobs for Sept/Oct 2012: Math & Science Teachers Apply ASAP

We've just received news that we have 2 new teaching jobs that need to be filled immediately.

Maths/Science teacher – Part-Time (3 days per week: Tues, Wed, Thurs) at a School in North London (High Barnet). Very unique and exciting opportunity. This is a very small, independent performing arts school looking for a Science or Maths specialist from September. The school is ideally looking for someone who would be willing to commit for an extended period of time (a few years at least) so British citizenship or ancestry Visa would be an asset. The teacher will need to work independently with UK curriculum particularly at GCSE where they would be entering students for their exams.  British teaching experience preferred.

Science Teacher – maternity cover starting in October. This is a Catholic School which has been rated as "Outstanding" by Ofsted for 12 years, with very high academic standards, in Redbridge (Essex).  Previous Classroom Canada teachers have loved working at this school, and highly recommend the school.  Experienced teachers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

To apply for these teaching jobs in London, or to apply for supply teaching & other contracts with Classroom Canada, simply submit your resume/CV and cover letter to apply AT


For visa information, please see

Monday, August 20, 2012

From Canada to London, England

Today, we have a guest post from Canadian teacher, Kaitlin Anderson.  Kaitlin will be arriving in London in a few weeks time & is here to share with you what the process has been like in preparing to depart for her first teaching assignment abroad.

Over to Kaitlin...

Getting to London

London has been one of my favourite cities since my first visit when I was thirteen; so it made sense that when a former Classroom Canada alumni came as a guest speaker to one of my classes, that I was instantly hooked to the idea of teaching in London. I mean it's London.

Although I have not yet arrived, Victoria has asked me to write a blog post about the process of getting there (likely because I have emailed her numerous times throughout the process).

So let's start from the beginning...

As mentioned earlier I first heard about Classroom Canada through Rebecca a very lovely Classroom Canada Alumni who was a guest speaker at one my lectures at the University of Victoria. This is of particular interest because she was not sent by Classroom Canada for recruitment reasons but rather had been asked by my professor (who had kept in contact over the years) to discuss one of the possibilities of teaching abroad. She loved her experience despite the challenges (similar to those discussed in the coffee time interviews), and felt that the experience truly made her a stronger teacher. I left class that day with it clear in my mind that the following fall I too would be teaching in London.

Although Rebecca had done a pretty good job at stating the reasons Classroom Canada was a positive choice when choosing an agency, I did spend the next couple of weeks looking at different agencies. But as you can tell, Classroom Canada seemed to be the best fit for me!

Next step was the application and interview; both went swimmingly.

After getting my acceptance email from Victoria and doing a lengthy happy dance, it was time start the next few steps of this process. The paperwork.

I am lucky enough to have a British Passport (Thanks Dad!), and thus don't need a visa to work in the UK. I strongly recommend anyone who has a parent who was born in the UK to apply for their own British Passport. It is not only easier than applying for a Visa but makes traveling within Europe more efficient (it also looks really cool and is good for ten years!).

Victoria was very quick about sending me my CRB (the British police check) in the mail, and I filled it out accordingly. The only thing I can really mention about this step, is READ instructions well. I didn't notice the "no white-out" rule until it was too late, and Victoria had to send me another one.

Next, I had to print off and fill out the forms for housing at Genesis as I saw that as the best option for me personally. This step is also pretty self-explanatory, my only comment is that they really do require you bank statements (even if you don't have a bank account in the UK at this time). Be sure to have all needed documents enclosed as my application had disappeared after my bank statement debacle. However, if you do run into any problems at all I found Jessica who works at Genesis to be extremely helpful and you can get in touch with her or one of her colleagues off the contact section of their website.

Now as my departing date is getting closer (September 25th), I have completed my Canadian Criminal Record Check and am in the process of applying for my Lloyd's bank account. These are both things that you probably don't want to do too far in advance of your arrival date.

Well I wait to see if these last pieces of paperwork get approved, I have been looking into the British Curriculum and supply teacher lesson planners. This website has some great ideas!

Well wish me luck, and hope to see some of you there!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

How to Find Accommodations in London, England

We constantly get asked for advice on the best way to find accommodations if our applicants do not get (or do not want) a place in our subsidized housing complex.

There's information included in our Guide to Teaching in London e-book about accommodation options. We've written blog posts in the past on how to sort out your own accommodations and recommendations for inexpensive hotels. we have another idea from one of our recent teacher candidates who arrived in London last month. She recommended a company called Arrive Homes that helped her find a great, inexpensive, safe place to live in London.

Here is what she had to say about Arrive Homes:

I have been in London for about a week now and have already found a great place to live and have been to IKEA to get all the things I may need in my new house! I wanted to share that are AMAZING! They are two young guys who place young professionals (lots of teachers) in house shares all over London. They were great in the lead up to getting over here and we met up right away and they showed me 4 places in one day. I fell in love with the last and all has been easy since! The places are really affordable (they range 5-600 pounds max) and they are all in safe neighbourhoods and near tube stations. Just thought I would let you know!

Thanks, Maggie for sharing this great resource and if any others out there have ideas on how to find great housing in London, please post below.

Any other great tips & advice to help teachers find housing in London? Please share below!

We are currently interviews teachers who would like to work in London starting in October 2012 or January 2013. To apply, please submit your resume & cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada DOT com.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

10 Myths About Teaching in London, England - Updated

I wrote 10 Myths About Teaching in London in 2008, and it continues to get the most hits on this site.  I've updated the post to make it more relevant to 2012.

1. It's beneficial to sign up with lots of agencies.

A common misconception with teaching in London is that signing up with a plethora of agencies will guarantee you a steady stream of work and multiple opportunities for long term placements.

The reality is, supply agencies are looking for loyal and reliable teachers with whom they can form strong working relationships. The more agencies you sign up with, the more you show that you lack confidence in your teaching capability and in the agency's ability to find you a job.

If you are looking to supply teach, then by all means keep yourself covered by joining two agencies, BUT don't expect either agency to bend over backwards for you, because they will have a bank of other teachers that are working exclusively with them and those teachers are seen as more dependable than you.

Try to put yourself in their shoes. It's not Canada. They have a teacher shortage, not a job shortage. They call the first teacher they know is available to them and them only; the first teacher to answer the phone is the one to get the job. Just remember - it’s important not to underestimate the importance of your teacher-agency relationship – it’s a valuable commodity!

2. It's advantageous to lie to the different agencies, so you get the best deal.

Sadly, this happens all the time. Some teachers show up in London, move into the agency's accommodations, make friends with their teachers (and have an instant community) and then turn around and work through another agency. The teachers who do this just want to get as much as they can from wherever they can. Frankly, its bad form. Choose your agency carefully, and if you're not confident that they can find you a job and help you in your transition to London, then politely tell them and find another one.

I have also experienced teachers who lie about their rate of pay in order to strike the best deal for themselves. I recall an Australian teacher who was keen to register but for a rate of 145 pounds per day. When asked what experience she had, she replied "None, but I'm Australian and I know another company that will pay me 145 just for that!" To this, I secretly giggled, because that simply isn't true and it's commercially unethical to pay people more based on their nationality. So, she walked out and searched for that elusive company that would pay her more just because she's Aussie. Well good luck to her. Very simply, pay comes down to your experience and flexibility as a teacher – be suspicious of anyone that tells you otherwise!

3. The kids are horrible.

Yes, the teaching is hard. It's different than teaching in Canada. But they're still kids. And if you think that the "kids are horrible in London," then perhaps you should a) consider a career other than teaching or b) do some research on why the behaviour of the children is different than you're used to.

The kids behave in ways that we're not used to, but that doesn't make them horrible. 95% of the kids I taught were not from England originally. They were from the Caribbean, Africa, Asia (particularly Bangladesh & India) and across Europe. If you think that makes for "horrible kids" then London isn't for you. Neither is Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal or NYC for that matter.

4. Teaching in the outskirts is better (aka easier) and you save more money than in the centre of London.

 Ah this one is fun to de-bunk. There are a lot of agencies that now specialize in bringing Canadians over to the "outskirts" of London. They know that's where there is a serious shortage of teachers, so they can place Canadians into jobs fairly easily. And if you're in the outskirts, you won't know any better.

Well, where better to hear the reality than from the horse’s mouth. At the time, prior to arriving in London, my thought pattern went, "Well, I just want a job. I'll go anywhere. I don't want to go all the way to England and not have secured a long-term job. What if I don't get enough work? It's only 30 minutes into the city. It'll be fine."

Boy was I wrong. The image of the suburbs that a movie like The Holiday may portray will undoubtedly not match up to the kind of suburbs that an agency may send you to. ‘The Holiday’ is set in Surrey. - the middle-upper class outskirts that, for sure don't have a shortage of teachers. Why would they? What a pretty wonderful place to live and work. So, remove those rose-tinted specs, turn the image of the Holiday on it's head, and NOW you have the kind of outskirts towards which your agency may be enticing you. My advice? Think very carefully about where you want to be.

Having lived in the outskirts for several months and felt at times, both isolated and unsafe, I eventually made the move to London and didn’t look back. The highlight for me was being placed in the inner city schools & working with kids from around the world. I lived downtown and in North London (Islington, Finsbury Park area) and loved every minute of it. I made the same amount of money, paid the same in rent but had so many more weekend options on my plate than just visiting the local mall. Theatres, Museums, Galleries, Parks, you name it, I did it.

On the matter of money - sure I spent more living in a central location, but for me that was a compromise I was happy to make. If you’re thinking of coming to London to teach and "save money" I'd advise you re-think – if money is your goal go to Asia and teach ESL. It is worth mentioning however, that whilst living in London for those three years, I did pay off $15 000 of my student loans. Not bad considering I was out on the town every weekend, travelled various destinations across Europe and lived a darn good life by Canadian standards.

5. You should always go with the agency that pays you the most money no matter what.

Well, you can do that of course. But first, think hard about why that agency may be offering you such attractive rates? Quite often, and through experience it can be because the agency are compensating for the terrible schools they’re planning to send you to (it’s just that they don’t tell you that).

It’s a good idea to talk to other teachers registered through that agency and see what they have to say. And don't just take the names & numbers of teachers the agency give you. Do some real digging & find the teachers they don't want you to talk to.

They'll give you their story, and if they're making 10 pounds more per day and they're still not happy with the company, well there’s your answer. If you decide to join up with Classroom Canada, sign up to the exclusive network we offer – a great way to swap stories, experiences and general ‘London info’ with other teachers in the same boat as you.

6. All agencies claim to offer new teachers support in setting-up, but no agencies follow through.

Sadly, this is often true, but not always. Again, quiz other teachers working through particular agencies what level of support their agency provided on their arrival. If they say they helped with accommodation, does that mean providing the link to a property search website that they recommend, or actually allocating them an apartment to live in? These are two very different versions of offering ‘support’ so it's important that you clarify in advance exactly what assistance they can provide you with.

7. Agencies make a killing off your salary.

Agencies are businesses, and naturally will be making money from placing you into schools – that’s what they do. However, the following guide to approximately what rates you can expect upon registration will ensure that you have a benchmark to follow should you be offered an either unusually high or unusually low rate at any point.
Rates of pay can vary from £110 per day to £150 per day dependant on experience and the nature of role that you may be applying for. The vast majority of agencies in London will pay between £120-£125 per day for an NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) and possibly more for newly qualified Secondary teachers if their subjects are in demand (Science or Technology for example).
Rates can also vary between positions – generally speaking long-term roles will pay higher than day to day, and class teacher roles will yield more than floating PPA (Preparation, Planning & Assessment positions).
Money aside, it’s just as crucial to focus on the service the agency provide. Are you as the teacher just another number in a database, or do the consultants make the effort to get to know you, build a strong working relationship with you, and thus be better equipped to secure the right job for you? Agencies have long-standing relationships with schools that trust their judgements on teachers, so it’s worth your while registering with a company that are ready to listen to what you actually want.
You could always try to get a job without an agency, and you might succeed. The problem is that you will then make about 5000 pounds ($10 000 Canadian) less per year because the school will have to pay you as an "Overseas Qualified Teacher".

8. Teaching in London is great because you can totally just slack off.

Thankfully, I've only heard this a few times. I won't bother explaining it, because it's obvious to a good teacher that this isn't true.

9. The British education system is horrible. Why would you want to teach there?

Unless you can understand the history and the cultural context for the teaching system the UK have in place, this is an unfair judgement to make. I have found that most foreign teachers arriving in London make a whole host of comparisons to what they know "back home", which is only natural of course. A year or so into their UK teaching career, they begin to develop an understanding for the reasons the system exists as it does because it’s better than the other options. This one is complicated, so I'll write another blog entry at a later date to explain the differences between the Canadian and the UK education system.

10. London is far too expensive to live there. You must be stupid to even consider it.

This is a comment often made by people who have travelled through London en-route to another destination. They show up with Canadian dollars and complain that a cup of coffee costs $8! Well, yes if you are using Canadian dollars. If not, it cost 4 pounds. Just like a Starbucks coffee in Canada costs $4, a Starbucks coffee in London costs 4 pounds. So earn pounds. And life is good again.

Did I miss anything? Please share your thoughts below.

If you are interested in teaching in London, apply today! We have a few last minute vacancies to fill for the new academic year. Submit your resume & cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada dot com and we'll connect with you within a week.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Quit panicking & start packing!

I originally wrote this post in 2008, but the advice still holds even 4 years on.

It's official! Teachers about to move to London are freaking out about what to pack and what to leave behind. It's a serious dilemma for those of you flying with cheap airlines as you only have room for 20 kg. Eek!

So here's the advice I give based on my own experiences as well as my teachers' experiences over the past 8 years.

10 Things Teachers Should Pack When Moving to London

1. Canadiana (stickers, books about Moose, Beavers, or Canadian geography in general)

2. Passport with your

3. Clothes for teaching (for men - shirts, trousers & ties; for women - "business casual" just like at home)

4. Photos of home. Students will be curious about where you live, what your house looks like & your neighbourhood.  It's a good idea to post photos of home on your wall if there's space.

5. A USB memory stick with your best teaching resources.  You can also organize all of your materials online, through google documents or any other solid online site. I use
dropbox myself. 

6. One or two black-line master resources that you can use with any age group.  It's important that you have a resource on hand that will fill any time you may have, whether you are supply teaching or teaching your own class. You can always buy this in London though, so don't fret.

7. Kraft Dinner. Even if you enjoy eating it only once a year you
will actually miss it. Trust me on this one, every Canadian misses KD when in London.
8. Your favourite chocolate bar. Mine is Crispy Crunch, and I couldn't find it in London, so I brought some with me for emergency situations. You can always buy Canadian food at the Canada Shop. They tend to be quite expensive though, so if you are very particular, you should stock up.

9. If you are staying in our accommodations, you will have a very basic residence-style room with a single bed, a desk, a wardrobe, a sink and shared bathrooms & kitchens. You will therefore need bedding, towels, kitchen supplies, etc. 90% of our teachers just buy all that stuff in London and save their luggage room for their clothes and shoes. But if you want to bring this stuff, then be sure to make it light. Otherwise, you can buy these items for cheap at

10. Living in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians. This book was written by Network Canada and is the only guide book to London that I really recommend for Canadian teachers. The others (like Lonely Planet) are too heavy and not worth the $ any more (because they become out of date before they're even published).
What NOT to Pack for Teaching in London:1. Hair appliances (they won't work as the voltage is stronger in the UK, you will only fry your favourite straightener)

2. That heavy winter coat you wear every day in Canadian winters

3. School supplies - yes, you read that correctly. You don't need them. The schools in London are well-equipped and if you need something, just ask. Teachers are not expected to buy supplies for their classroom like we are in Canada.

4. Textbooks - same as above

5. Months and months of birth control - the National Health Service provides birth control for free, so don't pay a fortune in Canada for a year's supply. As a teacher, you pay tax in the UK for the health services, so you benefit from this same service.

The most important thing to remember is that London is a fabulous place to shop, so whatever you need, you can buy there. I've had teachers ask me if they should bring their own pillows, toilet paper and even chalk. You can get it there! Pack lightly, and leave yourself room to bring home more when you return.

Did I miss anything? Please share your two pence below!


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