Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Upcoming Webinar - Teaching in London 101



I am in love with workshops & webinars lately!  I have just returned from giving a four hour workshop at McGill University in Montreal on teaching jobs overseas and how to score the job of your dreams.  The Education Students brought me over, which was very cool of them, and we had a blast doing the workshop.  I covered resume writing, cover letters & interviewing skills for jobs anywhere in the world for teachers.  I must say, I was really impressed at the enthusiasm & professionalism of the student-teachers this year.  What a fantastic group of teachers McGill has.

So, this brings me to another announcement: We're offering even more workshops & webinars this year.  I've scheduled the webinars every 2 weeks, so just click on the link, find the month you want to attend and sign up right away to reserve your spot.

Here's the next one:
Webinar: Teaching in London 101
February 9 2012 5pm PST
One hour webinar about teaching in London.
Sign up here.

Learn the basics about teaching in London, England:
  • Who teaches in London?
  • What jobs are available?
  • When do the jobs start?
  • What visas are you eligible for?
  • What are the accommodations like?
  • Why do schools hire foreign teachers?
  • What is the cost of living like?
 All participants who attend & complete a brief survey will receive the award winning ebook, Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians, normally sold for $29.95.

This webinar costs only $9.95 to attend, and we're donating half the money we get to Pocket Change Heroes which will help us build a school in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Webinar: How to Write a Resume/CV and Cover Letter for Teaching Jobs Abroad


Last night's Teaching in London 101 Webinar was a great success. We had 24 teachers attend from across Canada, most of whom are still in teachers college.  Webinars are the perfect way to get the information you need, while being in the comfort of your own home.  I'm fairly new to them myself, and still getting used to the technology but there weren't too many glitches last night anyway.
So, we have another one next week: 

Webinar: How to Write a Resume/CV and Cover Letter for Teaching Jobs Abroad
February 2nd 2012 5:00pm PST

We will focus on:
•How to fit the most relevant information into just 2 pages.
•How to write a cover letter that makes the reader want to read it again (as opposed to the typical 10 seconds we usually take to scan a cover letter)
•How to make yourself stand out amongst all the teachers applying for the same jobs

This webinar costs $14.95 to attend and will help you apply for teaching jobs all over the world (not just London, England). A portion of the proceeds from this webinar will go to Pocket Change Heroes to build a school in West Africa.
Sign up here. 

Our blog readers get $5 off just to say thanks for reading. Use the code "Alumni" when you register.   Also, if you'd like me to use your resume or cover letter as a sample, just send it to me with the subject "sample Resume or Cover Letter" to victoria AT classroomcanada DOT com. 

Resources for Teaching in London
Classroom Canada website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
Sign up for our newsletters

Like this blog? Be sure to flick "follow" on the right hand side so you're the first to get our blog posts.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Only a Few Spots Left for Next Week's Teaching in London Webinar


The response for this month's webinar has been incredible! In case you missed the announcement, here are the details again:

I am so excited for this webinar. I did one a month ago and had a blast so I just know this one will be great too. This time, we're charging $5 to attend and giving the proceeds to Pocket Change Heroes who will build a school in Kenya with the donations.

Here are the details:
This one hour webinar on January 26th 2012 at 5pm PST covers everything you need to know about jobs in London for Canadian teachers, as well as how you can apply & secure the job of your dreams.
  • Types of teaching jobs
  • How to apply for teaching jobs
  • Visas and Work Permits
  • Accommodations & social life
  • Who succeeds teaching in London
  • Who shouldn't teach in London
This is an interactive webinar, so bring your questions & concerns.


All registrants will receive a free copy of the award winning Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians, (sold for $29.95), after attending the webinar & providing feedback in the short survey.

If you are unable to attend at the specific time, simply
RSVP yes & we will email you the recorded webinar after the event. You won't receive the free ebook though, so it's best to attend if you can. We will offer these webinars once/month.


Resources for Teaching in London

Classroom Canada
website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
Sign up for our
newsletters

Attend a Webinar on Teaching in London -
January 26 2012
One hour webinar about teaching in London.
Sign up here.

Like this blog? Be sure to flick "follow" on the right hand side so you're the first to get our blog posts.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How to Save Money While Teaching in London, England


Yesterday I interviewed a teacher who admitted that the biggest concern she had about moving to teach in London, England was her finances.  She's not alone.  Most teachers I interview have the view that London is an extremely expensive city to live in, and want to know how Canadian teachers afford living there and making a teacher's salary.

It is true that London used to be the most expensive city in the world to live in, but as of today, it's dropped to 18th in the world.  Below Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Zurich... But still - we think of London as one of the most expensive.

It is also true that teachers don't get rich off teaching (sad, but true!).  Most teachers in London make at least 115 pounds/day and Classroom Canada teachers tend to start out at 120/day and then go up as they gain experience & long term positions in our schools.  Our accommodations are around 500 pounds/month (including bills) and right in the centre of London (Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road & Picadilly Circus tube stops - literally in the centre of London).  So it's affordable.  Which is a relief.

There are of course ways to save money while teaching in London.  Most of you know about Groupon and DealFind - coupon sites that allow you to save 50% or more on eating out, gym memberships, haircuts and travel.  Signing up for those sites is a great first step to saving money while teaching abroad.



Teachers can also tutor in their spare time - earning as much as 40 pounds/hour to tutor students in their homes or in the local libraries.  You can either advertise on your own on sites like Gumtree or Craigslist, or put up posters in your local library, or you can sign up with a tutoring agency that will find you the students you're looking for.  I personally made an extra 800/pounds a month tutoring on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings.  I loved it and always highly recommend it.



While traveling, most teachers choose to stay in hostels instead of hotels, as European hostels are actually quite nice, affordable and great places to meet other like minded travellers on a shoestring budget.  The great thing with hostels is you can read reviews online & find the right hostel for you. So if you like to party and actually prefer a party-hostel, then read the reviews and find the right hostel for you.  Or if you're like me and prefer a smaller hostel, with only a few beds in a room - you can find those too.


They fly discount airlines like Ryan Air and Easy Jet.  My favourite trip was to Barcelona, in which I paid ONE pence to fly from London to a town just outside Barcelona and then took a shuttle into the city.  Taxes brought my flight to 13 pounds.  Cheaper than seeing a movie!

The downside to these airlines is they charge for your luggage, water, snacks - anything they can charge you for, they do.  They're obnoxious in their sales tactics, and you might be unlucky enough to be in the same seat as someone who just vomited on their last flight - which is a traumatic experience to say the least!  But you get what you pay for - and most teachers are willing to take the one pence flights and risk the bad smells and tacky experience of flying a discount airline.  Hopefully you won't have the horror stories to share after the fact!



Teachers also save money by using skype and google phone to keep in touch with their families back home.  They buy mobile phones with amazing plans, or unlock their smart phones when they arrive in London and do pay as  you go (in which you top up your phone as you need to - it's as easy as visiting an ATM and adding money to your phone!).


They do free (or almost free) activities, like jogging with the Nike Store, or taking dance classes in Hyde Park.   They read the Time Out magazine, and sign up for their subscription in which they give your first 8 issues free (watch for that one, it's a steal as the mag sells for almost 4 pounds a week!).





Here's a little tip I've never shared before: Time Out and TNT magazine often run contests on their websites, which so few people submit to that it's ridiculously easy to win free stuff.  I won tickets to Beyonce (which I then sold for 100 pounds!), The Killers (amazing!), and a few plays in London.  I won free books and movies - my office mates always laughed as I received random packages in the mail from contests I had entered and won.  I tended to sell most of what I won because I liked cash more than the items, but hey - free stuff is awesome!  You have to enter every single contest & not care what you win, because eventually you will win something.  And that's awesome.


One last thing - museums and art galleries in London are free!  Out of all the things I love about London, I think this is #1 on my list.  Not only are the galleries absolutely incredible, but free too?  Amazing.

I know I'm forgetting so many more great tips to save money while teaching in London.  Help us out and share your tips below!


Resources for Teaching in London 
Classroom Canada
 website Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook 
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Attend a Webinar on Teaching in London -
January 26 2012
One hour webinar about teaching in London.
Sign up here.
Like this blog? Be sure to flick "follow" on the right hand side so you're the first to get our blog posts.

Monday, January 16, 2012

TedXObserver - For TED lovers in London, England


I recently gave a TedX talk here in Victoria, Canada.  It was on my bucket list of things to do before I die, and while I am a teacher who is used to giving talks in front of large audiences, I was still ridiculously nervous.  I had only 8 minutes to capture the attention of the audience, convey the message and try not to fall off the stage. 

Well, luckily - I survived! And now my dream is to get to do a TED talk in the annual conference.  That would be absolutely incredible and of course, nerve-wracking!

TEDX conferences are independently organized local events - in the spirit of TED, but organized locally.  There are literally thousands of these events around the world. 

For those of you in London, England I highly recommend signing up for the TEDxObserver conference which will happen in March 2012.  It's between 55 and 65 pounds to attend a full day of speeches, and trust me - you won't be disapointed. They just started selling tickets yesterday, and I know they will sell out.  Get in there before they do, and maybe you'll start dreaming of your own TEDx or TED talk one day. 

Resources for Teaching in London
Classroom Canada
website Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
Sign up for our newsletters

Attend a Webinar on Teaching in London -
January 26 2012
One hour webinar about teaching in London.
Sign up here.
Like this blog? Be sure to flick "follow" on the right hand side so you're the first to get our blog posts.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What do Canadians Miss Most While Teaching Overseas?


I asked teachers on facebook what they miss the most about Canada while they're teaching abroad. They came back with plenty!

Here are the responses from our Canadian teachers in London, England:


Kristen: My family and friends, the snow, the sun (especially when snow and sun happen on the same day), ketchup & dill pickle chips, distinguishable seasons, the pronunciation of words like 'aluminium,' Tim Hortons steeped tea, readily available winter sports (skating, skiing, sledding) and summer swimming spots (lakes and rivers), hockey on television, bundling up from october through april, maple syrup, cbc news, knowing everyone in my neighbourhood....hahaha....not that I've made an exhaustive list or anything! Actually there are a lot of things I miss about Canada, but just as many that I love about London :)


Kaari: I agree with Kristen, I miss my family and friends and my puppy the most (and with that comes a long list of individual things, events, places, etc. that I miss), but close seconds: Tim Hortons everything, Dairy Queen Blizzards and ice cream cake, smart food popcorn and popcorn that isnt sweet or salty...like proper movie theatre buttery popcorn, campbell's soup (the stuff they have here is not the same), the easy availability of margarita mix, taco seasoning (the stuff here doesnt taste the same) and being able to watch hockey not in the middle of the night (as a canucks fan, being up at like 2 or 3am to watch the start of a game is BRUTAL, especially when they were in the playoffs...), I also miss actually just going to hockey games, i miss watching my tv shows (which i can watch here, I just have to wait a day or two...)....being able to drive (I'm wayyy to scared to do it here, and all the cars are manual...) and the kids I worked with back home (compared to some of the kids here, the worst ones were angels!!)....and again, I also agree with Kristen on the once heading back to Canada I am sure I will lots of things here too!

Tanya: Whitespot!

Kaari: ooooh, Whitespot....yes, thats a good one...

Dunja: East Side Mario's

Sara: Tim Hortons :( .... (And Family and Friends of course lol)

I also asked teachers and friends who have worked in other places around the world. They have worked in Sri Lanka, the UK, Sudan, the Middle East and the States. Here are their replies:

Angela: CBC radio, maple syrup, seasons...

Emily: Sunday family dinners

Kieran: The ever-loving embrace of free health care.

Carolina: Kind of depends where you go and what you have access to; multiculturalism is one that I've noticed in trips to quite culturally homogenous places
 

David: #1 is Hawkins Cheezies - simply cannot get them in the UK. #2 is Bob Cole Hockey Night in Canada play-by-play. #3 is a BC Ferries ride ... could probably keep going for a while ....

Shannon: Fresh air, stereotypical politeness, autumn, thunderstorms, good hair products :)

What do you miss most about Canada while teaching overseas? I'll follow this up with a post about what our teachers miss most when they return "home" to Canada.

Resources for Teaching in London
Classroom Canada
website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
Sign up for our newsletters

Attend a Webinar on Teaching in London -
January 26 2012
One hour webinar about teaching in London.
Sign up here.

Like this blog? Be sure to flick "follow" on the right hand side so you're the first to get our blog posts.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Canada for President



Teachers are back into the full swing of things post-holiday and already looking forward to the next break.  To help ease the transition, here's a short video that made us giggle over here.  Not Safe for Work my friends. 

Happy teaching & traveling!

Resources for Teaching in London
Classroom Canada
website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
Sign up for our newsletters

Attend a Webinar on Teaching in London -

January 26 2012
One hour webinar about teaching in London.
Sign up here.

Like this blog? Be sure to flick "follow" on the right hand side so you're the first to get our blog posts.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Canada Day in London - Musicians & Performers Can Apply to Perform at Trafalgar Square



Attention Canadian performers - The London Canada Day celebration is amazing and if you want a rockin' experience on Canada Day, you should apply right away to perform on the main stage.

Our Canadian teachers and teaching assistants in London go every year to play street hockey, eat poutine, sing the anthem and wear Canadiana.  It's the only day of the year that I can wear my old-school CBC t-shirt in London and know that someone in the crowd will love it & comment on my "awesome t-shirt!"  We don Canadian tattoos, drink Molson Canadian (which I must admit, I never drink unless I have no other Canadian beer option) and say "Eh" as much as humanly possible. 

It's only 179 days away.  Get on that main stage Canadian performers and do your country proud.

Resources for Teaching in London
Classroom Canada
website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
Sign up for our newsletters

Attend a Webinar on Teaching in London -

January 26 2012
One hour webinar about teaching in London.
Sign up here.

Like this blog? Be sure to flick "follow" on the right hand side so you're the first to get our blog posts.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What does your voice sound like abroad? Mine hurts British ears.

One of our teachers just posted the video above, and it made me laugh on this rainy Wednesday morning so I thought I'd share it with you.  It got me to thinking about all the accents in England & Scotland, and how hard it is to fit in when your voice gives you away as a foreigner.

I've spent a lot of time in countries around the world where I don't fit in. I have red hair & fair skin, and felt like a freak-show while building latrines & assisting eye cataract surgeries in Bangladesh.  People in the remote community I worked in had never seen a westerner like myself, and were unabashed at pointing out my oddities.  It's not rude to stare in Bangladesh, and it's something that took an awful lot of learning on my part to get used to.

Costa Rica & Guatemala are much more accustomed to foreigners, but again - redheads are uncommon.   I have fairly light red hair though (My mom always called it "Strawberry Blonde" when I was a kid, but I know she was just trying to make me feel better about being a redhead), so in Latin America they tend to just call it blonde.  The guys on the street loved my hair, and catcalls became a daily part of my existence there.

The point is -  I'm okay being a foreigner, I guess. I mean, you always want to blend in wherever you go right? In Bangladesh I had on the same clothes as everyone else within just a couple of days to try to blend a bit better (it didn't work by the way - this skin glows in the sun!).  But in England and Scotland, I thought I'd look like everyone else and that it would be easier to blend in.  My family is from England & Scotland, surely - I should fit in easily no?

London is a land of foreigners. Just sit on the tube & look around you - people are from virtually every country on the planet in London.  It is easy to blend in!

But ... and it's a big but ... your voice gives you away! 

Which shouldn't be an issue with people from around the world right? 

Wrong.

As I was told on numerous occasions in public places by complete strangers, "Well, you see, the American accent...it's just so... well, it hurts our ears."

What?!

My voice hurts your ears?!  Seriously?

Oh and I'm Canadian, by the way.

So what to do?  Besides shutting up in public & never speaking again?  I tried to speak more softly. I tried to speak quietly. I had repeat nightmares about being told off in public for being too loud.  I tried to speak more British, I really did.  But this girl speaks more like Dick Van Dyke than a proper Brit and really, it sounds silly on me.

Some of our teachers manage to blend in much better.  They have British boyfriends or girlfriends that they live with, and their accent changes much quicker as a result.  But then they come home to Canada, and they get made fun of for changing their accent so quickly (maybe not to their faces, but you know what you think when someone comes home after a year and suddenly speaks like a Londoner.  You read what they said about Madonna didn't you?).

There's not much any of us can do, but give up on blending in and just be ourselves, assaulting accents and all.

Do you have a story to share about your accent?  I'd love to hear it. Leave a comment below. Thanks!


Resources for Teaching in London
Classroom Canada
website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
Sign up for our newsletters

Attend a Webinar on Teaching in London -

January 26 2012
One hour webinar about teaching in London.
Sign up here.

Like this blog? Be sure to flick "follow" on the right hand side so you're the first to get our blog posts.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Webinar: Teaching in London, England 101



I am so excited for this webinar.  I did one a month ago and had a blast so I just know this one will be great too.  This time, we're charging $5 to attend and giving the proceeds to Pocket Change Heroes who will build a school in Kenya with the donations. 

Here are the details:
This one hour webinar  on January 26th 2012 at 5pm PST covers everything you need to know about jobs in London for Canadian teachers, as well as how you can apply & secure the job of your dreams.
  • Types of teaching jobs
  • How to apply for teaching jobs
  • Visas and Work Permits
  • Accommodations & social life
  • Who succeeds teaching in London
  • Who shouldn't teach in London
This is an interactive webinar, so bring your questions & concerns.

All registrants will receive a free copy of the award winning Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians, (sold for $29.95), after attending the webinar & providing feedback in the short survey.

If you are unable to attend at the specific time, simply RSVP yes & we will email you the recorded webinar after the event. You won't receive the free ebook though, so it's best to attend if you can. We will offer these webinars once/month.


Resources for Teaching in London

Classroom Canada
website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
Sign up for our newsletters

Attend a Webinar on Teaching in London -
January 26 2012
One hour webinar about teaching in London.
Sign up here.

Like this blog? Be sure to flick "follow" on the right hand side so you're the first to get our blog posts.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Early Entrepreneurs Experiment - Teaching Kids Money Skills While Building Schools in Africa

I am a huge fan of teaching children about global issues in creative, engaging ways.  The video above shows a unique way to teach entrepreneurial skills while also fund-raising to build a school in Kenya.  Very cool stuff here.

Resources for Teaching in London

Classroom Canada
website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook  

Sign up for our newsletters
 

Attend a Webinar on Teaching in London -
January 26 2012
One hour webinar about teaching in London.
Sign up here.

Like this blog? Be sure to flick "follow" on the right hand side so you're the first to get our blog posts.

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