Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another Blast from the Past: An Interview with a Canadian Teaching Assistant in London, England

I interviewed Bryn a year ago & thought it would be great to revisit her interview again here.  She's still in London, and she's still a TA with us.  Thanks Bryn!

Coffee Time with Classroom Canada - Bryn Morin (U of Windsor)

Name: Bryn Morin
University: University of Windsor
Subjects: Drama in Education, Child Psychology
Ages You Teach: Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 (ages 5-7), Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11)

How long have you been a Teaching Assistant in London?
1.5 years
What do you teach?
Special needs support in a mainstream nursery.
Why did you chose to work with Classroom Canada?
I was looking for an opportunity to work in a different country when a Facebook ad for Classroom Canada popped up on my screen. I kid you not! Classroom Canada didn't advertise there for long, so I guess it must have been fate. At the time, I was just getting back into teaching after a five-year hiatus, and I thought this would be an incredible opportunity. So I did my research and was impressed with what I saw. The rest is history.
What was the biggest adjustment for you to make in your teaching in London compared to Canada?
I think most people say this, but definitely behaviour management. I was used to 95% of my students automatically listening to me. That can happen in London too, but only once you've
developed the right skills and strategies. I'm grateful for it, actually. I think it's made me a much better teacher.
Describe a typical London day in 3-4 sentences.
A typical day for me now involves getting up, walking to work, playing with children, walking home, and then either lounging, hitting the gym, or going out swing dancing in the evening. The best part about London, though, is there are so many opportunities for atypical days. There are loads of cool and quirky events happening all around the city all the time, and many of them are free!
What is the one piece of advice you can offer a Canadian Teaching Assistant considering the move to London?
Keep an open mind. If you're determined to make the best of this experience, no matter what it throws at you, it will be one of the best and most influential experiences of your life.
Describe the funniest thing that’s happened to you in your year so far:
I work with 3-4 year olds, so every day is a series of hilarious moments. I can't think of anything that stands out above the rest. But when the majority of your work day is spent smiling and laughing, you know you're in the right job.
Describe the worst thing:
Probably winding up in hospital with a bite from the child I work with. But even that wasn't so bad. He bit me out of love, so I just had to laugh it off.
What made you stay with Classroom Canada, rather than any other agency?
I've always felt loyalty to Classroom. Sometimes when there isn't much work available, it's tempting to sign up with as many agencies as you can. But when Classroom doesn't have work, neither do those other agencies.

What I love about Classroom is they've always been prepared to go the extra mile for me when I really needed it. They've got my back, and they always pull through.

What qualities do you have that make your stay more enjoyable?
I don't think there's anything more important than a positive attitude. Any experience can be as good or as bad as you want to make it.
Thanks Bryn!

We are currently interviewing teachers and teaching assistants for teaching jobs in London that start in Sept/Oct 2012.  To apply, send your resume & cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada.com.

Resources for Teaching in London
Classroom Canada website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
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Thanks for sharing your two pence!


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