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 teaching...in 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 http://www.supplybag.co.uk has some great ideas!
Well wish me luck, and hope to see some of you there!