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: www.vidtur.com.  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.

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Thanks for sharing your two pence!

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