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.


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