Wednesday, October 16, 2013
I've spent the past 6 weeks on the road travelling across Canada speaking at teachers colleges about teaching abroad, and specifically about teaching in London, England. It's been a busy time for Classroom Canada, with our new teachers settling into life in London, and our veteran teachers cracking on with the new academic year. We're fielding all the questions from experienced teachers in Canada who are considering the move abroad, and of course, all of the teachers college students who will graduate in the spring.
So, when should you apply to teach in London, England?
If you are still in teachers college, and finish in April or May 2014, then the best time for you to apply is after you have completed a large practicum (4 weeks or more). That usually happens in the first term of the year, and so you are ready to apply in January or February.
When you apply, we will talk with you about the options in terms of your arrival.
Some teachers like to arrive as soon as their studies are done, and land in London in May. These teachers obtain letters from their university that say they have completed all necessary coursework to obtain a B.Ed and they tend to miss their actual convocation, choosing instead to have their degrees mailed to them. The school year in England ends in the 3rd week of July, so these teachers tend to do some end-of-the-year supply teaching and go for job interviews for positions that start in September. This is a very competitive approach to arriving in London as a new teacher, as most teachers arrive in Sept/Oct so they miss the spring opportunities for teaching interviews for the new academic year. The May arrivals scoop up the last minute teaching jobs - which is a great approach to starting your new teaching career in a new city!
Other teachers prefer to spend the summer at "home" and then arrive in London in September or October. They save up as much money as they can in their summer jobs and then arrive in London with the new academic year. They should still apply in January or February though! The vast majority of teachers need time to prepare for teaching abroad, as well as to complete their paperwork of course.
We do accept applications all year though. The bottom line? Apply when you are ready. When you know for sure that you want to teach abroad, and not just because you might be nervous about the lack of job opportunities for new teachers back home.
Need more information? There are more than 600 blog posts in this very blog for you to explore. I'm not writing as much these days, only because I think I've covered almost everything in here already, so please...take a wander around.
There's also the award winning ebook, Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians.
Good luck and enjoy your teaching & adventures!
Monday, September 16, 2013
I'm always excited when I see an application from a teacher who already knows one of our other teachers in London. Referrals make up the vast majority of our teachers, which is just how I like it. This year, we're seeing more jobs being filled at the last minute as well. Just last week one of our Canadian teaching assistants went out for a trial day in a school she loves, and already she's been hired as a full-time TA.
Here are a few bits of advice for those of you who are considering applying to teach in London:
- Try not to send emails with a lot of questions before you've applied to teach with us. I know it's tempting to just fire off an email (much like texting) and I'm happy to help...but...And this is a big but - you are showing us that you aren't quite ready to take the leap to teaching abroad. You are bound to have a LOT of questions of course, but try to wait until your interview to ask these questions. Try to do some research on your own first (which shows us that you're the capable teacher ready to teach abroad!) and if you're not sure where to start - how about this blog? Or my award winning ebook? Or ask a teacher you know is already teaching in London. Remember -- you are not the first Canadian teacher to move to teach in London and you won't be the last!
- Be ready to leave right away and follow the instructions for your visa, your bank account, the accommodations and take advantage of the social media networks that exist to help. The more you can follow instructions, the easier it will be. I personally applied to teach in London at the end of July 2004 and was on a plane to my first teaching classroom by the end of August. It was fast & furious! It's a challenge certainly, but not impossible. Most teachers need about 6 months to emotionally prepare for teaching abroad, but the actual paperwork can take just a month if you do it right the first time.
- Be flexible. If you're a secondary teacher of history and English, be prepared to teach math and science and SEN and primary. If you're a primary teacher and you prefer teaching kindergarten and grade 1, be as flexible as possible and take on grade 5 and 6 teaching too. Sure, you might be a bit nervous at first, but "fake it til you make it" really does work.
- Know that you will likely supply teach for 2-3 months before landing a full time job. This works in your favour as you get to know the city and the new curriculum, make new friends and get accustomed to teaching in London in general.
- Don't panic. Breathe. Slow down. And then apply when you know for sure that you are ready to teach abroad. There's no point applying before you know you're ready!
Good luck! Send in your resume & cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada dot com when you are ready.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
If you're like me, you see the Back to School advertisements and think "No! It can't be Back to School time already!" It's like advertising for Christmas in September! But we are just a couple of weeks from the new academic year and it's time to start looking forward to seeing all your new students.
Here is a list of 9 Great Back to School Teaching Blogs to help you plan your new classrooms. Have fun with it & remember, it's still summer! So enjoy your vacation teachers. You'll be swamped in no time.
Steve Spangler's Blog
Steve Spangler has some great Back to School resources collected over on his blog today. Steve's blog is normally filled with science-related teaching tips & tricks, but he occassionally includes general teaching resources. Well worth a visit or two.
The Guardian posted a Top 10 Back to School Teaching Resources article last year but it's still useful this year. They also have an active online teacher network for sharing resources. Very helpful for those of you who are off to teach in the UK.
For those teachers who are more technologically inclined and looking for great apps, Educators Technology has created a list of essential back to school resources for teachers.
The First Book Blog
Here's a way for teachers to get free books. I haven't tried it myself, but from the sounds of it, this is an awesome way for teachers to access free books!
2nd Annual Back to School Guide
A Modern Teachers links to a free guide to teachers & educators that looks pretty awesome. "This guide is a compilation of different products and teaching resources for Back-to-School. Fabulous teacher bloggers have contributed to the emagazine to make it an incredible resource. One you don't want to miss."
The Autism Helper
The Autism Helper just posted a set of great classroom-setup tools for teachers. These aren't quite free though. They cost $5.50 for the set over on the Teachers Pay Teachers marketplace. For those of you teaching in the UK, you will find the labels are American so you would have to edit them for the UK (ie - mathematics instead of arithmetic...).
Education World has a full archive of back to school resources for teachers, including icebreakers for the first day of school, how to cope with parent (over) involvement, back to school supply lists and plenty more. Lots jam-packed in here.
This is a cute blog filled with back to school ideas, blackline masters (printables), bulletin board supplies and everything you could possibly want to include in your classroom for the first week of school
Don't let the name fool you. This blog includes everything for the kindergarten classroom (aka Reception in the UK) up to Grade 6 (aka year 6 in the UK).
Do you know of any other great back to school teaching blogs that I should share here? Please share below.
If you're still looking for a teaching job, please send your resume & cover letter to applyATclassroomcanada.com and we can discuss teaching in London, England. Good luck!
Monday, August 5, 2013
|Rapeseed fields in England are a common summer sight.|
Guest Post by Dusan Sekulic
They say the summers in London are not as ferocious as most hot or extreme climates in the world. I rather think it is a matter of opinion or personal tolerance. I’m not quite sure who said that original weather commentary about this great capital of England, I only know that it does not apply to English classrooms in English schools.
The summer (and final) term in school can be exciting, everlasting, tedious and fun, all in one. Not to mention…long. They go all the way to the end of July. On the one hand, teachers are scrambling to mark final tests, finishing Year End reports, lesson planning for next year, and dealing with said heat issues in beautiful old buildings from the 1800s. On the other hand, the day to day lessons can be more relaxed, the students slightly more fidgety – in anticipation of the summer vacation – yet more cheery at times. And of course, there is a more realistic, tangible countdown occurring in your head, awaiting that final bell and long exhalation of ‘teacher freedom’.
Having now spent a full year in London’s school system, I can certainly say that the experience has been absolutely invaluable and one I will surely always remember.
Having emerged from the stagnant heat of my classroom in London, it is hard to believe that not long ago I was bogged down in a congested teaching system back home. Options limited, prognosis grim, the leap to the majestic land that is the United Kingdom was a gamble in itself. Here in the inner city that is London, I had my first taste of a school system that was more challenging, yet richly rewarding. Burdened by new terms and systems to learn, but at the same time, feeling welcomed as a sought after, young teacher with a sliver of experience.
At the start, each day felt like a monumental climb in itself. Cover days after cover days. Wearing you down. Different schools, different staff, more curious systems. Endured, surpassed, knowledge and experience accumulated. The opposite of idle stagnation and struggle in Canada, here the challenge was to be thrown right into the fire, to fend and learn for yourself in schools that were different, yet similar in many ways. Classroom management became a skill in itself. Subjects had to be taught in a stimulating fashion. Learning objectives had to be met. Meeting new teachers, hearing their stories, understanding and immersing yourself in the education of different students in another system of education. Yet, students and teenagers nevertheless. Wanting to learn, fascinated by your accent, being challenged every day to reach and exceed their individual targets. And you, an educator learning to embrace your craft. Tune it, adjust, discovering its frequencies and uses. Strengths and weaknesses. This was the adventure.
And when a full-time long term position eventually came after a few months, it was excitement anew. The dream was right around the corner. Your own classroom, students, staff room. Extra-curricular activities, after school events, grasping the small, yet vital, intricacies of an English school, filled with unique staff from all corners of the world. Memories made, truly never to be forgotten.
As the Sun sets on this first adventure, I can confidently say that the hurried, busy pace of London’s schools and the city itself is the ultimate learning quest for any teacher. Especially at the onset of a career at the beginning stages. Somewhere between stepping off the plane and exiting a school after your first day of cover, you remember why you became a teacher. You forget all the worries you had before coming to a new country, face the reality of this challenging profession and just do the job you love. It is not for the meek and you need to learn to push yourself, be patient and adapt. But the rewards are boundless. Confidence and assured preparedness.
You are ready for anything.
Hopping on the newly arrived double decker bus, on the way to the tube and back to the city and my welcoming flat, I smile and pull out a book to read. No more deadlines, reports or schedules for the time being. Free time to relax, contemplate and reflect on a successful year.
And of course, where should I go to this summer vacation?
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
There are 2 more teaching weeks left in London and schools are starting the scramble to fill positions that start in September.
For those of you who might be on the fence about teaching abroad, and in London in particular, be sure to check out the new job postings on the Classroom London site. My colleagues are updating the site as often as they can, but I can safely tell you that there are definitely more jobs available than we have posted. It's just a mad time of year!
To apply for teaching jobs in London that start in Sept/Oct 2013 or January 2014, simply submit your resume & cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada.com. If we don't reply right away, please be patient. Good luck!
Monday, June 17, 2013
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Here's a blog post from the Classroom blog in London that was written by Michelle Lawee, a McGill teacher who arrived in London just a few weeks ago. I had the pleasure of meeting Michelle at a workshop I gave in January and she took the leap into teaching abroad with Classroom Canada. Over to Michelle...
So, you’re thinking about making a giant leap, moving “across the pond” and teaching in London, England. Two words: DO IT. I wouldn’t call myself impulsive by nature. Sure, I do impulsive things, but I really like to think things through before committing. BUT I am big on instinct and when something feels right, I have to believe it is.
That’s what happened to me after I heard Victoria (Westcott) speak at a workshop at McGill University in November 2012 about teaching abroad and more specifically teaching abroad with Classroom. The more she went into the detail, the more my gut was saying to me “you’re doing this”. It also helped that Victoria was a real person and not just a robot recruiter like many others are. She said it like it was about living in London and teaching in London. I’m always looking for “realness” in people, and the more she spoke, the more real I found her to be. So we got in touch, we e-mailed back and forth and then I had my interview (which really wasn’t scary at all). The best part of all the correspondence was that I really felt like she was getting ME. We would be able to have a conversation about the work, but she was also interested in me (How was I, what was going on in school/life/etc.). What I also found appealing about Classroom was its small size. When I would e-mail other agencies, I always felt like I had to add a reminder of who I was before asking the questions. With Victoria and Classroom, once we were corresponding, I never had to do that. Smaller companies = more genuine connections/relationships.
So long story short, they offered me a contract, I signed it and was convinced to come down in May, right after graduating and begin my career. So far, I am thrilled with that choice (as opposed to coming in the Fall) as I will be all nice and settled by September.
Getting ready for a big move is hard and easy at the same time. It’s hard because London isn’t a drive home; it’s a flight (and an expensive one at that). It’s also hard because packing responsibly is not one of my strengths. But all in all, the getting ready was fairly simple. Victoria was always checking in, reminding me what still had to be done, reminding me to get my forms in order, and helping me stay calm when some of my forms went missing (yes, that could happen). She was an excellent support pre-move without a doubt. It was also nice to be part of the Classroom Facebook group, where all the teachers who are already in London can answer many of the questions you may have pre-departure.
Ok. So now you’re in London! AH. It’s sensory overload here, but a great kind of overload. The streets are bustling with all types of people and now you’re part of them. I met with the Classroom office my second day here to get everything set up for teaching. First, the office is wonderful. All the staff members are super friendly and I really got the sense that they wanted to do whatever they could to make the transition here easy-peasy. I met with the Primary Team, Krystian and Tee and basically told them my expectations and hopes for teaching here. I think that it’s super important to be 100% honest right off the bat about what YOU want. Don’t assume that people are mind readers, otherwise you are setting yourself up for disappointment. So far, they have totally met my expectations and I have been thrilled with all of my placements. The schools I have been at have been wonderful and I would be more than happy to return to any of them!
Naturally, there are some things that well, you just have to learn when you get here and get working. Here are some of those things:
- Students here are very accustomed to supply teachers because teachers here get ½ a day a week (new teachers get a whole day) to do planning. Crazy, right?
- Primary school teachers teach everything. There is no such thing as “spares”. EVERYTHING. That includes PE, Music, RE and anything else children learn. Yes, PE.
- Sometimes, PE is outside. Sometimes, outside in London isn’t so glamorous. Dress properly and bring extra layers with you every day.
- The students for the most part aren’t going to be overly phased by your accent. They are quite used to Canadian teachers.
- At home, teaching phonics is a no brainer. It’s also a no brainer here EXCEPT that in the UK the pronunciation of vowel sounds IS NOT THE SAME as at home. So, either you say it your way (the kids will say it their way) OR you put on your best fake accent.
- Don’t talk about pants in class. Here, pants are called trousers and the term pants refers to underpants. Kids will undoubtedly laugh.
- Rubbers are erasers. Kids will ask for them. That’s what they mean.
- Kids are kids are kids. They’re hilarious and outspoken and oftentimes too honest. But that’s why we love ‘em, right?
CHEERS and WELCOME,
To join Michelle in teaching in London, simply submit your resume & cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada.com. There's just enough time to prepare for jobs that start in September, so don't delay.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Thanks to Dusan & Katie for this week's guest blog post - 101 Reasons to Teach in London, England!
- Museums are free.
- You earn pounds instead of dollars. Ch-Ching!
- Once you get the hang of the transportation system, it is so easy and efficient.
- It doesn’t rain as much as you think.
- Unlike in Canada, where there are 1 or 2 days off in a month, in London the school year is longer but there are longer holidays, e.g. 2 weeks off for Christmas, 2 weeks off for Easter…
- There are historical landmarks all over the city.
- Shopping on Oxford and Regent street.
- The theatre is amazing.
- If it suits you, you can eat and drink in the theatre, like you would at the cinema.
- You are a train ride away from Paris.
- You are a couple hours flight away from all other European gems.
- The double-decker buses. You can sit on the top level and have a nice view on the commute to work.
- You don’t need to know how to drive because public transportation takes you anywhere you want to go!
- The rain is usually more of a drizzle.
- Lots and lots of markets that sell food, clothes, spices, antiques, art, etc.
- You are living in the city where hundreds of movies have been filmed. Go to the locations where your favourite films were shot.
- Hyde Park
- Walking through Hyde Park and imagining being J. M. Barrie or a character from Jane Austen’s novels.
- Sherlock Holmes
- Even if you don’t live in the city, the tube makes it so that you’re never that far.
- You can watch a play at the Globe for a decent price and imagine what live theatre would have been like in Shakespeare’s time.
- London is such a multicultural city so you will not feel like a foreigner. Most people living in London aren’t from London anyways.
- The London Eye provides spectacular views of the city.
- The food is affordable.
- The food is diverse.
- Your students will be diverse. London schools are extremely multicultural.
- You can travel by boat on the River Thames.
- Many celebs live/have lived in London. You can go to the same place where Princess Diana had tea or shop at the same stores Gwyneth Paltrow does.
- The bridges. There are so many bridges on the River Thames. Old ones, new ones. So you can cross from one side of the Thames to the other as often as you’d like.
- There is a teacher shortage in London so you will get work.
- Apparently it rains less in London than anywhere else in the UK.
- The Premier League.
- London is rich in history. Historical landmarks are on every corner and many legendary artists, writers, musicians have come from London.
- Music. There are plenty of concerts, live shows and the like all around London.
- There are hundreds, no thousands, of pubs.
- Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. This place brings out the child in everyone. Adults and children can both revel in the lights, food, and fun here.
- Christmas in London is magical. The lights and decorations on Regent and Oxford street, the displays in the shop windows…
- Despite the British tendency to put pork and meat in every dish, gone are the days when vegetarians had no place to go in London. There are plenty of vegetarian options in London, and as mentioned before, an array of multicultural foods to indulge in.
- The Queen lives here.
- Drinks are (generally) affordable here. Even cheap.
- Even if the tube is packed, everyone keeps to themselves and you don’t feel invaded.
- If you like tea, you belong here.
- If you like castles, you belong here.
- If you like palaces, you belong here.
- The architecture. If you look at the top of the buildings in the city, you can pinpoint what time period they were from. Even though they house a modern style Topshop or Starbucks underneath, they
- Lots of beautiful outdoor space. Be it the paths in Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, or Hampstead Heath, you are never far from beautiful green space right in the city.
- It is warmer here than most places in Canada. Winter is never as cold, summer is never as sweltering.
- British accents.
- British expressions.
- It isn’t hard to find accommodation. It seems like people are always moving in London, so it is perfectly easy to find new living space and to switch bills over.
- There are so many free things to do in London. If you are strapped for cash you can still enjoy the vibrancy of the city.
- The nightlife. After work the night begins. Clubs, pubs, theatres, restaurants, concerts, live shows. Anything and everything to entertain you.
- If you supply teach, you will really be able to take advantage of this nightlife because your days will end somewhere between 3:30 and 4:30.
- Libraries. I don’t even know why someone would bother going to the bookshops here when they can get a library card and have free access to thousands of classics. Not to mention cheap DVD rentals.
- Speaker’s Corner at Hyde Park. This has existed for a long time. This is an opportunity for any given person to be a public orator in the park, expressing their opinions on any given subject, usually political, cultural, or religious. Things can get really heated. Grab yourself a bag of popcorn and it’s a show.
- “Tired of London, tired of life”. There is a certain energetic vibe and buzz about this city. It really makes you feel alive. It may not be the city that never sleeps but it is certainly not a city that lets you rest.
- If you tire of London, or need a break, you are a train ride away from Oxford, Bath, Cambridge, Brighton, the Cotswolds, Wales and Scotland.
- Teaching in London means teaching among young, dynamic teachers. It is really refreshing to see teachers under age 35 here in London who are skilled and comfortable in their profession. Get used to it.
- On the weekend you can take advantage of small tours about the city.
- If you can get past Ryan Air’s travel conditions, you can fly to many places for cheap, cheap prices.
- If you are flying, there are plenty of airports around London, and there are trains and buses to every one of them.
- Teacher shortage in London means you actually have career options here, which is unlikely in Canada. Long term, short term, permanent, it’s all up to you here.
- Go to tkts in Leicester square and get discount tickets to theatre shows the day of.
- Take advantage of the free walking tours in London such as the Jack the Ripper tour where you get to trace where the grisly murders took place.
- Whatever you choose to do or teach when you come here you will be boosting your resume, because you will actually be working in your field, and you will most likely be getting valuable and diverse experience.
- If you are lucky, you may get to teach your preferred subject. I was lucky enough to secure a long term position in the subject I studied in University. In other words, I landed my dream job, something that never would have happened in Toronto.
- Learn to drink your tea – or other caffeinated beverages – piping hot the way they do here.
- Visit the iconic Fortnum and Mason, where the royals visit and Princess Di used to frequent for tea.
- You get to don your trench coat and nice fall-wear for many months of the year.
- The weather is more temperate here, which means the temperature won’t be 25 degrees one day and 8 degrees the next day (cough, Toronto, cough).
- Stonehenge. It is not that far and it is worth going.
- You will likely meet teachers in London from all over the globe. Not only will this make you feel less like an outsider but it will enrich your experience teaching.
- London may not be seen as the fashion capital, but it is fashionable nonetheless, so you can indulge your sense of style among the high streets of fashion, the vintage shops, or the markets in the East end.
- The greenery in London is impressive in a city this expansive. It also makes for a great departure from the busy, cosmopolitan feeling of London. Tranquil parks like Hampstead Heath and Primrose Hill are like urban getaways.
- Catch a classical musical performance at historical St Martin in the Fields in the heart of London.
- The naval museum.
- The Queen’s Palace.
- The Planetarium.
- The churches, which are historical and cultural monuments. Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s, Temple Church are among some of its finest. You can go at visiting hours or sit in one of the services.
- London is a venue for famous sporting events: tennis at Wimbledon, football at Wembley, the 2012 Olympics at the O2 Arena, Twickenham Stadium for rugby, the list goes on and on.
- TimeOut London is a great resource for things to know about and things to do in London. It includes best cheap eats, nightlife, theatre, beauty, etc.
- When your friends or family come to visit you in London they will be so impressed by the city, and maybe a bit jealous of you.
- If your friends and family don`t visit you in London, you have the option of visiting them because you will have 13 weeks of holiday throughout the school year.
- No matter your experience here, you will grow as an individual by making the move to London. You will learn more about yourself and develop your skills as a teacher.
- Visit one of the many art galleries the most well-known being the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square. You can check out galleries and up-to-date exhibits on the TimeOut London website.
- Barbican Library for free access to books, periodicals, and cheaper fare on DVDs, CDs. The library seating area overlooks a lake and neighbouring gardens. And a hidden fact, the music library has a piano which is free to public use.
- Barbican Centre (which houses Barbican Library) always has interesting things on. It holds contemporary and classical musical concerts, art exhibits, film screenings, and theatre performances. The building is equipped with coffee and food areas, and a martini bar on the second level. There is even a nice arboretum on the top level.
- It’s not as expensive as you would think in London. Even so, you are earning more here than you would anywhere else. Mentally convert your hard earned pounds into dollars and you will feel satisfied.
- If you chance by the East End, Westfield Shopping Centre at Stratford is the largest shopping centre in the EU.
- Night buses help you get home when you’ve been out long past curfew.
- Night buses are highly entertaining. We've had many a long conversation with the most unusual & interesting people on the night buses!
- If you work day-to-day supply, you can take advantages of the weekdays you don’t work. Be a tourist and go to your desired destination during off-peak times.
- If you are lazy or don’t have time to grocery shop, many grocery stores, like Tesco, can delivery your groceries to your home.
- School trips! You will not have to pay and you’ll get paid to visit something new and interesting in the city!
- There is a great sense of esteem in saying you work in London.
- When you return home, you get to say "I taught in inner city schools in London" and everyone will know what you mean, or at least pretend to know.
- You might even get teaching job interviews when you return home, as you'll return a more experienced teacher than when you left.
- Forget volunteering - you get to actually work. And get paid. As a teacher. Like you trained to do.
- Single? Fall in love with dating in London. There are more single people in London than there are couples.
- And finally - Why not? What's stopping you?
Know another reason to teach in London? Please share your thoughts below! To apply for teaching jobs that start in Sept/Oct 2013, simply submit your resume & cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada.com.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
We are always on the hunt for great teachers of all subjects, but I will admit that science & math teachers are always in high demand.I am pretty sure that's the case around the world actually. In London, these teachers get 13 weeks of holiday a year, and are a quick flight or train to places like Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Prague...
I am currently interviewing primary, secondary & SEN teachers for jobs that start in September 2013. To see our current job postings in London, just see this site. Like the page, and all of our current teaching jobs will show in your facebook feed. Apply right away as interview spots are getting booked very quickly! Send your resume & cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada.com.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
I've recently embraced a "Location Independent" lifestyle, which is kind of a fancy way of saying "homeless."
Seriously. Hear me out...
For 6 years I've run Classroom Canada out of a small home based office, and bragged that I can do the work from anywhere in the world as the internet has really knocked down global barriers in so many ways. I work mostly from a computer & conduct phone & skype interviews across Canada and with Canadian teachers who are themselves scattered around the globe. So, why not work in more tropical locations right?
I kept telling myself that I needed a home base. I've traveled so much and wanted to have my feet on the ground for a while, and I visit the universities across Canada & the USA which gives me heaps of travel anyway. Plus I travel to London once a year, and of course fit in some other travels there too. But really, I was just lying to myself as I would still dream of more holidays in my life. I'd dream of picking up & just going. It's the international adventurer in me that doesn't seem to slow down with age. It's quite the opposite in fact!
|Me in Chicago. One of my favourite house sits ever.|
|View from one of my Beach Front House Sits in Victoria, Canada|
And so this brings me to you, dear teachers. How can you house sit your way around the world while still having a stable, location dependent job? Well, I think I have the answer.
In London, you have 13 weeks of holiday a year. These holidays are spread out kind of like having Spring Break every 4-6 weeks which is fantastic for teachers as they travel Europe & Africa and really take advantage of living in London. But it's more expensive to travel during the holidays as all the families in the UK are taking the same holidays and the airlines & hotels know this so they increase their prices. It's fine for daily supply teachers, as they can just book their trips for the Thursday night before the break begins, thus avoiding the Friday high prices. But for those with full-time jobs, the travel will always be a bit more expensive ( but still, do-able on a teacher's salary!). What if you want to save more money and still travel, but not have to hitchhike and stay in campgrounds or friends couches?
|Fancy caring for a thatched roof home in England? Or a castle?|
If you set up a profile on Trusted House Sitters and watch for British posts you'll likely notice that a lot of the posts will actually line up with your holiday dates, as families take holidays & need their pets & homes cared for while they go away. So, the dates are actually perfect for teachers! You might not be able to travel the whole world just yet, but you can certainly travel all of England & Scotland very easily, for the cost of a train or even a bus (Mega Bus has 1 pound tickets anywhere in the UK if you book in advance).
During those 6 weeks of summer holiday that you get, you could easily house sit in more far-off places like New Zealand and Australia or Central & South America. You're saving thousands of dollars by not paying for hotels, and you'll be able to cook from home which also saves you on eating out all the time. Sometimes, you even get paid! My last luxury house sit paid me in amazing bottles of wine (heaven!) and a gorgeous massage at a spa. I couldn't be happier!
If you apply to teach in London and manage to score an interview with me, be sure to ask me where I am in the world. I am currently interviewing teachers for jobs in London that start in September 2013. Now is the time to get your resume & cover letter in. Simply email them to apply AT classroomcanada.com. Good luck!
Where do you want to live? Could you care for other people's pets and houses or do you think you'd prefer to stay in hotels as you travel?
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Every once in a while, someone on another blog writes a post that we simply have to share with you here. This one is geared towards new graduates on StudentBeans.com & can apply to teachers and non-teachers alike.
Go on over to their blog and read: 101 Reasons You to live in London Once and then come back here & read all about teaching in London from a Canadian perspective.
Teachers should start applying for teaching jobs in London now. We're currently hiring for Sept 2013. Just send your resume & cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada.com. Good luck!
Friday, May 10, 2013
With September just around the corner, we have our busiest season of the year upon us. New and experienced teachers are looking for teaching jobs abroad, and our inbox is inundated with their CVs and cover letters.
One of the first stages to teaching abroad is to examine what kinds of teaching jobs are out there and get to know the keywords and terminology before applying, so that you sound like you've done the research & are prepared for teaching in a new country. Besides reading the award-winning, Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians, another great idea is to look at the current job openings in our London schools.
Classroom Ltd is now posting all of the current jobs on facebook, where they know most of the teachers spend heaps of time (myself included, as much as I try to limit my time on facebook, I do find myself getting sucked in much more than I expect!). Just like the page & check out the job feed as often as you like. You will see terms like KS1, KS2, A Levels, Maths (instead of Math), Humanities (English & Geography). Keep reading this blog & the ebook and you'll have a handle on the new terms in no time.
When you're ready to apply for a teaching job in London with us, simply submit your cover letter and resume to apply AT classroomcanada.com. Good luck!
Monday, April 29, 2013
|A typical London street in spring.|
By Dusan Sekulic
The sun’s magnificent rays have just peeked over the horizon. Clouds hang scattered across the sky, intercepting the bright light intermittently. Rain will surely fall by noon. However, spring has arrived and the weather is heating up. Morning has come in London, the streets are growing louder and another exciting day of teaching beckons me.
I usually arrive at school sometime before 8:30. Many teachers choose to come to school much earlier in the mornings in order to complete any last minute marking or tweak a lesson plan here or there. I prefer to do as much as I can the previous night, enabling me to have a more relaxing commute the next morning. It really depends on a teacher’s preference, if anything. Upon arriving at the school, I usually have some time to print out any necessary handouts for the day or just check my school e-mail account. At times it can be flooded in the mornings with new messages and awaiting reports that need looking at. However, that’s all part of running the high school ship. All in all, mornings can be hectic if you’re not prepared. Knowing exactly what you will be doing in all your lessons the previous night, or days before, is essential.
Briefing always follows right before the first bell. During a briefing session, teachers and staff are usually gathered in the staff room to listen to any significant announcements for the day. All teachers go to their home form rooms soon after the bell has rang. Your home form for the entire school year could be a Year 7 class, maybe even Year 10, it really does vary. The home form period can be anywhere from 10 minutes up to 20. Here I take the register for my boisterous group of Year 8s, as well as give them any important messages that their particular year group has to know about for that day.
Keep in mind, some days you could have free periods. Take the time during those periods to do some planning, finish up some marking, or anything else that will set up your day better. Remember though, you can always be assigned cover work on those days, in which case you will have to cover someone else’s lesson because they are away for whatever reason. The best advice I can give about those occurrences is to simply get used to it. I cover from 2 to 3 lessons every week and many other teachers do the same.
On this particular day, I am teaching double English to my lively Year 8 students. Ironically enough, they are usually quite focused in the mornings. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is the topic for today’s lesson as we are learning about the context and background of Caesar’s Rome at the time before his assassination. Eyes follow the PowerPoint presentation keenly, and questions abound of Caesar’s many exploits, his ruthlessness and why he was murdered. We will begin the play soon enough and it’s always nice to explore drama and literature, among other things, during these spring days before exams suddenly creep up on them.
|Don't forget to eat a snack. You need the energy to teach!|
During breaks – in this case between first and second period – it’s always best to have a quick, filling snack that picks up your energy. A banana or apple will suffice. In all honesty, though, it is so vital to get a good night’s sleep. There is no time for fatigue when 30+ students are hanging on your every word and waiting to be shown something interesting or given instructions on what to do during a lesson – although dosing off can be common for some of them in the mornings!
Lunch is also very important. Packing your own lunch is advisable because you never know where you will be working. I believe most schools have a cafeteria where you can buy food, but many of them revolve around a card system where you have to upload money – much like an Oyster card for the transport system in London. Also, you might be in a school that is really settled into a suburban neighbourhood, a fair distance away from a convenient store or supermarket. Preparing your own food beforehand ensures that you have your lunch ready to go as soon as the bell strikes for lunch. Key point: Eat some food; you will need it in the afternoon!
The rest of the day runs just as briskly as the morning. Teaching a group of Year 11s the play, An Inspector Calls, can get dull at times, but it is our job to make it stimulating, educational, and also to convey the importance of preparing for exams properly. At the end of the day, students need to achieve good grades to get to where they want to be. A balance of seriousness and good humour is always necessary. Good motivation is vital too. Today’s class is reasonably focused and questions about revision keep sprouting up. I want my students to excel at their exams and answering a vast array of queries, while giving them a chance to work on practice questions and answers is the least I can do.
The one tidbit that new teachers coming to London and finding a long-term placement this late in the school year need to keep in mind is that you will be exploring texts, plays and material that you have never read before. Ever. You need to be flexible. There can be a situation in one of your long-term placements where you will be working from Easter until the end of the school year. In this case, you could be preparing GCSE students (Year 10-11) for their final exams, looking at material that they learned last autumn and are quite familiar with. It seems comical, but you have to prepare yourself first by reading all the works in detail, AND THEN plan how you will teach them to revise it. Our experience reading rapidly and digesting information quickly and in a short amount of time gives us one solid advantage at least. Colleagues and working as a team in your department helps greatly here as well, but that is a topic for another time.
As my day comes to a hectic flourish, I can think of several things that embody a typical long-term school day: It’s incredibly fulfilling, filled with good educational discussions, firm classroom discipline at times, and good cheer and laughter. Once you get used to a school and all the students get to know you, you never feel any dread going to work, or wariness surrounding you. Days go by swiftly and you enjoy the routine. However, it never really feels that way. Variety and diverse situations arise every day. It keeps you on your toes and your energy high.
Leaving school for the day, I can see the sun still firmly placed in the sky, birds singing happily along a line of trees and shrubs. It is a spectacularly pleasant sight. I can only imagine how nice it will be this summer term, and the positive energy that will come with a bright summer afternoon awaiting you after a long day in the classroom.
To join Dusan in teaching in London, whether you teach primary, secondary or SEN, simply submit your resume & cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada.com.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Primary/Secondary/SEN Teachers are encouraged to apply for teaching positions in London, England that start in September and October 2013. We will be conducting interviews across Canada via skype, phone & in person. Apply as soon as possible so you ensure that we have time to review your resume and offer you an interview time if possible.
The majority of Classroom Canada's teaching jobs are in Central London and our accommodations are located right downtown so your travel time to schools will be reduced. All teachers must have a B.Ed or M.Ed and be eligible for either a visa to teach in the UK or have an EU passport that allows them to work in the UK. You can see more about the visa requirements here: http://www.classroomcanada.com/html/VisaWorkPermit.htm
Applicants are strongly encouraged to do their research on our blog, and in particular to read more about our teachers experiences in London. The blog is jam-packed with essential information about teaching in London from a Canadian perspective & will really help applicants to know whether London is the right fit for them.
Teaching Jobs include:
- Supply Teaching (aka Day to Day Teaching, TOC, Daily Supply, Substitute Teaching),
- Long term positions of a term or more
- Permanent positions.
- Primary, Secondary & SEN Teaching Positions.
If selected for an interview, we will discuss all of your options with you so you are well informed and comfortable with the decision to teach in London.
Successful Classroom Canada Teachers are:
- Passionate about teaching & travelling the world at the same time.
- Flexible & easy-going. They "go with the flow."
- Well researched & prepared for teaching in London (with our help).
- Well-rounded individuals with interests outside of teaching (Some of our teachers swing dance, some run Tough Mudder Races, some are avid readers & bloggers, some body build & do cross fit, but all have something that keeps them learning for life).
- Able to see the humour in every day life.
If this sounds like you, please apply right away. Send your resume & cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada.com.
A Few Quotes From our Teachers
"I have been very happy with Classroom. I started working my first week in London. I have about four schools that I go to regularly and am usually working five days a week and this is just as daily supply. Classroom is a great agency that is very approachable and personable and truly has my best interest at heart." Laura McDougall, Canadian teacher currently working in London.
"I stayed with Classroom because they truly do try their best to get you the jobs that you want. I haven’t had any trouble at all getting full time work, andhave been given jobs that they know I prefer. I really enjoyed one school in particular, and after letting them know, I am always getting calls for work at that same school. They also often call me just to see how my days are, and to make sure I’m still happy!" Katie Koskinen, Canadian teacher currently working in London.
"Victoria was always checking up on me, making sure I was on the right track and feeling good about my move to London. I've been very happy with the staff in the London office as well, they've been extremely helpful in finding me work and being 100% supportive!" Jeff Saunders, Canadian teacher currently working in London.
"Just do it! I was so nervous about the move, the change, the unknown...but honestly, it has been the best decision I have made. It is a big change teaching over here, but take it one day at a time and with a grain of salt when you have those crazy days because it does get easier. I promise!" Shannon Griffin, Canadian teacher currently working in London.
Read more from our Canadian teachers. Apply right away by sending your resume & cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada.com.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
We like to ask our Canadian teachers what it's really like to teach in London so the new applicants can be fully prepared. Read on.
Name: Katie Koskinen
University: University of Alberta
Subjects: Primary Education
Ages You Teach: Primary
How long have you been teaching in London?
Exactly 3 months.
What do you teach?
I teach both key stage 1 and key stage 2 (K-6) in mainstream schools.
Why did you chose to work with Classroom Canada?
I liked the fact that they were based in Canada and I wouldn’t have to deal with any significant time differences if I needed to get in contact with them. Also I found their website/blog super helpful in answering any questions or just giving me a good idea about what it’s like to make the move to London. They also seemed the most genuinely interested in making sure my transition went as smoothly as possible.
What was the biggest adjustment for you to make in your teaching in London compared to Canada?
I know most people say classroom management, but I found that so far it hasn’t been much different than Canada.. kids are kids anywhere you go. For me it was probably getting used to the lesson structures and day plans of every school. In Canada, I found that I had much more freedom to change the plans of the day as I saw fit. Here, in every school I’ve been to, you start with literacy and then go into maths pretty much every morning. And they also have different “sets”, so you’ll have a different group of students for literacy as you will for maths.
Describe a typical London day in 3-4 sentences.
Wake up around 6:30 and get ready to leave by 7:15. I almost always get prebooked through Classroom (usually at the same school), so I know where I’ll be going. I usually get home around 4:30, head to the gym, then back home to make dinner or grab take away with another classroom teacher. Then I pack a lunch, get myself ready for the next day, and tuck myself into bed with some good old British reality TV. Weekends are a different story..
What is the one piece of advice you can offer a Canadian teacher considering the move to London?
Just do it! Be confident in the teacher you are, and don’t over think it. If I can do it, you can do it.
Describe the funniest thing that’s happened to you in your year so far:
I had to administer a spelling test to a year 5 class. Sounds easy but strange spelling words like “cuckoo” mixed with my Canadian accent made one student actually offer to repeat the words to the class, claiming that he “understood Canadian”. During another spelling test in a year 1 class, I said the word “author” and the students as well as the TAs in the class thought I was saying “Arthur”, as if I was using a British accent!
Describe the worst thing:
Probably losing control of a class. It only happened once in a challenging year 4 class. I don’t know if there is anything more frustrating!
What made you stay with Classroom Canada, rather than any other agency?
I stayed with Classroom because they truly do try their best to get you the jobs that you want. I haven’t had any trouble at all getting full time work, and have been given jobs that they know I prefer. I really enjoyed one school in particular, and after letting them know, I am always getting calls for work at that same school. They also often call me just to see how my days are, and to make sure I’m still happy!
What qualities do you have that make your stay more enjoyable?
It’s important just to be able to go with the flow when teaching in London. I have a pretty laid back personality, and am able to take everything as it comes. Lots of times as a supply teacher, no matter how early you show up to the school, you will get your lesson plans 5 minutes before the kids show up. I don’t over think it and find that a lot of the times I have to just wing it!
To join Katie in teaching in London, just send your resume & cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada.com. You can read more Coffee Time Interviews here.
Monday, April 22, 2013
It's time for another interview with one of our Canadian teachers in London.
|Laura McDougall, Canadian Teacher in London, England|
Name: Laura McDougall
University: Nipissing University
Subjects: Primary, Junior, Intermediate Geography, Special Education and English as a Second Language
Ages You Teach: Nursery to Year 6
1. How long have you been teaching in London?
I have been teaching in London since October 2012.
2. What do you teach?
I supply teach in Key Stage 1 and 2 (Nursery to Year 6)
3. Why did you choose to work with Classroom Canada?
It is overwhelming trying to find the right agency to come teach in London with. Fortunately, I knew someone who had come over with Classroom Canada two years earlier, who I was able to talk to. Their experience with Classroom Canada was very positive so I gave the agency a call. Victoria, the Canadian recruiter was great about promptly addressing all my questions and concerns and providing an abundance of information about anything and everything London. That sealed the deal!
4. What was the biggest adjustment for you to make in your teaching in London compared to Canada?
Coming from a rural town in Canada, it was easy for me to relate to my students and connect with them. We all came from the same town, went to the same grocery store and I usually knew their parents. However, teaching in a different class everyday in inner city London has been my biggest adjustment. Not only am I in a new class most days, but in my classes I have different nationalities, ethnicities, first languages, and religions making it harder to connect and relate with all my students. However, the students love coming up to ask me about Canada and I take that time to ask them about themselves. In these short six months I have been here, I have been able to learn so much from the students about their religions, languages and ethnicities that is has definitely enriched not only my teaching but my appreciation of the diversity of my schools.
5. Describe a typical London day in 3-4 sentences.
I have decided to stay as daily supply but am usually pre-booked for the entire week at one or two schools. In the mornings I leave around 7:30am, stroll down Tottenham Court Road, with the London Eye in the background, to the tube station and get to any of my schools within 45 minutes. Once at the school, I look at the lessons on the flipcharts (ie. Smartboard slides) and prepare for the day. Then I have a great day with fun children, who love telling me all the facts they know about Canada and asking me what “garbage” is. At the end of the day, I mark up their work and head home.
6. What is the one piece of advice you can offer a Canadian teacher considering the move to London?
My advice to teachers thinking about coming over to teach in London is: DO IT! It is very scary when you first start thinking about moving across the pond and leaving your family and friends. And then there is lots of paper work and forms to get through before you even make the move. Once over you are in a very busy, very big, different city, it can feel very overwhelming! But it is definitely worth it. I have gained so much valuable teaching experience these last six months. As well, living in central London I get to experience everything this world class city has to offer and I do my shopping on Oxford Street – no big deal!
7. Describe the funniest thing that’s happened to you in your year so far:
Just like other teacher’s posts, most of the funniest moments, to the students at least, are usually because I get lost in translation and say a silly word like “pants” or something Justin Bieber related. However, the funniest thing that has happened to me is when I was called in to a school during a “snowstorm.” I was told that many teachers couldn't make it to school because of the snow and some had even gone into the ditch. When I arrived in the town, there was a sprinkle of snow on the ground; I could still see the grass. I honestly thought they were joking a bit with me, until they closed school early. Before the students left I had one come up to me and ask if this was like Canada. I had to laugh, if only they knew!
8. Describe the worst thing:
I was covering a teacher’s PPA (Preparation, Planning & Assessment Time) in a new school one day and going through the day’s plan with her when she informed me that: “I will come back and teach Phonics, I don’t trust you teaching it.” I was really surprised when she said it and it made me feel like I was a bad teacher. However she had never seen me teach and didn’t know me so I didn’t take it personally but it was the one and only time in my London teaching career that I felt inept. Having said that, my London colleagues have been so supportive in welcoming me into their system.
9. What made you stay with Classroom Canada, rather than any other agency?
I have been very happy with Classroom. I started working my first week in London. I have about four schools that I go to regularly and am usually working five days a week and this is just as daily supply. Classroom is a great agency that is very approachable and personable and truly has my best interest at heart.
10. What qualities do you have that make your stay more enjoyable?
There are a lot of qualities that have helped make my move to London enjoyable. However, the main one that has helped me thrive in London is being able to see each experience as a learning experience regardless of the situation. This mindset has allowed me not only to enjoy what London has to offer, but also helped me be able to deal and stay calm with the unexpected like last minute call-ins, tube delays, or different classroom assignments then expected.
To apply to teach in London with Classroom Canada, simply send in your resume & cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada.com. We are busy interviewing teachers for jobs that start in September and October 2013.
To apply to teach in London with Classroom Canada, simply send in your resume & cover letter to apply AT classroomcanada.com. We are busy interviewing teachers for jobs that start in September and October 2013.