Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Interview with a Canadian Teacher Working in London, England


It's time for another Coffee Time with one of the Canadian teachers in London, working through Classroom Canada. Over to Kaitlin...

Name: Kaitlin Anderson
University: University of Victoria
Subjects: Primary Education
Ages You Teach: Primary


1. How long have you been teaching in London?
For almost four months now

2. What do you teach?
Well I started off doing supply work for both keystage one and keystage two in mainstream schools, but have just started working at an SEN school in a keystage two class.

3. Why did you chose to work with Classroom Canada?
I liked that it was a smaller agency, and that it was based in Canada; which allowed my pre-London questions and queries to be answered more promptly than if it was an agency based somewhere else.

4. What was the biggest adjustment for you to make in your teaching in London compared to Canada?
Classroom management was definitely an adjustment as mentioned in prior coffee time surveys; however I found one of my biggest adjustments being getting comfortable with the high use of technology. During my practicums in Canada I never had an opportunity to use or interact with Smartboards and really that’s all they use here. One day in the middle of teaching a lesson I thought I was turning off the lights to help the students see the picture better but instead turned off the entire electricity in the room ..oops.

5. Describe a typical London day in 3-4 sentences.
Well now that I have a long-term position…

I wake up about 6am, get ready and am out the door by 6:45. I usually arrive at my school around 7:45 and start to prepare for the day. My students arrive at 9:15 and keep me on my toes all day until they are picked up at 3:30. I usually spend sometime sorting through resources and tidying the classroom until about 5pm then head home and hit the gym (I LOVE their spin classes at my gym; black lights and great 90s pump up music). And once I’ve showered and ate dinner I usually just catch up with family/friends at home or have a good chat with the people who live in my hall. And before I know it…it’s bedtime.

6. What is the one piece of advice you can offer a Canadian teacher considering the move to London?Do it! London is an amazing city that has a ton to offer. Also I feel I have learnt more about teaching in the last four months than I did throughout my entire teaching degree.

7. Describe the funniest thing that’s happened to you in your year so far:
There has been a ton of funny days, it’s hard to really capture one particular moment. I think just the general differences in terminology has made for some good laughs. The look of horror that went across one of the student’s face, after I asked him to“ quickly put [his] jumper in the bin (well changing for PE)”, definitely stands out.

8. Describe the worst thing:
Definitely, the feeling of losing complete control of a class. In one year three class I had two fights break out during a lesson.

9. What made you stay with Classroom Canada, rather than any other agency?
The staff was really friendly, and didn’t mind me popping into the office with questions on a regular basis. Also I worked pretty consistently while on supply and now have a long-term; so a working Kaitlin is a happy Kaitlin.

10. What qualities do you have that make your stay more enjoyable?
I adjust really easily to new situations and have been living away from home on and off for the last six years, so I don’t find that I feel homesick very often. Also I love being able to just walk around and explore, and London has an endless amount of neighbourhoods to do that in.

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Thanks for sharing your two pence!

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