- Age: 26
- Address: Birmingham
- Work: Primary Teacher
- From: New South Wales, Australia
Why did you come to teach in the UK?
I decided to move to the UK for a chance to explore Europe whilst living nearby and also to see what teaching in the UK was all about. For me, I was hoping it would be an adventure and a lot of fun. An opportunity to meet great people and learn about the world.
What helped you settle in once you arrived in UK?
Once I was settled in with TimePlan, everything became easy. I loved the staff (friendly and helpful right from the start!!) who not only found me a job quickly but, who also educated me on how to find a doctor, open a bank account, explained how tax worked and every other little thing that in Australia I took for granted.
What did TimePlan do well?
TimePlan was also fantastic because through their termly get-togethers I was able to meet people who were in the same boat as me and this helped me to form a lot of great friendships- and hear that I wasn't the only one going through the same experiences.
What were the major differences you encountered?
For me, the UK was not at all what I expected. One difference I encountered was that there was a lot more teacher accountability. At the time I hated it, but now that I am home it has made me look at education and my teaching style quite differently. As much as I hate to admit it, I think it was for the best!
What do you wish you had brought with you.
I found that as a casual teacher I didn't need to bring much because the teachers left an explicit outline of the lessons they wished you to teach. The only thing I did wish I had brought were Aussie souvenirs and more photos of home. That way, I could have had things to show and tell when I spoke to staff and pupils about where I was from.
What is one of your favourite moments whilst teaching in the UK?
Some of my favourite moments in the UK were at work when I would say something and people would give me a funny look. I soon realised the look meant 'What does that word even mean?'. For instance, I was once explaining an Aussie outfit - shorts, a singlet and thongs. Well, my good British friend had to translate the whole conversation because to them our men wore g-strings and vests everywhere.
What areas of the UK did you live?
Whilst in the UK i lived in two main areas. The first was in a small village where there were sheep, cows, families and not much else. Whilst it epitomised England, it wasn't for me. Half way into my stay in England, I moved closer to Birmingham and loved being close to the city. Birmingham has so much to offer in regards to night life, work opportunities, things to do and places to go.
What advice would you offer to other teachers interested in Teaching in the UK?
Buy a youth pass at the train station. It gives you great deals off train travel. Also, never let the weather effect you or you'll do nothing. Lastly, as much as it may seem daunting, get out and meet people. Once you have friends, everything is great!
How has this experience affected you?
It's amazing, I was so homesick and thought that everything back home would be different when I returned. In actual fact, I was the one who did most of the changing!