- Age: 26
- Address: London
- Work: Substitute teaching with TimePlan
- From: Newmarket, Ontario
Why teach in the UK?
I was interested in the experience of working in another country. I love big cities so the idea of working in London was very exciting to me. I knew that working in a city like London, which is so multicultural, would give me a diverse experience that I couldn't get at home. I was also attracted to the idea of traveling throughout Europe during my time off.
What kind of teaching experience were you looking for and are you getting it?
I was looking for a diverse experience and I am definitely getting it! I wanted to experience different age levels at schools in all areas of London. The more schools you teach in, the more you come to realize what age levels you prefer and what you will look for in a school to work in permanently. You are also able to learn all sorts of teaching strategies and improve classroom management skills.
How was your transfer to the UK?
I figured that coming from an English speaking country, there wouldn't be much of a difference between Canada and England, but it was actually a little more difficult then I thought it would be. There is a cultural difference, which takes some time to adjust to. It's difficult to pinpoint exactly what the differences are, you just feel it when you are here. You do however adjust over time and it all happens rather smoothly, without even realizing it! And then you go back home to Canada and find yourself saying things like “loo” instead of bathroom, and “rubbish” instead of garbage!
What are you enjoying most?
I am enjoying the lifestyle. Substitute teaching can be a very challenging job here, but also extremely rewarding. I enjoy the challenge I face each week I work, and then treating myself to a trip over the weekend to Paris, or a vacation over the Holidays to the Canary Islands. You have to work hard, but you can play hard as well.
Top Tip Keep an open mind
You will find yourself in situations you never imagined possible. You will have to travel for an hour on some days to get to work. You will find yourself handling children that you have no idea how to handle, and you will even find yourself feeling unsure about your chosen career path at your lowest points. But remember for every experience like this, it only makes you a stronger person, and a better teacher.
The longer you are here, the more you start to find yourself at the same schools over and over and this gives you the chance to get to know the children, and build relationships with them; that is probably the most rewarding experience of this entire journey. When I walk into a classroom that I have been in before, and the students are happy to see me, it just makes my day. I wouldn't change a single day of my time here in London with TimePlan, and also feel that all teachers should try substitute teaching before having their own classes. It's done wonders for my development as a teacher!