- Age: 25
- Address: Walton-Upon-Thames, Surrey
- Work: Primary
- From: Prince Edward Island, Canada
What kind of experience were you looking for in the UK and did you get it?
I came to the UK to gain experience teaching in a new setting that was much more diverse than where I am from in Eastern Canada. I have been faced with many challenges in the classroom but starting work as a supply teacher was the best option for me because it required me to use teaching strategies and behaviour management methods to adapt to different classrooms, which has helped me become a better teacher.
How was your transfer to the UK?
My transfer to the UK went very well. It helps that it is an English speaking country! The staff at TimePlan was great at explaining everything about teaching. It was easy to open a bank account and they did all the paper work necessary for National Insurance and the Criminal Record Check. It was obvious they had done this all before!
What type of living accommodation are you living in? How did you find it?
I came with a friend so we rented a two bedroom flat. I found Gumtree to be a useful site for finding a place to live. I am in a cute town called Walton-on-Thames just outside the London boundary. I do love being in Surrey as I am away from the hustle and bustle of London but still very close to the city and it is very easy to get into the centre.
What tips would you give teachers to help them make the most of their British pounds?
Take advantage of living in London. You are close to 3 international airports that can take you anywhere you want to go - you will never have this opportunity again!! Flights are cheap and there are so many beautiful places to visit in Europe. I took a 4 day trip to Budapest and absolutely loved it. If you are alone, don't be afraid to travel, there are so many other people like you doing the same thing that you will meet along the way. There are a lot of school holidays during the year so put money aside every pay cheque because you will need it for those breaks when you aren't getting paid. You will thank yourself when you are booking a trip to somewhere new and exciting in Europe!!
What advice would you offer to other teachers interested in teaching in the UK?
Talk to the other teachers in the school. It has been challenging to meet new people because London is so big, but just strike up a conversation with someone in the lunch room. You never know where it will land you! Take advantage of the TimePlan socials, they are a great time and an excellent opportunity to meet other teachers and swap stories.
If you are worried whether or not you would survive leaving Canada and teaching in England then the best thing to do is just try it. You could surprise yourself. There is no better experience than leaving your familiar surroundings and trying something new. I have learned so much about myself as a teacher and as a person in only a few months of being here. Put yourself out there and go for it! You can always book a flight home if it's not working out....but I'm sure that it will!
Stop worrying and just get on the plane! What have you got to lose?
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