- Age: 27
- Address: Southampton
- Work: Primary
- From: Ontario, Canada
Why did you choose to come to the UK?
I love to travel and strongly believe this has helped shape me into to the person I am today. Having previously taught in Australia, I jumped at the chance to work in the UK as I have always had a fondness for the country. This decision was made easier by the fact that I have dual-citizenship (Canadian and British), so I didn’t need to worry about getting a visa. I also knew that the UK is at Europe’s “doorstep” making travelling around Europe easy and affordable.
What do you wish you had brought with you?
Items perhaps I wished I had brought with me to the UK would be paraphernalia related to Canada. Students never tire of hearing about life in a foreign country. They would have loved to see pictures or Canadian money.
Are there any British words or phrases you’ve adopted since moving to the UK?
Unconsciously, you quickly find yourself adopting the English ways. Things that are great become “smashing”, things that are bad become “rubbish”. Underwear has become “pants” and pants have become “trousers”. Make sure you remember this as it will save you loads of embarrassment.
What type of living accommodation are you living in? How did you find it?
As soon as I arrived in this country my hunt for the ideal flat began. I knew roughly that I wanted to live around the region of Southampton, so I began to look in local newspapers and the internet to find a flat. I contacted the estate agents with my selections and set up viewings. This process can be frustrating, but in time you do get the flat you want.
Having now taught in the UK, what is your opinion of British schools?
When I first arrived I was worried that I would be overwhelmed working in a foreign school system. Working as a supply teacher in Southampton and its surrounding regions curtailed any anxiety. I was placed in a range of different socio-economic based schools, which helped to slowly ease me into the system. British schools on average are well organised and very structured. I normally find staff rooms to be a welcoming place.
Has your experience advanced you professionally?
Being a teacher in the UK has given me invaluable experience. Being a supply teacher has improved my classroom management skills as I have been faced with different classrooms and with different personalities on a daily basis. This has also helped to improve my confidence as a teacher and my ability to adapt.
What top tips would you offer teachers who are new to the UK?
Understand that when you first arrive things are not going to be easy. Getting yourself settled and familiarized with your new settings does not take too long. If you plan on staying for an extended period of time a car can be very useful (especially if you are in the Guaranteed Work Scheme). There are a ton of second hand cars available at reasonable prices, shop around. Check the internet and local newspapers.
Some words and phrases in the UK have a different meaning to those in Australia like thongs and pants.
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