- Age: 29
- Address: Clapham, London
- Work: Primary Teacher
- From: Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
What were the major differences you encountered?
Culturally schools are very diverse in London and I love this. You could have a totally different mix of children in schools just 2 blocks from each other. A major difficulty I had when I first arrived was definitely my accent! I had many a roll call when I missed children off the first time through as I had pronounced their names in a way they couldn’t even comprehend!
Did you get a chance to travel outside of the UK?
The travelling experiences I have had in the past 2 years far surpass anything I would have dreamed of when leaving New Zealand. In the past 2 years here I have been lucky enough to work for two summers in Austria and Switzerland, spend Easter in Paris, Christmas in a castle in Scotland, sail around the Croatian Islands, explore Sweden, Holland, Italy, Spain, Germany, Turkey, road tripped around Wales and spent 2 weeks on unforgettable adventures in Egypt. There is so much to do right on your doorstep here; the hardest part is deciding just where your next holiday location will be!
How has this overseas experience affected you?
Supply teaching in London has been an incredible experience for me. I have had a lot of fun meeting many remarkable students from all over the world who each have their own story to tell. Visiting numerous schools has been a refreshing experience. A great way to see how things are done in a different part of the world and also a fantastic way to reflect on my own teaching practice.
Was your experience of teaching in the UK what you expected?
To be absolutely honest I found my time teaching in London a lot easier than I first expected it to be! I think a day out on supply is always dependent on the attitude you take into the classroom with you. If you arrive positive and ready for a new fun day you are always going to have a better day than dreading a new class in a new school in an area you don’t know.
What are you excited to take home with you?
I have had so many interesting and never-to-be-repeated experiences since working and travelling overseas. I definitely have loads of memories to take home from travels, many of which I know will be adapted into classroom lessons.
What did TimePlan do well?
Timeplan did a wonderful job allowing me to work whenever I needed to around my holidays. I was always kept well informed of work in advance and TimePlan endeavoured to find work opportunities that suited me and allowed for variety in my teaching experiences.
What advice would you offer to other teachers interested in teaching in the UK?
I would strongly encourage teachers from around the world to try teaching in the UK for the experience of working in a diverse and ever changing multi-cultural society. I will never forget this time spent teaching in London and feel like I have progressed ten fold in my teaching ability.
Don’t take life too seriously. Find a good balance between work and travel.
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