- Age: 26
- Address: London
- Qualifications: Bachelor of Education (Primary) through Rhodes University, East London (now Fort Hare)
- From: Harare, Zimbabwe
Why did you decide to Teach in the UK?
Good friends of mine had travelled to the UK to teach, and did nothing but rave about the great life experiences and opportunities they enjoyed when they were there. They had come over with TimePlan, which is how I found out about TimePlan and its services.
What kind of experience were you looking for in the UK and did you get it?
I was looking for a change... a chance to live a FULL life... to try new things... to meet new people... to do things I would never been able to access in South Africa... and YES, I got what I was looking for! As that famous saying goes, "when a man gets tired of London, he is tired of life!"
How was your transfer to the UK?
Really easy! My aunt met me at the airport and gave me a crash course in buses, tubes and getting lost and then 10 days on, I moved into a house in an Eastern London borough with other teachers from TimePlan. Like a duck to water, really. I also came over in May (start of the British Summer) and so the cold was not as great a deterrent as it may have been at other times of the year.
What do you enjoy most about the UK?
Broader horizons, supply teaching, a great experience, no permanent ties and of course all the travel opportunities on your doorstep!
What do you miss about being away from home?
The food, sunshine, travelling in cars and driving, SPACE, friends and the peace and quiet.
What will you miss when you leave the UK?
Gregg’s Bakery (the best pie place), high speed internet (BROADBAND), shopping on Sundays, and good, reliable public transport.
What helped you to settle into the UK?
Moving into a house with other TimePlan teachers was the best thing. It instantly felt like a family. Also, I started teaching straight away and getting into a routine. Last but not least, the support of friends that were already here in the UK.
What are the major differences you have encountered?
Health and safety laws in teaching. Graffiti, foul language, spitting in streets and pregnant teenagers were a SHOCK to the system. You realise how conservative South Africa is ...
What advise would you offer other South African Teachers making this move
DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!! Just a few practical things ...
- Write your email address on your backpack
- Scan all your passport pages, drivers' licence etc and email them to yourself
- Buy an A to Z of London (or wherever you’re staying) ASAP
- Buy winter clothing in the UK ... all the stuff in South Africa won't be warm enough.
- DON'T bring any teaching resources with you... the schools are so well kitted out.
- Supply teachers will need: coloured pens, post its, stickers, whistle, a few story books and a note pad.