Opportunities across the pond
|For many years, UK schools have opened their doors to teachers from North America. Quite rightly they have an excellent reputation for their work ethic. They are also known for their dedication to their students and the ease with which they make the transition into the British education system.
Passionate North American educators will benefit from the opportunity to gain full-time classroom experience. Rather than an over-populated education system, the UK suffers from a shortage of teachers. In particular, we need maths, chemistry and physics teachers. We have seen many instances where North American teachers have had their pick of several roles in English schools before choosing the best fit.
|Indeed, we have it from the horse’s mouth! In many ways relocation to the UK is win-win for North American teachers. One of our recent hires reflected that ‘there are so few jobs in Ontario, let alone Canada, and I don’t need to learn the language. Where do I sign up?’
Let the adventure begin!
Nicole, a Canadian teacher from the Ottawa Valley in Ontario has settled happily into UK education. After graduating with a BEd from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, she concentrated on getting some money together and boarded a flight to Heathrow. Her English social life started on New Year’s Eve ‘in the dodgiest pubs’ – but fortunately she survived to tell the tale and the adventure began!
|Nicole began teaching in a grammar school in Kent. She ‘hadn’t a clue what the difference was between grammar schools and comprehensives’ but quickly learned. Her colleagues were warm and welcoming and took her under their wing as ‘the girl from Canadialand’!
There are some aspects of living in the UK that may seem daunting. Nicole saw her commute from Kent to London as a stumbling block. Driving on the wrong side of the road (surely she has that wrong!) was ‘truly terrifying for the first few weeks’ but she has adapted well and it was certainly worth it as it meant that she could take a promotion to Head of Department in a new school.
It’s not all bad though. Nicole adapted to the English schedule too. She appreciates the fact that schools close every couple of months providing wonderful opportunities for travel. The UK is a perfect base for European exploration, and Nicole has visited Rome, Vienna, Helsinki and has been back to Paris a number of times. Travel around Europe, she says, is ‘ridiculously cheap and honestly, with the advent of AirBnB, it will be even cheaper moving forward’.