Canadian Teachers

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Canadian Teachers

It’s a great theory: broaden your horizons and kick-start your teaching career in a new country. We ask one Canadian teacher what it’s like in practice.

“Sam” grew up in Canada and graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a BEd. Hourglass found him a long term temporary role in a West London school. 

In spite of the common language, and cultural similarities, Sam found that there was a lot that was new to him as he started his new life in the UK. It took him a while to work out some of the details, but Hourglass helped with things like setting up a bank account, exploring London Underground, the currency, and even the best place to get groceries. 

Once he started to settle in, Sam was able to reflect on some of the differences between life back home, and in his new community – some of them stranger than others!

The academic year and school holidays

The school year starts in September in the UK, just like in Canada, but they have a break just about every six weeks. 

Sam was delighted to find that the Summer break starts at the end of July, and goes on throughout August. This gives plenty of scope for travelling, and if your time in the UK is limited, it means you can make the most of your time overseas. 

The ability to travel was a great motivator for Sam and his friends. They always made sure to plan the next trip well in advance. By the end of year one, they had visited more than 10 countries!

Budgeting is important, and Sam found that sticking to a daily allowance worked well for him.  Hostels are probably the most affordable places to stay, and a great place to meet fellow travellers. 

Sam was careful to plan trips around events and calendar highlights. Experiencing the Theresienwiese fairground in Munich during Oktoberfest and spending Christmas in Finland when Canada was playing in the World Juniors were among his most memorable trips.

What advice would Sam give to other Canadians thinking of teaching in the UK?

  • It’s not always easy being so far from home. Make sure you’re open to new experiences, and remember why you’re doing it. 
  • Try to form a relationships with your colleagues in your new school as soon as possible. That human interaction can be a lifesaver when you’re finding your feet. 

School uniform

Most schools have high uniform standards for their students. They feel it encourages a sense of pride and belonging. Teachers aren’t exempt either!

Guys are expected to wear a dress shirt and pants and smart shoes. Some schools go further with a jacket and tie! It can be a bit more flexible for women, but they are still expected to look professional.

School sports in the UK

Sam found that just about everyone wants to play soccer or “football” in the UK. It makes sense to do some research into the premier league, as one of the most common conversation starters he heard was “Sir, who do you support?”.

Coming from Canada, Sam would expect ‘hockey’ to take place in an ice rink! English schools, however, are 99% certain to be teaching field hockey. Also – if you hear about ‘rounders,’ expect to be confused! It’s the strangest take on baseball, and Sam still doesn’t see the appeal. 

Recent opportunities

Types of roles we recruit overseas candidates for:

Long-term supply

Long-term supply provides a level of security without the teacher or the school committing indefinitely.

Permanent roles

The majority of the roles we work on are permanent teaching posts in secondary schools in the south east of England. 

Leadership roles

Ambition comes in all shapes and sizes. For some teachers, it’s all about the subject, but for others, moving up the career ladder means taking on management responsibilities.

Overseas teachers

Our role is to provide teachers with exactly what they need to relocate and thrive in the most exciting teaching opportunities in the UK.

Meet our Team