real life stories: why swap teaching in canada for the UK?

We work with teachers from overseas who are looking to find work in top class schools in the UK.

If you’re thinking of relocating to Britain to land your dream role in education, it’s likely that you’ll be feeling excited, but also a little nervous and probably have lots of questions to ask.

To help you out, why not read about the experiences of some of our teachers who relocated from Canada to Britain?

Adrian’s story: teacher in Manchester.

Adrian was inspired to go into teaching because of his love of sports. His experiences playing both basketball and football inspired him to be a team player and a leader, whilst teaching him how to be extremely patient and resilient when making decisions.

Through coaching teams, he realised how much he enjoyed helping students to strive to reach their highest potential. He then went on to go through teachers’ college, the best decision he ever made.

Q: What was the first thing you did in the UK once you had settled in? 

After a couple nights in an AirBnb and another couple of nights in a hotel searching all of Manchester, I finally found a house share that would work for me. As a 24-year-old at the time with an outgoing personality and love for sports it was no doubt time to check out my local pub. I also joined an ultimate frisbee pick up league called DUFFA and that is how I made most of my friends in Manchester.  During my first pick-up game at DUFFA , everyone was extremely welcoming and introduced themselves right away.

Q: What advice would you give to teachers moving over to the UK? 

The first thing is to sort out house viewings for when you arrive, especially if you’re moving to a big city in September, as university students may be moving in as well. Once you found a house, try to do a six month contract especially if you don't know anyone because if it's not suitable for you, you can always get out. Make sure you find a place where you can live for at least 6 months as well. 

It’s also important to choose somewhere in the UK that is suitable for you. For example, if you're outgoing, I'd choose a bigger city as it’s likely there’ll be more things to do in the city. Make sure to go out and do something that you enjoy. I enjoy sports so I joined a sports pick up team and watched football (soccer) when I could. 

Q: What is your best moment in the classroom so far? 

There have been plenty of amazing moments in the classroom such as having extremely in-depth discussions and debates with such a young classroom full of 10 year olds, witnessing students achieve their personal goals and watching the progression of each child every day in the classroom. My absolute favourite moment was when I was able to tell my future class that I would be their teacher next year and receiving a cheer as if the Maple Leafs scored a goal in overtime.  

Q: How was the application process for you and the transition to living and teaching in the UK? 

If you have the funds, identification, the right papers as well as the right agency such as Randstad, the application process for me was a breeze. Keep in mind if you aren't in a major city such as Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal etc. be aware that you need to do your biometrics at a major city for your Residence Permit/VISA. 

Being born and raised in Canada the transition was quite easy for myself as I didn’t need to learn a new language. Some differences that I've noticed is that there will be a washing machine in your kitchen and the weather will change drastically in one day from raining to clear skies to raining again. In all the stores you don't need to add any tax after the price (if it says 2.99, it will be 2.99 total).

Teaching is very different compared to Canada in the primary system. Keep in mind every school is completely different with marking, teaching styles, and disciplinary actions. Students have notebooks for each subject, the subjects are maths, English and SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar), Topic (history, geography, social studies, etc), science, and sometimes art, religion and languages. Lesson plans are also in extreme detail depending on the school you are at if you are a long term teacher there. 

Ian’s story: Teacher in Blackpool.

Ian has moved abroad from Canada to Blackpool in Lancashire, to teach maths at a high school. He has found that he completely fell in love with the British culture and way of life from the moment he arrived.

Q: How have you found settling in to your new country?

I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge that my time in England so far has been nothing short of outstanding. From the moment I arrived here I have completely fallen in love with the British people, culture and way of life. The administrative team at Randstad Education, both at the Oakville and Preston offices, have shown me outstanding kindness and support along the way and have ensured that my transition to life here was as smooth, and, frankly, as enjoyable, as possible as I start this brand new chapter on life's journey. 

Q: What was the relocation process like?

I was guided throughout the relocation process step-by-step, and was promptly assisted along the way whenever I needed advice or had questions about the transition. Randstad staff greeted me at the airport upon arrival here, and generously assisted me in processing all government documentation in a prompt fashion. I felt highly valued and appreciated as a teacher, and that I was being supported and encouraged along the way. For this I am most appreciative to Randstad staff for helping to facilitate a good transition process to life in Britain. 

Q: How have you settled into your new school?

I wish to underscore how deeply appreciative I am to the staff at the Fylde Coast Academy Trust. I was welcomed here with open arms, into a school culture that is clearly deeply invested in the well being of both students and fellow staff by fostering a culture of supportiveness and of care in our schools. From the moment I first met with the Deputy CEO of our Trust and the school principal at Aspire, it was abundantly clear to me the staff at FCAT exemplify the utmost devotion to assisting and supporting one another as the students strive for high aspirations by aiming for gold! I am thoroughly looking forward to living and working at Aspire Academy, and to making an impactful and lasting difference in the local community by helping to foster pathways to equal access in my role as a teacher here!     

If you’ve been inspired by Adrian and Ian’s stories, and would like help with your UK job search or are looking for some more information on what we could do for you, please get in contact today.
 

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