Are you a newly graduated teacher? Many Canadian teachers look for teaching positions overseas as a way to further their experience immediately after graduation. Some worry that the hop across the Atlantic would involve a lot of paperwork and hassle but a move to the UK is a lot easier than you think.

Here are 5 things every Canadian teacher should think about when moving to teach in the UK.

What qualifications do I need to teach in the UK?

It should be no surprise that schools in the UK are different from schools in Canada, which may already seem daunting to some. The good news is that the teaching qualifications awarded to you in Canada will allow you to teach in the UK. You also won’t be alone in navigating your way through your first year as all newly qualified teachers are paired with a mentor. You can spend two hours a week with the mentor who will offer feedback on your work and progress and demonstrate ways to improve upon your skills as a teacher.

The UK spends an enormous sum of money on the national education system. You’ll have amazing teaching resources at your fingertips, such as digital whiteboards, that can help you make your classes more interactive and fun.

Behaviour management in the UK

Worried about bad behaviour in your classes? It’s something most teachers deal with at one time or another, no matter where in the world they teach.

Most schools in the UK use the term student-centered learning to describe the style of teaching they want to promote. Student-centered learning refers to a way of teaching that recognises each student as an individual. It encourages teachers to try to see the character and personality of their students and to use their interests and enthusiasm as a springboard to boost the students’ interest in the lessons and to help them achieve their full potential.

With this approach, you can see bad behaviour in students as a symptom for a range of different issues such as not understanding classroom material or struggles with problems outside of school. Teachers should consider this when confronting students who play up and look for solutions to provide them support when needed.

A teacher’s personality can go a long way towards influencing how students behave in the classroom. Schools in the UK are always looking for teachers with engaging, uplifting personalities. Successful individuals are the ones who can become part of the school community, use humour in the classroom, and not be fearful of the students. A reasonable “fair but firm” approach is favoured by most schools — reward good behaviour, work with students in groups, and allow them to enjoy the class by making a little bit of noise.

Renting & accommodation

London is usually shown in the media as being a very expensive place to live. But what you don’t often hear is that salaries are very much in-line with the everyday cost of living. Teachers in London receive a higher salary than those who live and work in other parts of the country and salaries in the north of England tend to be the lowest. When considering teaching jobs in the UK. be sure to look at more than just the salary. You should consider the environment and the kind of lifestyle you’d like. This way you can make the most of your experience.

We’ll do our best to help make your search for accommodation as easy and cost-effective as can be. We work with several companies who offer affordable housing to our international teachers no matter what type of accommodation is preferred — simple and practical, or luxurious.

We’re happy to go out of our way for our teachers. Think of us as your guide to the UK while you’re here. We understand that everyone has different needs and will require a different type of support. Many of us at Zen Educate have the made same journey as you, so we realise how important it can be to have someone knowledgeable to offer personal advice.

Money & finances

We have several ways of providing financial support to teachers who plan to relocate to the UK. One of the most important of these is a guarantee of a long-term position. This promises that teachers will have immediate work and pay upon arriving in the UK. We can start looking for a role that suits you as soon as you get in touch.

On your end, you need to make sure you have enough money to cover costs such as your visa, health surcharge, travel expenses, and a deposit and rent for your living space. We generally recommend having about $3,000 CAD available.

Travelling solo to the UK

Even if you’re travelling solo you won’t be on your own. You‘ll find a rich and welcoming community in our schools. Many schools will connect you with other international teachers working there — a great way to get your footing in a new place, and make some good friends. If you decide on London, just about anything you enjoy or are interested in can be found there: sports, book clubs, foodie get-togethers, music, and a host of fun, and often free, things to do. There are hundreds of social groups if you want to meet other Canadians living and working in your area. A touch of home is as close as a few taps on your mobile.

Something most of our teachers enjoy are the events hosted by our schools. There have been Halloween parties, events at Hyde Park, and even a traditional Canadian Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a great chance to meet your fellow international teachers, learn from them, share your experiences, and build a sense of community and belonging.

England has so much to offer Canadian teachers — a lot more than just a job. It can be a tremendous opportunity to see the world as all of Europe is at your feet during the weekends and holidays. And you can begin teaching immediately after graduation while your educational experience is still very fresh. It’s great for refining your skills – and learning some new ones.

Keep in mind, the Youth Mobility Visa is only offered to a few countries around the world and it can make a world of amazing experiences and opportunities available to you. So look past any jitters and give some serious thought to the UK as a first choice for the start of your teaching career.

Ready to talk to someone? Send us a message and we’ll get right back to you.