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Travelling on the London Kathryn

Kathryn's latest blog, though not about teaching, is still interesting as it highlights the importance of the London commute! Kathryn is a Canadian supply teacher currently teaching in London through Protocol Education.

How to Avoid Looking Stupid on the Underground

A major component of life in London is flitting about on the tube. We take the tube all over the city getting from school to school, and negotiating our way can be tricky, troublesome, and stressful when we don’t know the ropes. For those still wondering, your goal is to look like you know what you're doing. This can be accomplished with varying degrees of success by observing a few extremely helpful and deeply insightful tips.

To start with:

• During the morning commute, stare forward unseeing with an expression of dreary ill-will towards your fellow man. You'll fit right in.

• Your phone is useless. We live in an age of great scientific advancement, but there is no signal in the Underground. Then again, when your face is eight inches from an investment banker’s chin, aren’t you glad he’s not talking?

• During rush hour, think fast. Don't stop at the bottom of the stairs to discuss your destination, and don't stop in the flow of traffic to find your friends. They'll be fine. If you stop walking in the middle of a crowded platform, you should be more worried about the two hundred unmoving people staring darkly at the back of your head.

• Find your ticket well before you reach the barrier. The escalator is a nice time for this. Nothing enrages London commuters more than getting stuck behind the ditz who didn't see this one coming.

• On the escalators, you are supposed to stand to the right so people can walk down the escalators on your left. That's pretty simple. But people rushing down the left often have no particular need to move that quickly, they just like passing people. You can enhance this experience for them by sticking your arm or bag out a little too far so they can bump into you on their way down. I think they like this.

These helpful hints are the key to public transport bliss. Some advanced-level commuters may choose to implement the following learning extensions:

• Read a book. This demonstrates your confident understanding of your journey, wanton disregard for the terrifying possibility of missing your station, and general big-city efficiency with regard to leisure time activities.

• Don't hold onto the poles. Successful hands-free commuting secures you as an object of interest and admiration. This method is especially effective when combined with the above recommendation, reading a book. It should, however, be used sparingly and with careful forethought, as everyone will also enjoy seeing you lurch forward abruptly, compelled to grab a bar for support like everyone else.

Happy travels!

Tags: Teach in London, Teach in England, Teach in the UK, Protocol Education,

Category: UK Teaching Stories

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