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Benefits of Teaching Overseas

Lauren is a Canadian-trained primary teacher who works for Protocol Education's Surrey team. Lauren has come to the UK and begun supply teaching. She has already noticed a few differences and she highlights them in her latest blog. 

Teaching overseas has been an experience that has only improved my performance and helped me grow as a teacher.  I highly recommend taking this step at some point in your teaching career as you get to experience styles of teaching, types of students, and a whole different culture that will benefit you in a variety of ways in addition to your career.

Teaching overseas helps build upon the assortment of different types of schools that you will have in your own country.  I am Canadian, and though the Canadian and UK curriculum are similar, I have noticed vast differences in them.  Besides curriculum, you also get to see a variety of different teaching styles and methods that you may not see back home.  For example, the system of visual behaviour charts employed here is not utilised back home.

Another example is marking policies (ah yes, that green pen which I had never seen before).  Many schools employ the two stars and a wish marking scheme, which allows the child to know what they are doing well while also receiving constructive feedback.  This is something that I mix with the marking schemes back home, which generally identify the mistakes directly in the writing.  I find that a combination of both works the best.  These are only slight differences, but it is things like this which I can use when I move home that my school systems there may not yet be aware of. 

It goes both ways.  There are things about the set-up of Canadian schools which I like better.  What I miss the most from Canada is school bells.  Each different period and break times were signalled by a ringing bell, so you were always kept on track.  Teaching here, you need to keep a close eye on the clock, and when it is break time, you need to ensure that the teacher who is on yard duty has the same time as you do or else your students would be in the playground without supervision. I also miss PA systems in all of the classrooms where you can directly call to the front of the school rather than sending a student and not getting direct interaction with the office. 

There are a vast array of differences between schools here and back home, as there would be in all of the different countries.  The key is to become aware of these differences, and question them so that you can decide for yourself what you like and do not like.  Then you can decide what new ideas you would like to employ within your classroom back home, and at the same time appreciate what you already have there.

Read other blogs by Canadian teachers who have made the move the UK:

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Tags: LaurenK, LondonSouth, Surrey, Canadian-trained, overseas, teaching, supply, experience, recommend, culture, awareness, marking, feedback,

Category: Australian Teachers


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