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Arriving in London

Meg is a New Zealand trained teacher who has recently arrived in the UK and is a supply teacher in London with Protocol Education. Meg has hit the ground running since arriving in London and she shares her ups and downs so far. 

Two weeks into living in this big sprawling city, and I have seen many sights, and I know there will be hundreds more sights and sounds to be heard over the next year.

I arrived two weeks ago, after barely sleeping on two bumpy long flights, think I caught a wee bit of shut eye in Pudong airport where I could stretch out for 5 minutes. Thankfully I was greeted at London airport by my amazing friend who has taken me under her wing, allowing me to crash on her floor and moan continually about the tedious task of flat hunting (something I was not prepared to find so difficult, or to be so expensive, average deposit is around 800 pounds!). 

Protocol Education have been great, after been inducted I have been continuously rung by many consultants about long term positions. After been talked into an observation in a school and area I knew nothing about, Monday morning came it was my first morning of supply and I was expected to have a lesson of either numeracy or literacy planned and ready to teach, to a year 3 class I knew nothing about. As daunting as it was, I went in with the attitude of let’s give it a go, take the experience and what happens, happens. I am having great difficulty with even committing to the thought of my CV been sent into schools, as once again the dreaded flat hunt is becoming an issue, as I don’t know what area I will live in, I just want a flat in a good area, with friendly flat mates.     

Protocol Education have understood my current living arrangement and have signed me up to supply teach in the area I am currently staying in. Supply is just like been a reliever in New Zealand, the agency rings you either the day before or morning of and then sends you a confirming email or text with a set of directions on how to get there, my life saver app with directing myself around this city is city mapper, a must app for all new comers!

Last week, I had a full week of supply teaching. What an experience! I worked in 3 different schools, and three different classes. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday I had the same year one class with 25 students, this was a big change as my experience back in New Zealand had been with year 6, 7, and 8 classes.  

Each day last week was definitely different and most days were a good challenge. Most days there have been lesson plans left, or verbally given to me in the morning which has been great. The best advice I can give is to get your TA (teaching assistant) on side with you, and ask them questions about how to do it. Some of these assistants could do it better than you or I as they know the structure of the class, and the school.

Something that has stood out to me after working in a rural New Zealand school is the fact that the three schools I have worked in, there has been no grass field or area, just concrete.

Recently arrived in the UK? Want to share your experiences? Email Megan at for more information.

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Tags: Meg, LondonWest, New-Zealand-trained, London, arrival, changes, differences,

Category: Australian Teachers

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