After 6 months teaching in Melbourne, I decided to see what London had to offer. I guess the hardest part was getting used to the dark at 4 in the afternoon, luckily school finishes by about 3.30 pm! My idea in London was to do as much of everything as possible, and that almost literally translated to mean all subject areas. My first 9 week supply teaching post was at a Catholic boys school, teaching mainly music, with some RE and English. Of course, the catch….it was THEORY music….unfortunately, there was no SISTER ACT style singing with this bunch, although it felt more like we were in 8 Mile, the boys loving to “clash” whenever possible. I came away from that job with a surprisingly nice Poetry book my Year 7’s had made, and a lot of reflection on boys education.

I then made a living out of being a supply teacher (emergency teacher) in just one school in South London. This basically meant guaranteed work everyday, not much marking and some of the days work given to me. No pens or no book was the most common answer to as many questions as possible, and many a lesson learnt, more often I was the one learning, I’d have to say!! The director of the agency I worked for, Rick, had actually worked in this school, so was always available for a helping hand, or advice when needed. I loved the free comedy nights with teachweb, a great way to relax after the school week…free beer and watching someone else getting heckled! I also had the opportunity at this school to take over the only Year 10 Leisure and Tourism class, a new subject to me, but one that the students quite enjoyed.

My next post was at a girl’s school, again in South London. Lots of girls of all different learning styles and abilities, and a very welcoming staff, some of whom I still keep in contact with. My time here was quite rewarding, especially because I stayed through until the end of the year when my year 10’s final projects had come together. I received some lovely cards and “please miss, don’t go” requests when I decided it was time to return home, after 2 and a half years away from my family and friends.

During my time overseas I made a conscious effort to use the UK term holidays to my advantage, meaning I could get out of London every 7 weeks. I traveled extensively through Europe, including Russia, Egypt, Turkey and Liechtenstein to name a few. I had such a fabulous time teaching, learning and travelling in the UK and Europe.

Sandra,  Melbourne