Monday, February 23, 2015

Getting the job

All my life, I had one goal: to work and live in Europe. 

I first accomplished that goal at the end of 2012, when I moved to Ireland. My year and 8 months in that beautiful country has been the most amazing experience I had ever gone through. I made so many incredible friends, found the love of my life, and found myself. In Ireland, I am the one thing I wish to be: happy. 

Unfortunately, with the economy not being at its best, it is quite hard to find a well paying job, and it’s even harder to get a teaching job. First there are basically no full-time, permanent positions available. And second, to teach in primary schools, you need to pass a language competency test for the Irish language.

This brought me to a very difficult crossroad: do I give up my passion for teaching and stay in Ireland where I’m happy in every aspect except for my career, or do I give up my happy place and go back to Canada? I tried to think of a way to have both options that would keep me in Ireland while also teaching. I considered online teaching, teaching English as a second language, working in a creche, etc., but nothing felt right. My place is in the classroom of a primary school.

After months of browsing the internet for some sort of solution, I came across a teacher recruitment agency called UTeach. 

"Uteach teacher recruitment offers a comprehensive training, placement and support service to UK and overseas qualified teachers searching for teaching jobs in the UK. We match you with the right teaching job according to your needs and wishes, provide specialised training programs delivered by top head teachers in England and support you throughout your teaching journey.” - UTeach website

It did sound too good to be true, considering they pay for your flight over and help you find a flat and everything, but I decided to go ahead and sign up. Immediately, I was contacted by a lovely lady who simply wanted to know a bit more about me and my experience and the rest is history.

In early November, I got my first Skype interview with a primary school in Greater London, and a few days later, I was offered a job as a Year 4 teacher with a January start. 

Then came the whirlwind of paperwork to acquire a visa to be allowed to work in the UK, flights to Toronto to submit said paperwork, and running around to get everything ready for a fast move to England. (I’ll write more about the Visa application process in case any of you out there are thinking of doing the same thing). 

Then Christmas went by and a couple days later, I was off to London. I had a week to find an apartment (not an easy feat in London!) before I went off to Braintree for my weeklong training on the English curriculum. On the 12th of January, I was already in my new school. 

My experience with UTeach has been really positive. If you are a teacher thinking of teaching abroad, I strongly recommend contacting UTeach to find out where to start. At the moment, they only work with Canadian and Irish teachers, but if you’re from a different country, they might still be able to point you in the right direction.

For more information on the agency, visit their website at 

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