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Toronto to Harrow


Streets of London & Bring your passions everywhere you go #skatelife

In this testimonial, Michael takes us through his experience with Protocol Education and what to expect when taking the leap half way across the world.


What made you decide to teach in England?

Well, when I was young, I loved to read. I would read book after book after book. My endeavours into this hobby soon brought me into the world of British Literature. I quickly became fond of the writing style that many British authors exhibited, and growing up, I would always dream of studying and living in England.

So when this teaching opportunity suddenly arose in the final year of my undergraduate degree at York U, I immediately knew that this was something I wanted do.

Also, the job situation for teachers in Toronto, Canada where I’m from, has not exactly been at its best these past couple of years.

I soon discovered however, that this was quite the opposite case in England. There was actually a demand for teachers there. I thought that this would be a great way for me to dive into the teaching profession upon graduation instead of waiting around for a reply from a school board.

My end goal is to be a permanent teacher in a Toronto School Board.

I realized that a couple of years of teaching experience in another country would probably increase the likelihood of me reaching this goal. I also realized that this would be a great opportunity to travel and explore a different part of the world.

Why did you choose Protocol Education as your agency?

I chose Protocol Education as my agency because it was the first agency to offer me this opportunity.

7am at the Millennium Bridge & Sunset over The River Thames from Southbank

How did you find the process of registering in Canada?

The process of registering in Canada went very smoothly. I first found out about this opportunity at the York University career centre in March of 2016. The Canadian Consultant from Protocol Education, Melissa Velocci came in and gave a detailed presentation about the agency, and what they offered.

From what I could tell, the Guaranteed Work Agreement (GWA) that was offered seemed like a very nice deal, allowing for lots of flexibility.

I knew I wanted to do this.

Melissa and I stayed in touch, and after interviewing me on the phone, I was emailed a contract which I electronically signed, and a timeline that outlined all the preparations that were required before I was to go to England (When I should get my Police Check, apply for Visa, etc.)

What was even more accommodating was the fact that Melissa had also once worked as a teacher for Protocol Education in England. This was great because I had many questions to ask between March and August of 2016.

The Canadian Consultant for Protocol was always quick to reply to my questions over email (even on weekends) and she also offered her own perspectives from her teaching and living experience in London. On top of that, Melissa’s emails were always of quality, in depth. They weren't just a rushed three lined reply.

If I had a question, I would get the answer.


This was one of the reasons I decided to stick with Protocol Education, they are very professional when it comes to communication.

In April of 2016, I was browsing the internet when I stumbled across a site with many negative reviews for Protocol Education. Some of those reviewers stated that Protocol had not found them enough work.

I was shocked; sceptical, and for a moment I was actually contemplating whether or not I should actually go through with this, and teach in London.

I emailed Melissa and asked her about this. I told her that I was unsure whether I wanted to teach in England anymore. She responded and reassured me that there was a high chance that the site was owned by another teaching agency and because another teaching agency owned the site, of course they wouldn’t want the rating of another agency to be as high.

Looking at the website after, this made sense but being me, I was still sceptical (partly because I was slightly anxious about the move, this would be the first time I would be leaving Canada and living in another country on my own.)

Melissa also told me that during her years teaching in London, Protocol Education had found her work everyday.

So that was the case several years before, but what if it’s different now?

That was the one question that kept ringing through my head.

What if Protocol couldn't find me work everyday?

I decided to take the risk and continue.

What did I have to lose?

It wasn't like I was going to find a teaching job in Canada anytime soon anyways lol.

Currently, it is April of 2017, exactly one year later, and I am sitting here in my flat, writing this testimonial here in England. Having taught in England for eight months now, I can say with utmost certainty that the reviews are not true. Protocol Education has literally found me work everyday. There have even been days when I’ve had to turn down work, because I've been sick. And I’m not even based in central London, but rather in North London.

Ironic to what I once thought eh?

If I had decided not to go through with this opportunity on that rainy April afternoon, I would definitely not have had the chance to work in 23 different schools in the span of eight months, with all year groups within the Primary/ Junior level.

Nope, wouldn't have happen if I stayed in Toronto.

The teaching experience has been amazing. Working in a variety of schools in a multitude of diverse communities within London has not only allowed me to do what I love; teaching. It has also allowed me to develop as an educator, and learn more about myself.

I’m only P/J qualified, but over here, I’ve even had the chance to work at a secondary school for children with autism!

Teaching is such a rewarding profession; the student learns, the teacher learns.

I definitely made the right choice with Protocol Education.

English sunset & The Shard from St Dunstan's in The East

 What are the biggest differences you have found between teaching in England and teaching in Canada?

1. TAs - Almost all the classrooms I’ve worked in have one or two teaching assistants. They will help you with photocopies, and will sometimes work one on one with students, this is especially common in the younger years. During this one on one time, the teaching assistant will typically be reading, or practicing spellings with the child. It’s great to see that students here are able to have additional one on one support with another adult apart from the main teacher. Teaching assistants are extremely helpful, and are a valuable asset to the classroom.

2. There’s lots of work and opportunities available for teachers here in London. The demand for teachers is extremely high here---like seriously high. I’ve been here September 2016- April 2017 and I can say the demand hasn't changed one bit. Sometimes multiple consultants from different areas of London will call you up in the AM offering you a day of work. In Toronto? Well, that’s quite the opposite.

3. Uniforms

Canada: if you go to school, there’s a possibility you could be wearing a uniform.

England: if you go to school, you wear a uniform.

Tell us 3 things you enjoy most about living in England?

1. Travel
2. Travel
3. Travel

Working as a teacher in England is great because of how the school term is organized. There are three school terms in London, and between each of the three terms, you get a two week break. I’ve spent the majority of my free time this year exploring the city of London. There’s just so much to see in London! Next year, I plan to go to Paris, Ibiza, and many other places.

Once you get to London, travel becomes less of a luxury. Getting to other countries suddenly becomes much more affordable, and quick.

You can get from London to Paris in less than three hours via train for less than 50 pounds.

If that’s not quick, I don’t know what is.

Buildings in Central London

Any travel tips or advice for teachers planning on making the move?

1. Don’t panic, and go with the flow. Moving to another country for work can be nerve-racking if it’s your first time, or if you’re coming alone. This was the case for me. Just remember to stay calm, and things will eventually calm and work out. Schools are really not so different here. I heard horror stories before coming to England about how the kids were really bad in schools. I can't say I've seen a difference when comparing school kids here to school kids in Canada. Kids are kids no matter where in the world you go. Some days you have bad days, some days you have good days. This is just the nature of the job. If you ever have a bad day, just remember, it’s better to reflect on each day as a learning experience as opposed to a mere day of work. Perhaps you tried a new approach in responding to a difficult child this time. Did it work? No? Then is there another approach that can be taken next time?

Personally, self reflection is how I’ve gotten the most out of the few bad days I’ve had, and added to my bag of experience at the same time.

2. If supplying, bring over a binder of resources that can be used if there ever comes a day that no plans have been left. (Worksheets/ activities that can be photocopied)

*Circumstances like these are very rare. Almost all of the time, plans will be left for you if you are supplying; and if not, there will usually be a TA there to guide you through the day.

Would you recommend Protocol Education to your friends and family?

Yep, I already have! Based off my personal experience with this agency, I would recommend Protocol Education to any teachers over in Canada that are looking for teaching work, especially new graduates. This is an excellent way to level up your teaching experience gains and travel at the same time.

Protocol Education is excellent because they do everything for you. They guide you through the whole process, even before you fly over; they secure you the work, and the consultants keep you updated and on top of things all of the time.

If you’re looking for work, but also fun, teaching in England through Protocol Education might just be what you’re looking for.

Exploring Tower Bridge

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