Why Teach in London?
The short answer is, ‘Why not!’
As the capital city of the United Kingdom, it’s huge, historic and immensely influential – economically, politically and culturally – so whether you’re from another part of the UK or anywhere around the world, it’s a great place to lay the foundations for your career.
As Mark Twain famously said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
In short: travel broadens the mind – and since it’s your ambition to shape and broaden young minds, there are few better places to begin your teaching journey than the truly cosmopolitan capital of the UK. The Greater London area of about 1600km2 has a population of over 9 million people, of which some 3 million were born abroad (24.5% outside Europe). And although English is, of course, the first language for the majority, around 100 other languages are spoken in all the city’s boroughs – so London really is a global city in the true sense of the phrase.
From London’s legendary live music, nightclub and theatre scenes to West End shopping; from the historic monuments, museums and world-renowned art galleries to the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and St. Paul’s Cathedral, it’s a cultural treasure trove, steeped in history but forward-thinking and always ahead of the curve. It’s not just British heritage and culture on offer either – as you begin to venture off the beaten track you’ll find that this great city is made up of lots of ‘villages’ with distinctive characters and atmospheres of their own.
An Inspired Teacher is an Inspiring Teacher
All of which makes London an exciting and inspiring place in which to live and to teach – and that’s good for your career because inspired teachers tend to be inspiring teachers!
Samuel Johnson summed it up nicely in 1777 – and his sentiment still rings true today: “Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
Of course, if you’re freshly qualified and looking for your first teaching position, there’s no denying that it’s a challenging place, especially if you’re new to the UK. The first impression can be daunting – the sheer size and pace of the place is dizzying – and you might doubt you’ll ever be able to find your way around (or understand all those strange British accents). Actually, the experience of acclimatising to this cultural melting pot is an education in itself! By meeting people from all over the world, from all kinds of backgrounds at work and socially, you’ll become a better, more confident communicator inside and outside the classroom – and that makes you a more effective teacher.
Having worked in a London educational setting is a real asset on your CV. It marks you out as a person with a worldly, international outlook who’s capable of working in fast-moving, diverse and challenging environments. What’s more, since London’s schools and universities are internationally held in high esteem, your London experience will open doors for you almost anywhere else in the world – including other regions of the UK.
Opportunities for Newly Qualified Teachers
Because it is so immense, with a very diverse population and a multiplicity of languages and cultures, London’s schools and colleges (and indeed the UK as a whole) are keen to recruit newly qualified teachers from all over the world. Don’t worry if the idea of moving to one of the world’s biggest cities and committing to a permanent post seems like a giant leap – you can start with a small step!
With Teach Now you’re already among friends, thanks to our close working relationships with schools and local authorities – and with our help you might want to begin with a short-term contract and then make the role permanent later on. Alternatively, why not start out as a supply teacher – a great way to gain experience of different kinds of schools, different pupil cohorts and all the wildly different boroughs that make up this fabulous city.