Secret diary of an expat teacher — Week 1
Miss Cazbar is an Australian teacher who has come to work in a London school. Follow their secret diary, chronicling the experience; exclusive to Australian Times each week.
Miss Cazbar is the pen name of a real Aussie teacher who is currently working in London. Her’s and some other people’s names are changed in order to protect their true identities.
“Your worst-behaved class in Australia will be your best class in London,” a colleague warned me when I revealed that I would be funding my European adventure by teaching in the UK.
I had heard all the horror stories, but I had also seen Sidney Poitier in To Sir With Love. Sure, those kids in the East End had a penchant for spontaneously dancing on the tables in their mini skirts, but they didn’t seem that bad. He was even serenaded at the end of the film; why would Hollywood lie to me about teaching in England?
So, I registered with a couple of agencies, did the federal police check and before long landed a job with my second phone interview more than a month before I was set to leave the big, brown land. I arrived at Heathrow Airport the evening before the volcano catastrophe, which left me a few days to acquaint myself with my new hometown before starting the summer term at a co-educational public school.
Teaching English to English high school students has certainly been eye-opening. Ladette to Lady was a guilty television pleasure back home, now I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the mouthy madams in my classroom appearing on the programme in coming years.
Despite the many Australian teachers at the school, the questions about kangaroos and Neighbours are relentless. They look at me strangely whenever I let my favourite word, ‘grouse’, slip out. The cafeteria’s menu obviously wasn’t overhauled by Mr. Oliver in Jamie’s School Dinners.
Jonah Takalua from Summer Heights High certainly wouldn’t be out of place at a London school. I will have earned my pounds and pints at the end of my first week… 11 more to go!
Miss Cazbar – Hollywood junkie and new London teacher.
Miss Cazbar is an Australian teacher who has come to work in a London school. Follow their secret diary, chronicling the experience; exclusive to Australian Times each week. www.australiantimes.co.uk/just-for-teachers
For, by and about Aussies in the UK.