Secret diary of an expat teacher – Week 10

The end is in sight for intrepid Aussie teacher, Miss Cazbar. She’s not sure if she’s outwitted or outplayed many students, but she will outlast and overcome!


My mother always told me not to wish the time away. We have precious little of it, so we should savour every moment.

I usually take that advice on board. But, since I’ve been teaching in London, I’ve been crunching the numbers with a vengeance.

Now that it’s July, the countdown is well and truly on the way. I can now say ‘I finish work this month’. I can count on both hands the amount of classes I have left with most year groups. An Aussie colleague has admitted to counting down the minutes when she’s in class; I can empathise with this.

There are also several non-teaching days in the last weeks of term, with athletics day, a creative learning day where special classes will be run and what’s known as a ‘shopping day’. We would give it a fancy name back home like ‘professional development day’, but here there’s no need to sugar-coat the fact that teachers occasionally need a day off to just chill out.

Results are also due in soon, which means that the last couple of weeks are essentially glorified babysitting. Apparently there’s a ban on showing videos, but I’m sure I’ll find a loophole, particularly if the warm weather continues.

We’re all holding on until holidays and trying to keep sane in the process. Today I showed my Year 8s a clip of the reality show Survivor as part of our novel study about a boy stranded on a desert island.

Maybe it was a tenuous link, but it also reflected my state of mind perfectly – if only I could vote out annoying students at tribal councils! I’m not sure if I’ve outwitted or outplayed many students, but I will outlast and overcome! Three weeks to go – but who’s counting?

Miss Cazbar – not her real name – is an Australian teacher who has come to work in a London school. Follow their secret diary, chronicling the experience; exclusively for Australian Times each week.

More from The Secret Diary of an Expat Teacher:

Miss cazbar battles the bureaucratic red tape

World Cup fever in the classroom

Confronting the kids after a half-term break … in Paris

OFSTED: The most frightening acronym of them all

When UK teaching reality begins to bite, turn to banoffee pie

Facing the Vicky Pollards with ANZAC spirit