Jeff Chung's Case Study on Working in the UK
CASE STUDY: JEFF CHUNG
CLASS MUSIC TEACHER
Coming over from the other side of the world, my trip to the UK has been a very prosperous move, in building my knowledge in European ways, self confidence, self awareness and my abilities as a teacher, as well as financial advancements.
Having just completed my University degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, it has been a huge learning curve that has been greatly guided by the people at Education Group.
When I first arrived in the UK, I had set myself up for many interviews with different agencies, leaving plenty of options and opportunities for work. However, being a music teacher, Education Group was of great assistance, not only providing interviews with schools immediately upon arrival, but also catering for my individual needs and following through with the different schools that I have worked with thus far. Education Group, although primarily an company providing teaching positions for key stages 1, 2 and 3, were able to successfully find a position for me within a secondary school (key stages 4 and up). Although this did not work out for me, the team at Education Group had successfully organised a position at a junior school (upper primary school), which has ended in great success.
They organised everything that was required for the position including the
needed CRB and interviews with the schools.
Education Group was happy to organise according to my individual needs whether that be day-to-day supply teaching or full time teaching. They were incredibly friendly and very much genuine people, who not only proceeded to find teaching positions for myself, but also in following through by making sure that I was satisified with the position(s).
The team also guided me in my decisions financially including the different payment options available to me and
the legal issues that came with my specific visa arrangements.
Coming from a some what well-off area of Sydney, I have come to realise what a multicultural nation the UK is and
how different the materials are within UK schools. Not only that, but how different the nature of teaching is within the
classrooms of British schools. In regards to the development of your own teaching methods and in the growth of
yourself, you find that coming over to a different cultural environment allows you to learn a whole lot from not only
your colleagues within the school but also from your students as they challenge you in a different way to those you
are used to within the comforts of your own cultural background.
Of course within the initial stages of my moving to the UK, I found it difficult to translate pounds and what exactly was cheap and what was expensive, moving from Marks and Spencers and Waitrose to Sainsbury's and finally settling on Somerfield (something that was initially missed in the many discussions I've had with Education Group!!)...then you
ask yourself about the alcoholic beverages (it is a working/holiday visa after all) and you begin to pay 5 pounds for
two drinks finding yourself falling into the trap of thinking "$5 AUD..wow that's cheap...wait a minute!!" (something
that was not missed within the discussions!)
I found the people of Education Group very sincere and genuine in making you feel as comfortable as possible in
having arrived in a new country - a very difficult job considering I was located in the heart of a busy city like London.
In my experience, Education Group also provide a firm support system towards their staff and it is obvious that they
work towards a happy and healthy relationship between themselves, the many a schools they have available, and the music teachers (experienced or new-bies alike).
Although I originally intended on teaching secondary here in the UK, I myself am quite happy in my position as a
primary school music specialist, the school offering many opportunities to expand my knowledge as a music teacher
and/or classroom teacher alike, all of which would have been a difficult process without the support system that was offered by the people of Education Group.
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