Moving to the other side of the world is a daunting thought, let alone the task itself! Trust me, I know. On December 2nd, 2018, I hopped on a flight from Sydney to London after only 3 months of preparation! It was a last minute decision for me but a no-brainer, as I was to turn 31 years old in September of last year and I was NOT going to miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity – a UK Youth Mobility Visa!

Now, I could sit here and tell you all about my positive experience with anzuk (I worked as a Teaching Assistant before moving into a consultant role in the London Office) but it just wouldn’t have the same effect as if it were coming from one of our teachers. But we’ll get to that.

Yes, anzuk is one of hundreds of education and teaching agencies. But let’s just take a step back for a moment. anzuk is a group of over 130 people across the globe, passionately supporting educators and education support staff to have exceptional experiences throughout not only their teaching careers but in travel and lifestyle as well. You can’t have work without rest and play (it’s called balance).

It’s true, anzuk offers support for overseas teachers looking to teach in Australia but up until April, 2018, we didn’t have a specialist team of consultants offering quality one-on-one care to these educators. That’s where I came in and with the help of Canadian and Australian based consultants, we try and make your journey to Oz as smooth a transition as possible. There is nothing more satisfying than checking in with one of our educators after they’ve settled in to life down under and receiving amazing feedback; feedback that adds value to our processes, and shares insights into the processes themselves and ultimately the end game which is so important to share with educators yet to depart their home country for the land down under.

I’ve been looking forward to sharing the following email that I received several weeks ago from an educator that moved from the UK to Sydney, New South Wales, in early September this year. Maria has agreed to share her experience…

 

‘Dear Taryn

 

Things are going really well; I cannot believe I have only been in Sydney for three weeks and working at Kambala for two of them. I feel so lucky working here; it is an excellent school with very high academic and pastoral standards, as well as probably the best induction programme I have ever been part of. I have been fortunate with timing as I am doing a maternity cover, so my initial load is slightly lighter than it will be, but despite this, I can already see that the environment is very realistic and caring. They make sure that no one feels worried or burdened. I have worked in some very supportive schools, and this school has exceeded the care factor beyond what I have ever seen before. 

 

I had some very old-fashioned assumptions, I think, about the differences between teaching in the UK and teaching in Australia. I have found that the environments are really similar, as is the training and drive for success. Having worked in an Ofsted-led environment for nearly 12 years, I had always found that reminding staff about the needs of individuals always felt like asking for an extra job to be done by those teachers, but here the children come first and there is a real drive for personalising success. It is like I have found my home, as this is absolutely what I am all about. 

 

In the UK, there is constant change and pressure which means that some of my goals as an inclusive practitioner come second in the list of school priorities (which I totally understand as the pressures on UK schools are insane, and are largely governmentally led by MPs who have never entered a classroom, and this means there is a change in curriculum sometimes midyear, and almost annually). But here, whilst there is a drive for change, it isn’t change for change’s sake; it is about school improvement, in a really manageable way. I am of course, speaking as a classroom practitioner here, having been in the Leadership Team of a large mainstream high school in the UK, so obviously the pressure is different, but I gain that sense through conversations with staff at all levels. 

 

The process with NESA, largely, was fine. Both Matt (my partner) and I are going through it in different ways. Mine was always going to be simpler as I have the standard UK teaching degree, whereas his is more complex, but again, your support and the support of the school has been absolutely fantastic. 

 

To have ‘landed’ this as a first job, with a significant block of time to be here, really has been so amazing. I cannot thank you guys enough for ‘getting’ me and ensuring you found me a best match; not a simple task as my subject area (Psychology/Social Science) is strange, and my specialism (Special Needs) is not what most teachers get involved with. To have located a job in precisely what I am good at, with autonomy and room for progression is quite frankly amazing. So I really cannot thank you enough; now you have 9 months to match this stupendous effort (but maybe with a slightly shorter journey – although, once you’re in the car, and you know the way, it actually isn’t that bad!). 

 

Anyway, the long and short of it is that things are going really well!

 

Thank you so much for all your support in getting me here,

 

Maria’