Smart Teachers' Blog

An international hub supporting teachers and conversation

An Unexpected Journey: a Kiwi teacher’s tale


Auckland recruitment consultant, Rosie Buchanan, introduces us to newly qualified teacher Anitra. With a step by step guide on the registration process, Rosie tells us how she helped with Anitra’s career journey from New Zealand to East London. 

Anitra is a wonderful Drama and Dance teacher with a bubbly personality. As a recently qualified teacher from New Zealand, Anitra set out to gain her first teaching experience in UK schools with the hope of finding a long-term position in London, with a little helping hand from Smart Teachers!

Step 1: Set up meeting at the Auckland office

First step was to invite Anitra to meet with me at our Auckland office to start the registration process. A big part of my job is to get to know our teachers well. It was too easy to form a bond with Anitra – her charm and warmth is captivating! Anitra shared with me her thoughts and plans for the UK and I was able to chat through any fears she had. I love having the chance to share my experience on the types of schools, areas, lifestyle, travel, and general expectations for teaching in the UK.

Step 2: Complete CV, registration forms, visa application and vetting checks

It’s really important to produce a concise CV for schools, so we spent some time making a few changes. Together, we created a powerful resume to make heads turn!

Many of our applicants admit their fear of filling in the forms, but I always make sure it’s as straight forward as it needs to be. Forms completed and police checks submitted, we calculated the timing of her visa application and covered any further questions she had.

Step 3: Set up video interview

In addition to an outstanding CV and personal statement, video interviewing is a great tool we use to promote our overseas teachers to schools. During our meeting, we recorded a three minute interview on Anitra’s phone. A short video gives schools an insight into the candidate’s teaching style in addition to gaining a glimpse of their personality.

Step 4: Introduce teacher to London team

After our initial meeting, we received Anitra’s references within just a few weeks and it was time to introduce her to the London team via Skype. Anitra was assigned to one of our senior consultants, Lisa Ducas, who went through in detail how she would secure her work on arrival.

Step 5: Fly to London!

Once the official procedures and introductions were complete, Anitra was packing her bags, enjoying her farewell parties, and planning her first trips through Europe.

Registration can be pretty straight forward for our Kiwi teachers and the whole process can take just a few weeks. Many of Anitra’s fears were unfounded and we can safely say she has no regrets for choosing London to begin her teaching career.

Wondering how’s she’s getting on now?

Watch this short vlog from our very own Anitra.


Australia Day 2017: Celebrating Modern Australia

by Serena Chubb – Smart Teachers’ Melbourne office

Australia Day is celebrated annually on the 26th of January and it marks the date that Sir Arthur Phillip travelled to Sydney Cove with a small entourage from the First Fleet and claimed the land in the name of King George III.

Broadly speaking, the historical significance of this date is not at the forefront of many Australians’ minds on Australia Day, who appreciate the national holiday as a general celebration of what’s great about Australia and being Australian. Approximately 28% of Australians are born overseas and about 20% of Australians have at least one parent born overseas. Despite the population being comprised of varying ethnicities, this is a day where most people (no matter who they are or where they are from) come together and enjoy having a BBQ, going for a swim, playing some cricket and listening to the iconic Triple J’s Hottest 100 music countdown.

Australia Day is a celebration of unity, however, there are certainly dark undertones that create divisions within the community. Recently in Victoria, an Australia Day billboard featuring two young Islamic girls wearing hijabs was taken down – the reason being the notion that these girls do not appropriately represent what it means to be “Australian”. After significant public debate, the billboard has now rightfully been reinstated.


Many people also find this day difficult, for the arrival of the First Fleet marks the end of freedom for Indigenous Australians. The date has historically been referred to as a day of mourning, or most recently, ‘Invasion Day’ or ‘Survival Day’.

Across the country, ceremonies are held to acknowledge the pain and suffering that many people experience on this day. One of the first large-scale protests occurred in 1938 with a silent march and meeting. 1938 was also the year when Aboriginals were forced to participate in a re-enactment of the landing of the First Fleet. Aboriginal people were locked up at the Redfern Police Barracks stables until the re-enactment was to take place. Then on the 26th of January, they were forced to run along the beach away from the British.


As a result, there is ongoing public debate for the date of Australia Day to be changed to one that is neutral and allows all citizens to truly celebrate what it means to be a modern Australian. It was not until 2013 that the Aboriginal flag and the Australian flag were raised together on Sydney Harbour Bridge for Australia Day.


These issues certainly highlight the fact that lots of work still needs to take place in order for our communities to adapt new social realities. Everyone should feel included and have a positive reason to want to celebrate being a part of modern day Australia.

Surprisingly, Meat and Livestock Australia is the organisation that has been most vocal about these issues, and is reaching out once again via their annual Australia Day campaign. Despite being an ad for eating lamb, this year’s ad even extends a hand to vegans in an attempt to ensure inclusion for all and assist in shaping the identity and cultural diversity of Australians today.

Remembrance Day 2016

TES Global and Camfed launch partnership on World Teachers’ Day

Today, on World Teachers’ Day, digital education company TES Global announced that its staff have selected Camfed as its global charity partner.  

Camfed supports the education of girls and the leadership of young women in partnership with the school systems in sub-Saharan Africa. This new partnership will bring measurable impact to one of the most important Sustainable Development Goals: Quality Education.

As part of TES Global, Smart Teachers has pledged support of girls’ education and the leadership of young women in Africa. We are supporting Camfed in its mission to improve the learning environment and outcomes for vulnerable children, support marginalised girls to go to school and succeed, and empower young women to step up as leaders of change.

Lord Jim Knight, Chief Education Adviser of TES Global, with Lucy Lake, CEO of Camfed, launching the new partnership.

Continue reading “TES Global and Camfed launch partnership on World Teachers’ Day”

My London Story: What teaching in the UK taught me


Mo on Southbank

Aussie Music teacher Monet Hawkins made the move from Melbourne to London in October 2014, and despite only planning to stay for three months, is still here two years later. Here she shares some stories (and some tips) about what it was like arriving in London, finding her feet, and how the experience has transformed her both personally and professionally. 

When colleagues ask me what I did on the weekend, I have to pinch myself when I reply, “I went to Spain.”

Every time I look up in amazement at Westminster Abbey, listen to Big Ben chime, or am commuting in a downpour near St Paul’s Cathedral, clutching an umbrella, I have to ask myself, “am I really here? Is this real?”. 

My London story was only supposed to be a short one. My original plan had been to live here for three months – do a bit of travelling, pick up a bit of work, get some life experience. But then three months turned into six months, six months turned into a year, and now one year is pushing closer to two.

Moving to London wasn’t simply the beginning of a new chapter in my life. It felt like I had started a whole new book. Continue reading “My London Story: What teaching in the UK taught me”

Ways to cash up on the school holidays (all while still developing your teaching career)

With the end of the academic year fast approaching, the countdown to summer has well and truly begun. However you’re planning on spending your well-deserved holiday – gallivanting across Europe, hanging with friends and family, or simply lounging around London – we understand that the long break can be a potentially daunting time for some supply teachers when cashflow gets tight.

If you’re looking to pick up some extra work these summer holidays, or are keen to find out about ways to subsidise your income throughout term time, here are some flexible, convenient, profitable options that also look great on the CV! Continue reading “Ways to cash up on the school holidays (all while still developing your teaching career)”

Happy #firstdayofsummer London

View this post on Instagram

Happy #firstdayofsummer London ☔️💦🌧⛈😓

A post shared by Smart Teachers (@smart_teachers) on

Reflections on a Sunny Week

We did it! Smart Teachers raises £1,063.12 for Melanoma UK during Sun Awareness Week, May 9th – 13th 2016. 

When I first put forward the idea of promoting Sun Awareness Week in aid of Melanoma UK here at Smart HQ, I never could have imagined it would go so well.

After losing my father to melanoma three years ago, this was a cause very close to my heart. Not only did I want to help raise money for the nurses that cared for my dad throughout his illness, I also wanted to inform people about the dangers of the sun here in the UK, where (despite the gloomy skies) skin cancer is the most common form of preventable cancer.

It quickly became apparent this was an issue that resonated with lots of people across the company, including our very own Paula Sinclair (Smart consultant and founding partner), who unbeknownst to many of us is a survivor of malignant melanoma herself. With our Aussie counterparts all chanting Slip-Slop-Slap, we had all the fighting spirit we needed for a fun-filled week of fundraising. Continue reading “Reflections on a Sunny Week”

Sun Awareness Week @ Smart Teachers

Smart Teachers will be raising vital funds for Melanoma UK during Sun Awareness Week – 9th to 13th May 2016. Help us reach our goal!


For any kid who grew up in Australia or New Zealand in the 1980s (which accounts for a fair few of us here at Smart HQ), the importance of sun awareness is deeply ingrained. The iconic Slip-Slop-Slap campaign was like a childhood mantra, and it was a rare sight to see any kid in a playground without a flappy hat, white zinc lips, and at least a six inch layer of sunscreen.

These days, sun awareness remains a ubiquitous fixture in the antipodean psyche, with skin cancers accounting for around 80% of all new cancers diagnosed in Australia. Unsurprisingly, the Cancer Council’s current campaigns have taken a slightly more grotesque turn since the days of Sid the lisping seagull (or Tiger the lobster if you’re from New Zealand).

Continue reading “Sun Awareness Week @ Smart Teachers”

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: