Pierre Cope secured a teaching position at the British International School, Moscow, through Worldteachers, in 2011. Pierre has since spent 3 years teaching science at the school. We recently caught up with Pierre to discuss what drove him to teach abroad and what he has gained from his experiences in Moscow.
Hi Pierre, you've been teaching in Moscow for 3 years now, can you tell us a bit about your background before you signed up to Worldteachers?
I worked as a teacher of Chemistry and Science in English schools mainly in the London area. I also taught English (ESL) in French state schools for three years.
How did you hear about Worldteachers, and what made you decide to teach abroad?
I had already been living abroad in France and I wanted to teach in other countries to broaden my cultural and academic horizons. I found Worldteachers while searching online.
What offers/interest did you receive, were you happy with the offers, and what made you choose Moscow?
My first offer was in 2011 to teach Science at the British International School of Moscow BISM . The school offered a great salary and help with relocation and finding accommodation etc.
Can you tell us a bit about your accommodation, was this organised through BIS Moscow?
Yes the school placed me with a choice of accommodation. Renting flats in Moscow is expensive but the high salary and rent allowance certainly compensates for the high costs.
How do you think teaching in Moscow differs from teaching in the UK?
Class sizes at BISM are much smaller than UK schools, the average is just 15 students per class. The students are polite, well-mannered, highly motivated and well behaved.
What was the highlight of your time teaching in Moscow?
I have worked with excellent and supportive colleagues enjoying every single day of teaching in my school.
What did you find hardest to adjust to in Moscow?
The cold winters. The snow arrives usually in November and can stay until April, however, the spring is short and welcoming, followed by a glorious summer. With the right clothes and plenty of hot meals, the snow is bearable and all the apartments are central heated and warm.
What advice would you have for anyone considering teaching abroad?
If you like the adventure of discovering new cultures and learning how those from other cultures view the world, then a rewarding and stimulating future awaits you.
Would you recommend Worldteachers?
Yes, I would.
Any final comments?
Moscow is an exciting and vibrant city in which to live and teach. Public transport is very cheap and reliable. The shops are modern but clothes are expensive. There are many restaurants, theatres, nightclubs, cinemas and other places to go to. Moscow is a city steeped in culture and has some of the best museums in the world. The Ballet in this country is out of this world and Moscow is only a short flight away from other cities such as St Petersburg and Kiev.
I have been teaching in Moscow for nearly three years now and am now moving on to explore new countries. I have had an excellent time teaching at the British International School and would recommend to anyone, who has the chance to work here, to snatch it with both hands. This is an excellent school with kind, caring staff and management. The students here are superb and the best that I have ever taught in my career as a classroom teacher.
We would like to thank Pierre for taking the time to answer our questions, and wish him the best of luck with his future teaching adventures!
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