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Availability of teaching positions in Kraków


nuncle 2 | 10  
11 Mar 2009 /  #1
Hi everyone,

After living in Kraków for a few months last year, I've decided to return and acquire a CELTA qualification (at IH Kraków) so that I can teach and live there.

I have created this thread to ask whether anyone knows if private English schools in Kraków (in general) might be hiring or have a need to hire from mid-May onwards. Is it a bad time to apply? It seems like most schools are always open to the possibility of hiring, regardless of semester.

I suppose I can always try some private lessons until I find a job in a school.

I've read quite a few threads on here about working in a school, what to expect, what I should know etc. I don't want to spend all this money on a flight, education and then not be able to find a job! So what are your thoughts?
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
11 Mar 2009 /  #2
hello nuncle,
And welcome to the Polish forums.

mid-May onwards. Is it a bad time to apply?

I don't mean to sound negative but,
I think this is generally a bad time to find a job teaching.
The academic year has finished and people are on holidays.

It seems like most schools are always open to the possibility of hiring, regardless of semester.

I think a lot of schools close down altogether or have very few classes to cut costs.

I suppose I can always try some private lessons until I find a job in a school.

This will help a lot.

I don't want to spend all this money on a flight, education and then not be able to find a job! So what are your thoughts?

I don't know what the future holds in store for you.
I would recommend holding off coming over until September or even October.
Try sending your C.V. via email to all the schools in Krakow asking for employment, it'll give you a good idea of the reality of the situation.

Best of luck.
ukpolska  
11 Mar 2009 /  #3
Simply, I would say don't go to Krakow if you want to be a teacher and live a half decent life, choose somewhere else where there is less competition.

Krakow is full of so-called native English teachers, and half of them are no good and are only interested in taking money in order to finance their next drinking binge.

If you are serous about teaching in Poland look more towards the smaller towns where you can experience more the Polish way of life. This is far better than Krakow, where you will be just another example of teaching fodder for the schools who suck you in and spit you out just as quick.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
11 Mar 2009 /  #4
Ha ha ha, ukpolska, I thought i was being negative ha HA HA.

You have a point but Krakow is still beautiful, you're just jealous ;)
OP nuncle 2 | 10  
11 Mar 2009 /  #5
Thanks a lot, I was worried about this.

Do you think it would be possible to survive post-CELTA as a private teacher only for a few months or are most students likely to be more interested in other things during this time? Also, I thought some schools ran intensives before and around summer?
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
11 Mar 2009 /  #6
Anything is possible but it is just unlikely that a teacher, such as yourself, with no experience of teaching will do so well.
I would recommend holding off until the end of summer.
Are you in a rush? have you family or friends here?
ukpolska  
11 Mar 2009 /  #7
Ha ha ha, ukpolska, I thought i was being negative ha HA HA.

You have a point but Krakow is still beautiful, you're just jealous ;)

Oh yeah!!! lol
The centre is so damn cool but it's when you walk 100 mtrs outside the centre you see the real Krakow, dirty, block after block of boring housing. TBH I love Krakow, but I think it's such a shame that it has been destroyed by some of the most terrible architecture and planning in Poland.

Still horses for courses mate:)
OP nuncle 2 | 10  
11 Mar 2009 /  #8
Anything is possible but it is just unlikely that a teacher, such as yourself, with no experience of teaching will do so well. I would recommend holding off until the end of summer. Are you in a rush? have you family or friends here?

Yeah, I am in a hurry because there aren't really any job opportunities where I live, so getting out of here sooner rather than later is important PLUS I love Poland and need to get back there :D

SeanBM, do you think it would be easier to find a job during this time in a smaller city or even in Warsaw, maybe there will be something I could do for a short while?
ukpolska  
11 Mar 2009 /  #9
nuncle, you really need to think about this carefully!!!
As Sean says it is the wrong time of year to be looking at jobs in Poland with three months to go of the semester you stand little if no chance of finding work in a school, as in the summer they will reduce staff if they have any lessons at all.

Any work that there is will be allocated to their most important teachers that they wish to keep on in the school.
You will be able to find some work teaching conversation, but then you will be competing against out of work teachers who will have a lot more experience than yourself.

Sorry, and I don't wish to put you off, but I have lived here for nearly eight years now and have seen the same story each year... where people come here thinking that they can just find a job teaching just like that and end up going home dismally failing, moving here takes a lot of preparation.

If I were you I would put it off and come here in July and start going through the schools looking for a job, but saying that being Australian you would need to arrange that before you come as you would need the school to arrange a work visa...this is a great blog by Ben one of our members and it has lots of info in there that will help you.
OP nuncle 2 | 10  
11 Mar 2009 /  #10
Thanks for the link ukpolska but I actually have European citizenship as well.

I just spoke to a DOS from a large school in Krakow and he has suggested that I stay in Australia, get my CELTA, do some teaching here and then try and come to KRK in late August. He is saying the same thing you guys are saying, class sizes shrink, people go away and with the economic crisis now people aren't taking so many courses.

It's disappointing, but what can you do. I really love Poland, I guess I might just have to wait.
ukpolska  
11 Mar 2009 /  #11
Thanks for the link ukpolska but I actually have European citizenship as well.

That's cool then :)

and come to KRK in late August.

If you can gather some money together then I would come earlier maybe at the start of July and start looking to get in before the rush for jobs... you can always find a couple of private students to keep you going if needs must.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
12 Mar 2009 /  #12
If you can gather some money together then I would come earlier maybe at the start of July and start looking to get in before the rush for jobs...

nuncle, One more thing, it is also good to come a little earlier so you can find inexpensive accommodation, near to your work place.
At the beginning of the academic year there is always a huge rush to find available places to rent and if you are late you limit your choices.

It is basically a feast during the academic year and a famine during the holidays.
Krakow is a student city.

Best of luck to you.
dtaylor 9 | 823  
12 Mar 2009 /  #13
I wouldn't rely on private lessons to keep your head above water, its taken me 4 years to build up my portfolio. Maybe some pub work to fill in the gap to you find something.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
12 Mar 2009 /  #14
Good advice. Krakow is pretty pricey, no?
dtaylor 9 | 823  
12 Mar 2009 /  #15
The average wage for a newbie teacher is about 1800-2000. With average rents for a flat going at about 1500. So yeah, pricey
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
12 Mar 2009 /  #16
Krakow is pretty pricey, no?

Compared to what?.
It is a city, so things are more expensive.
Accommodation can be fierce expensive, if you don't get in before the students take everything.

You can live for cheaper in a smaller town, I don't know if you will be paid as much as in krakow?.
But not everybody likes small towns.

The average wage for a newbie teacher is about 1800-2000.

Really? wow, that has come down a lot.
I haven't taught in years.
I was getting 4000 a month, for a four day week (Fridays were free.)
But back then there was a real demand.
The school I worked for bought my plane ticket and all, organised my flat and work visa, I was sorted.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
12 Mar 2009 /  #17
Indeed
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
12 Mar 2009 /  #18
Ha ha ha, the sage sheep has spoken :)
dtaylor 9 | 823  
12 Mar 2009 /  #19
Really? wow, that has come down a lot.

There's so many native here now. Unless you have lots of experience, the schools will pay you shit. The need for a native has gone now.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
12 Mar 2009 /  #20
The need for a native has gone now.

That is good.
There was a bit of a monopoly before.
I remember being told I got paid more than a fully qualified doctor.
Which was ridiculous, it's just supply and demand.

Teaching can be good craic and I found it to be a very good way of getting to know Polish people and their behaviour.
I always thought the teacher/student relationship thing was strange, there is an invisible barrier.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
12 Mar 2009 /  #21
True...
dtaylor 9 | 823  
12 Mar 2009 /  #22
Our school has an excellent relationship with our students, we have school parties every month. Almost every student knows everything about their teachers.

Seanus is morphing into Greg
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
12 Mar 2009 /  #23
True...

Come on Seanus, spill the beans, you're a teacher, tell us what the craic is these days?.

The place where you teach, is it a big city or a town/village?.

Our school has an excellent relationship with our students, we have school parties every month. Almost every student knows everything about their teachers.

I heard of schools, "encouraging" teacher/student relationships before.
Hook yourself a foreigner, a bit seedy I thought but it might have just appeared that way, this was just something i was told.
dtaylor 9 | 823  
12 Mar 2009 /  #24
Some of my best friends here are former students.
OP nuncle 2 | 10  
13 Mar 2009 /  #25
1500 - 2000zl a week for new teachers! That's terrible! I can earn more than that on welfare in Australia (almost). I thought you got paid about 4000zl a month.

I suppose I would have to supplement my income by teaching privately.
dtaylor 9 | 823  
13 Mar 2009 /  #26
But be realistic, how many priv student will u get? maybe 1 a week if your lucky
OP nuncle 2 | 10  
13 Mar 2009 /  #27
Yeh, tis true. When I was in Poland at the end of last year I found it easy to get students in Poznan, but a bit harder in Krakow, although I wasn't qualified at the time.

So if beginners make 1500-2000zl a month how much do the pros make?
dtaylor 9 | 823  
13 Mar 2009 /  #28
I make 8000 a month. In a city like Krakow, if your name is known, you can command a high price.
pgtx 30 | 3,156  
13 Mar 2009 /  #29
I found it easy to get students in Poznan, but a bit harder in Krakow

the competition in Krakow is high... i was looking for a very well qualified person, i had lots to choose from, and it was about 10 years ago... so imagine now...

back then, i didn't care to learn anything to be honest, but my teacher was a tough cookie, and he wasn't that expensive (sorry, can't remember now how much it was)...
OP nuncle 2 | 10  
13 Mar 2009 /  #30
Well, after this thread and speaking to a number of DOS' in Krakow I've decided that I won't come to Krakow until later. I will probably do my CELTA in June, finish it in July and then start looking for a position. Even if the pay sux it will still be a good experience, the fact is I love Poland and want to live there, atleast for a while. If the pay isn't enough after a semester or so I can always move on.

Thanks for the advice everybody.

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