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Teaching English without a degree and any experience in Poland.

23 Oct 2008 /  #1
Cześć everyone!

Here is my story:
I am 25 years old and would like to teach english in Poland. As a teenager, I openly expressed interest in my polish heritage, and was given a set of "Learning Polish" cassette tapes when I graduated high school. It was a very inspiring gift, indeed! Since then, I have been studying on my own, using "Teach Yourself" books, watching polish films and tv, and making friends with polish immigrants who give my great support and encouragement to learn and travel. I have been working at a retail job for much of this time, and have reached a point in my life where I would like to do something a little more fulfilling. I see teaching english as a foreign language as the perfect opportunity, because I know the impact a teacher can have on the life of a student.

I have been researching TEFL websites and forums like these to gain information, and much to my disappointment, the necessity for a bachelor's degree seems to be a pivotal factor toward gaining employment. I recognize the importance of some kind of education, since employers understandably do not want to hire just anybody. My problem is: I have the drive, but lack the money. I come from a modest background, with one uncle who has graduated with a bachelor's degree, and is still paying off his debts at the age of 43. I very much believe that the borrower is servant to the lender, and would hate to get myself into a financial situation that I could not deal with. If I were to try and obtain one of these degrees, student loans would undoubtedly make up for the majority of my tuition payment, because applying for goverment grants would, at best, supplement the income I would otherwise be making at work (i.e. my rent would be paid, but not my tuition.)

Obtaining a TEFL certificate or the like seems to be a much more feasible goal. I have the means to pay for the certification, as well as the desire to throw myself into it, body and soul.

Here are my questions:

Does anyone here teach english without a degree?

Experience in teaching also seems to play a key factor in gaining employment. How does one start at ground zero?

If a bachelor's degree is a necessity, and I put myself through college, would I earn enough money teaching in Poland to survive and pay off tuition loans?

I have no need to make money "hand over fist." I find that life is much more simple when making an honest wage with room for occasional amenities. If I were to skip college and simply become an employed, TEFL certified teacher, what would life be like? Simple and honest, or shady and filled with anxiety?

I would be very grateful to anyone who could answer these questions.

Stokrotny dzięki!
26 Oct 2008 /  #2
I can't help u now, but try to ask English Schools in Poland directly. You should ask about everything u want to know: bachelor's degree necessity, money for teaching ( especially after they paid taxes ), of course u can get private lessons after teaching in School or beside this. Good luck.

Some email address:;;; and more others on polish web sides.
26 Oct 2008 /  #3
Does anyone here teach English without a degree?

There are different levels of teaching. Some teach on the net for free, some work at home with pupils aged five and upwards, some work in private schools, some work in state schools.

A degree in what ? I doubt many native speakers in Poland have a teaching degree.

A qualification of some sort will help, but is not always necessary.

If you have the drive and commitment then e-mail a number of schools and ask.

Study the relevant threads on polishforums first.
5 Nov 2008 /  #4
I teach english in Krakow without a degree, however I teach using the Callan Method which the school trained me maybe try for a school that using the callan method as well as traditioanal, and you can always do conversation

As for experience, I know some native speakers who have had no experience what so ever and they are teaching but maybe try and do like a volunteering in teaching prehaps as I had been a volunteer as an assitant in teaching english here

But the TEFL course would be good to do to help in understanding the grammar and how the language works as many native speakers have problems in explaining how the grammar works

Good luck!
5 Nov 2008 /  #5



Maybe you should have taken the TEFL course course yourself hehe
Just being a bastard !!! :0)
28 Nov 2008 /  #6
Well, just to let you know...

I'm teaching without a degree, although I'm teaching as part of my 'gap year' from studies. I'm probably going to transfer my degree here and still teach - so no, there's no requirement to have a degree as such. should get yourself the CELTA qualification if you can. It'll open up plenty of doors, including some doors that wouldn't open for someone with just a degree and no teaching qualification. Certainly, you can build a decent career here on the back of the CELTA.

I suspect the 'degree' requirement is simply a way of many language schools trying to stop uneducated people applying - though if you prove your abilities in English via the CELTA course, then it's likely that they won't care less about the lack of a degree. Some schools might be bothered by it - but really, they aren't to be worried about.

Basically, it's not impossible - and probably far more sensible to not run up loans paying for a degree that you might not even need :)
28 Nov 2008 /  #7
My schools were very clear in asking me to furnish my degrees, together with my CELTA. However, my first school here saw both as merely a bonus. Wow, makes me really feel that I invested my time for a worthy cause.

You just have to prove your worthiness and reliability to a school. Be proactive, get in their faces.
29 Nov 2008 /  #8
To be honest, I'm really not sure why there's an insistence on having a degree - there's so many muppet degrees in the UK now that you can pass one by putting in the bare minimal effort. I even passed a module last year by putting in four hours of work in total - 2 hours writing an assignment, half an hour reading a book before the exam and an hour and a half in the exam.

Hardly says much for the academic validity of UK degrees, really.
29 Nov 2008 /  #9
It depends what university you go to.
2 Dec 2008 /  #10
Oh, of course. I've known people at 'bad' universities who have had a far tougher time than I've had at Essex, despite their universities being ranked way way down the league tables. It's ridiculous - and just shows that league tables are absolute nonsense.
3 Dec 2008 /  #11

I am a master student in international busness and management in Leon Kozminski University in warsaw.I am looking for a part time job as a native english speaker. I speak very good british english and my studies for the past 25 years has been in english. I have a year experience as Economics teacher which was in english. I am a Nigerian studying in warsaw.

If anybody is interested you can send e-mail to or call 507372188

3 Dec 2008 /  #12
I teach English and I don't have a degree. I do have a diploma mind you (just!), basically I spent four years at Uni and came out of it with a two year qualification. I don't even have any A-levels either, I scrapped into Uni by doing a GNVQ.

The CELTA/Trinity Certificates will prepare you thoroughly enough, although the chances are your local college might do an Introduction to TEFL course as an evening class which I found useful. The most important thing I have noticed when applying for TEFL work is your amount of experience, and the only way you can get that is by getting out there and doing it!
3 Dec 2008 /  #13
I'm still trying to determine whether or not an Education degree in something other than ESL will suffice. I'm not very interested in forking over $1000 dollars to do a TEFOL course this coming spring. It's a waste of my time and and money and won't prepare me in a significant way for what they want Native speakers to handle.
4 Dec 2008 /  #14

Specialist autism teacher.

I have been teaching communication and the full curriculum for 8 - 19 year olds for 8 years at National Curriculum standard. I work at an independent school and although I am not a qualified teacher, I am graded as an 'Associate teacher'; it is all above board and I was personally praised in my schools last OFSTED report. I specialise in teaching autistic children and have received training in many different areas and disciplines. I am currently looking for fulltime work in the Warsaw area.

If anyone has any ideas, tips or work then please PM me.



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