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Teaching English in Gliwice. Schools? Can I start after September?


bowlingballhead 1 | 5  
18 Sep 2009 /  #1
Hey all! I'm an American living in Minnesota looking to leave the country for a while. I'm really sick of what this country is becoming; something it was never intended to be. In any case, I have no degrees or certifications, but I do have three years of college, and what I believe is a decent understanding of the English language. I'm not one of these guys looking for chicks and beer. I do like to drink, but I got hosed by an American woman and feel no need to have that happen again.

Now, I am a Polish-American. Both of my parents were born in Poland and I speak very decent Polish. I have a large family in Gliwice and that's where I'd be going. I also have my Akt Urodzenia but haven't taken the steps necessary to obtain my EU passport yet.

Also, I probably wouldn't be flying out until October sometime.

Anyone have any thoughts on schools in Gliwice or the surrounding cities? Where I might be able to find work with limited qualifications? And if I'd be able to start after the school year has already begun?

Thanks for any help in advance and I enjoy these forums very much!
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
18 Sep 2009 /  #2
Gliwice is where I work. I know most of the schools here, having lived here for 5 years. With limited qualifications, Speed Callan is your best bet. However, you may need to pull a fast one to get ahead. You could start into the school year there if a teacher drops out as they often do.

Any specific questions, please PM me. Thanks
OP bowlingballhead 1 | 5  
18 Sep 2009 /  #3
Maybe it'd be best to just get my CELTA in Krakow when I get there? But if you're saying that these Callum teachers bail all the time, I guess that would be an option. Thanks for the help, and I'll definitely keep the PM thing in mind once I get closer/have more specific questions.
scottie1113 7 | 898  
18 Sep 2009 /  #4
It's Callan, not Callum. I may be wrong, but I think you need to have your degree before schools that offer CELTA will accept you.

Please pardon me for being so blunt, but the last thing Poland needs is a disillusioned, disgruntled, unqualified American who wants to come here because he's dissatisfied with the US and got dumped by some woman, regardless of her nationality. With that displayed level of immaturity, how can you possibly think that you'd have any credibility in a room full of adult Poles who have experienced more adversity in their lifetimes than you can imagine? They'll tune you out faster than you can channels with your remote.

Do us all a favor. Stay home until you grow up.
OP bowlingballhead 1 | 5  
18 Sep 2009 /  #5
scottie1113

Boy are you a piece of work. Let me inform you pal. I was married for seven years, and lost everything including my son in a divorce. The reason I don't have my degree is because I dropped out of school and went to work as a corrections officer for the State of Minnesota, in a maximum security prison, at the age of 21, in order to provide for my family.

And in case you didn't read, my parents are from Poland. I have more family in that area than I can count, and I speak Polish. Do you?

You are a piece of ****.

Not to mention my first name is Wojciech. How's that for Polish, fuckstick?
scottie1113 7 | 898  
18 Sep 2009 /  #6
And in case you didn't read, my parents are from Poland. I have more family in that area than I can count, and I speak Polish.

Yes, I read that. Since it does nothing to enhance your qualifications to teach English, I didn't comment on it.

Yes, I speak Polish. Not well, but it's improving every day. So what? You asked about teaching English.

Not to mention my first name is Wojciech. How's that for Polish

How is this relevant? I'll let my original response stand as it is.

The reason I don't have my degree is because I dropped out of school and went to work as a corrections officer for the State of Minnesota, in a maximum security prison, at the age of 21, in order to provide for my family.

I'm sure that will impress someone in an interview when you have to explain why you don't have a degree.
Ajb 6 | 232  
18 Sep 2009 /  #7
How's that for Polish, fuckstick?

Wow you have some serious problem..... chill out!, he was just being straight to the point...
delphiandomine 83 | 18,112  
18 Sep 2009 /  #8
It's Callan, not Callum. I may be wrong, but I think you need to have your degree before schools that offer CELTA will accept you.

It's not a requirement. CELTA is considered to be a Level 4 course (in the English qualifications pyramid) and as such, is comparable to the 1st year of university.

I suspect the 'you need a degree' part comes from wanting to discourage 18 year olds that are straight from high school as they're unlikely to be able to teach effectively at that age, as opposed to any real need for one.

I'm sure that will impress someone in an interview when you have to explain why you don't have a degree.

Actually, you're not considering his actual background. A corrections officer (I love that name!) is likely to take no nonsense from learners - and with the Polish language, he's likely to be a very effective teacher if he commands respect.

A degree isn't the be all and end all.
Harry  
18 Sep 2009 /  #9
Maybe it'd be best to just get my CELTA in Krakow when I get there?

No. Don't do your CELTA when you get here. The CELTA takes a month to do and late November is a terrible time to be looking for work (although frankly October is almost too late). Do a year of teaching Callan and then do the CELTA next summer (when there isn't much work).

I may be wrong, but I think you need to have your degree before schools that offer CELTA will accept you.

You're 100% wrong there.

Please pardon me for being so blunt, but the last thing Poland needs is a disillusioned, disgruntled, unqualified American who wants to come here because he's dissatisfied with the US and got dumped by some woman, regardless of her nationality.

And you're 100% right there.
scottie1113 7 | 898  
18 Sep 2009 /  #10
scottie1113:
I may be wrong, but I think you need to have your degree before schools that offer CELTA will accept you.

You're 100% wrong there.

Thanks Harry. I really wasn't sure about that. I've been waiting for you to chime in on this thread.

Next time I'm in WaWa,
I'll stand you to a pint or five. It'll be nice to meet another curmudgeon.
Harry  
18 Sep 2009 /  #11
Next time I'm in WaWa,
I'll stand you to a pint or five. It'll be nice to meet another curmudgeon.

Sounds good to me. But only if you let me buy you a pint for each one you buy me.
scottie1113 7 | 898  
18 Sep 2009 /  #12
[quote=delphiandomine]Actually, you're not considering his actual background. A corrections officer (I love that name!) is likely to take no nonsense from learners - and with the Polish language, he's likely to be a very effective teacher if he commands respect.

Oh, I did consider it. Obedience based on authority is a far cry from respect in the classroom based on trust and mutual respect. And nonsense from learners? Hmmm. Haven't experienced that yet. Although I speak Polish, I teach English, and guess which language rarely is heard in my classes.It ain't English.

I agree about the degree, but again, coupled with a CELTA, it opens more doors than would otherwise be possible.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
18 Sep 2009 /  #13
I have found that to be the case. When applying for my last job, I had 4 years exp in Poland and 2 years exp in Japan, coupled with 2 degrees (for which I got more money in Japan and not here, humph ;)) and a CELTA. She barely even checked the references.

I think a degree is fairly standard these days. It's hard to open doors without one. This is more of a logistical requirement and the CELTA gives some polish to the credentials. It shows some commitment to and investment in the teaching process.

Delph, the CELTA may not hold much sway amongst some but ask yourself this:

Would you really be in a much better position with a DELTA or MSc? I've found that the pay increments in many countries is not worth the extra ulcers. I've scouted around and it rings true in many places. Sorry, I'm gonna continue paying the bills and having a constant income, rather than rolling the dice and indulging in a course of questionable value. Just my take but I know the system.
delphiandomine 83 | 18,112  
18 Sep 2009 /  #14
Oh, I did consider it. Obedience based on authority is a far cry from respect in the classroom based on trust and mutual respect. And nonsense from learners? Hmmm. Haven't experienced that yet. Although I speak Polish, I teach English, and guess which language rarely is heard in my classes.It ain't English.

Sometimes you need that extra edge though, particularly if you've got a tough class who don't put the effort in outside of the classroom. It may even help if you get a class that's been together for a while and who regard it more as a social outing than serious learning (we've got one class like this, nightmare!) - and certainly, it can do no harm to have a no-nonsense attitude. Of course, if you don't have 'it' - there's no point in pretending that you do.

Would you really be in a much better position with a DELTA or MSc? I've found that the pay increments in many countries is not worth the extra ulcers. I've scouted around and it rings true in many places. Sorry, I'm gonna continue paying the bills and having a constant income, rather than rolling the dice and indulging in a course of questionable value. Just my take but I know the system.

I don't see the point either, not unless you've actually got a good reason to do so. For the ordinary teacher, it would seem pretty pointless - it's not like many schools will pay extra, just as you say. It might be worthwhile if you want to persue a management position, or certainly if you want to work in higher education - but apart from that?

As Harry says however, he would probably be best off doing a year of Callan and getting a feel for teaching (and if it's right for him!) and then doing the CELTA afterwards. I get the feeling that an ex-screw could be a fantastic Callan teacher...
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
18 Sep 2009 /  #15
Well, if you want to pursue a management position, be prepared for accepting fewer teaching hours and more administrative hogwash. Yes, the hourly rate is more but these guys end up with less pay and more stress due to a lack of class contact time. You can trust me on this as I've seen it time and again. More often than not, they resign within their contract expiry date.

Even in higher education, a PGCE is preferred in Britain. Teaching abroad is just not high-profile enough to merit a DELTA or MSc. It's pure indulgence and I harbour no aspirations of being the very thing I revile, a pompous academic type. I was the type they disliked, who scored very well but wasn't snooty and in a closed circle.

Callan is used beyond Speed but it is petering out here. It places heavy reliance on a nonsense promise of four times faster.
scottie1113 7 | 898  
18 Sep 2009 /  #16
I get the feeling that an ex-screw could be a fantastic Callan teacher...

Scary thought, but spot on!
santander 1 | 68  
18 Sep 2009 /  #17
I dropped out of school and went to work as a corrections officer for the State of Minnesota, in a maximum security prison, at the age of 21,

I cannot understand why you want to teach english, why don't you use your qualifications you have gained in the prison service, and teach young offenders, or old offenders for that matter, surely you will be putting your experience to a much better cause, especially when you speak polish.
OP bowlingballhead 1 | 5  
18 Sep 2009 /  #18
Well, I'm not really counting on my CO experience to go slapping students into shape, lol. I'm not exactly Captain Hadley from The Shawshank Redemption. I just brought that up cause after I introduced myself and asked my question, this scottie character shows up and goes on a rant about maturity and adversity and all of this, but unless his high-powered perception can reach through the internet and read my mind, he has absolutely no idea of what my maturity level is or how much adversity I've faced in my lifetime, hence, the response I gave.

I sense that maybe some just don't like Americans in general? If I'm wrong, please correct me.

As far as not liking what's going on in this country and wanting to get out, well, all I can say is that my parents came up in Soviet Occupied Poland, and it pains me to see these communist gangsters take over the government and turn congress into the new politburo, while Chairman Obama watches from above. Whatever, if you don't agree you don't agree, that's all.

Thanks again to those that have been helpful.

P.S.
As far as qualifications go; I've also been reading an ESL message board as of late, and some of these teachers' grammar and spelling is so atrocious it makes you wonder if they had a service write their resumes for them? I'm not even kidding.
scottie1113 7 | 898  
18 Sep 2009 /  #19
I sense that maybe some just don't like Americans in general? If I'm wrong, please correct me.

Not me. I'm American. My reply to your original post was based solely on its content. Your response just validated my comments.

Whatever. Sorry, but I've seen too many people who came here for all the wrong reasons, realized that they brought their problems with them, and then went back to wherever they came from.

You can get hosed by a Polish woman just as easily as by an American. Substitute any nationality you want for Polish and it's still a truism. It's all about attitude.
OP bowlingballhead 1 | 5  
18 Sep 2009 /  #20
If you read my original post, you would see that I specifically wrote that I am not one of these guys looking for chicks and beer.

I have no plans on getting involved with a Polish woman, or any woman for that matter, any time soon. Therefore, I probably won't be getting hosed by one.

My trip to Poland would be about getting away, seeing family, and trying something new. What's so wrong about that?
scottie1113 7 | 898  
18 Sep 2009 /  #21
My trip to Poland would be about getting away, seeing family, and trying something new. What's so wrong about that?

Nothing wrong with that at all. I understand it completely, and I think it's commendable. I offer you the peace pipe.

Have you been to Poland before?
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
19 Sep 2009 /  #22
What part of Gliwice, btw? PM me if you want.
OP bowlingballhead 1 | 5  
19 Sep 2009 /  #23
Yeah, I've been to Poland, but that was back in 1996. I know a lot has changed cause I hear a lot about it from my family. My mom was back there for a month back in November for the first time since '96 as well and didn't really enjoy it. Said people are too wrapped up on how they look, no one smiles, people put on their best to go to the grocery store, dog **** everywhere, no one shovels the sidewalks and the roads don't get plowed, etc... Basically all the stuff you read about in the "Life in Poland" section.

I have no illusions about what it is and isn't. We have three satellite dishes on the top of our house so we can get TV Polonia, Polsat, and ITVN. I watch Polish news once in a while and all I see is a bunch of people complaining. I don't expect to walk off the plane into some kind of paradise, that's for sure. I remember my time in Poland very well, and although we did take trips to Krakow, Zakopane, Prague, and Vienna, I remember the whole Slask area being one city after another, a giant industrial area.

I'd probably be staying with my aunt. She's widowed and has a nice flat in Osiedle Gwardii Ludowej, so West side I guess. My grandma stays in Osiedle Sikornik. My uncle has a house on the southern outskirts of town as he has become some kind of part owner/architect here: zur.com.pl. It's a very nice house and he has two cars, but he was just here with us for a month this summer and success has changed the man.

When he was here in '95 and I was there in '96 he was fun-loving and a great guy to be around. Now he's very arrogant, selfish, and thinks very highly of himself. He's almost impossible to hang out with. I remember driving him back down to the airport in Chicago, and how to him, all of the cars around us on the highway were **** except for the Audis and BMWs. Oh, and he won't drink anything but Johnny Walker Black because everything else is swill. I think the "new Poland" has definitely changed him for the worse. It's unfortunate.

Aside from that, I have myriad cousins spread out all over that area, so, that's where I'm coming from.

Seanus, thanks man. I'll definitely shoot you a PM once I figure out a little more about my plans.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
19 Sep 2009 /  #24
No worries. I know Sikornik, it's where I go swimming and where a few teachers used to live. It's a nice enough part of town. Gwardii Ludowej is a top spot, I cycle past there.

Johnnie Walker Black, LOL. Take it from a Scotsman, it's no great shakes. I've tried 3 grades up, JW Blue Label. He is drinking the 4th of 5 labels. Blue-Gold-Green-Black-Red. Try pointing that out to him.
delphiandomine 83 | 18,112  
19 Sep 2009 /  #25
Well, if you want to pursue a management position, be prepared for accepting fewer teaching hours and more administrative hogwash. Yes, the hourly rate is more but these guys end up with less pay and more stress due to a lack of class contact time. You can trust me on this as I've seen it time and again. More often than not, they resign within their contract expiry date.

Even in higher education, a PGCE is preferred in Britain. Teaching abroad is just not high-profile enough to merit a DELTA or MSc. It's pure indulgence and I harbour no aspirations of being the very thing I revile, a pompous academic type. I was the type they disliked, who scored very well but wasn't snooty and in a closed circle.

I can't argue with you there at all. I'm not sure why anyone would take on a short term (ie, 1 or 2 years) management contract - after all, what can you change in such a short space of time? And the schools where the director is also teaching tend to be badly ran as far as I can see, as I can't see how you can deal with the management pressures alongside teaching.

It's actually one reason why I think Polish state schools tend to be badly managed - when you have short term elected directors with no management experience who also have to teach, how can they be effective?

Having said this, I've never understood why Cambridge haven't developed a system of weekend workshops for those that already have the CELTA but don't have the time, money or interest in the DELTA.

Johnnie Walker Black, LOL. Take it from a Scotsman, it's no great shakes.

Hahaha, why on earth would anyone be arrogant and proud about drinking a blended whisky anyway? Might as well just drink Bells or Famous Grouse if you're going to drink blends :/
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
19 Sep 2009 /  #26
What compounds the matter is that, after a DELTA or an MSc, you think much more like a teacher. You have read Harmer and Swan and digested teaching methodologies to the extent that you see them in your sleep. The problem lies in the fact that the bosses of the school make decisions in the interests of maximising profits which don't square with the fundamental ethos of teaching. You will no doubt remember the inception of General Management, delph. My Dad was furious that monetary concerns were promoted at the expense of teaching ones. An unforgivable sacrifice!

Truth be told, the more intricate machinations of the teaching process are shoved aside as getting bums on seats requires charisma and a monkey's ability to memorise a few tenses. I've noticed that, charisma and the rudiments of the language get most through with some aplomb.

He's a communist era Pole, anything foreign has the ą, ę hoity-toity quality. That has now been changed for the 'My mamy najlepsze' way.
santander 1 | 68  
19 Sep 2009 /  #27
Well, I'm not really counting on my CO experience to go slapping students into shape, lol. I'm not exactly Captain Hadley from The Shawshank Redemption. I just brought that up cause after I introduced myself and asked my question, this scottie character shows up and goes on a rant about maturity and adversity and all of this, but unless his high-powered perception can reach through the internet and read my mind, he has absolutely no idea of what my maturity level is or how much adversity I've faced in my lifetime, hence, the response I gave

You sound like a very mature and experienced person, your gammar is great, especially for an American. It is hard to believe that you are American with grammar like this and so young, perhaps you went to a private school in America.

Nevermind, maybe you should think about the prison serivce in the Uk, with your experience in the prison service, and I get the "vibes" that you can offer so much to young inmates. Everyone makes mistakes in their lives, and sometimes it is not until we are older and wises that we accept this. I know that you will appreciate this from your experience but even the hardest of criminals will tell you things that they have told noone before. I wish you luck on your journey.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
2 Oct 2009 /  #28
Competition is hotting up for sure. I have to wait for my 2nd or 3rd school to get back to me with new contracts. Much of the work comes in around mid-October.

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