/ Advice on Teaching English in Poland
Lot of talk about Warsaw v small town. TEFL v CELTA or noting at all but a degree. This is what I wrote on another thread and will share here again. As is my gospel truth from my experiences the last 18 months. Right now I turn down work every week both private and from schools (business English mostly) desperate for Native Speakers.
Going to jump in here after being out of it for awhile. Back in Warsaw again. I found last year that NOT knowing Polish was a plus and almost requested. To many times students and teachers fell back on Polish when hitting tough spots. I also believe Native Speakers are best for the intermediate and up students who want correction and conversation. I am pretty blunt in that I am not doing grammar lessons.
And just a shout out to anyone looking to come to Poland as a native speaker from US. Appears there is still a demand for the natives. But be prepared... do a course or have some experience. Have a bit of money saved as can take a couple of months to finally see the pln coming in. When you get to Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, etc get out and meet people you will soon find other teachers and companies. Create profile on Nativespeakers.pl and put adds on gumtree.pl. Sell yourself. Being clean, showing up on time for interviews and being interesting are pretty good selling points. Know you rates... 50pln for 45 min or 90-120 for 90 etc. A hard working native speaker can earn quiet a lot more than the average Polish worker. Lastly have a bit of tough skin when it comes to students liking your lessons or not. You can not please everyone.
Best time of year to look for work late Aug to early Oct and then end of Jan to early February. Also don't let the schools screw you on work permit and residence. Can be done in 6 weeks - big catch is need for add to be placed for 2 weeks showing they looked for a Pole to fill the job. Consider using a 3rd party like expatcenter.pl to help guide you through the process if your employer wont.
All those comments about small towns forget it unless you like complete cultural immersion and being lonely a lot. Yes the south around Katowice is always looking for people but quality of life well is lower. If you are new stick with the big cities there are hundresa of schools, social life, and you will be able to get by on your English.
Lastly have fun with it. I have met a lot of ex teachers who are burnt out. I was at the end of 9 months.
I am sure there are people with other views or opinion.