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Is it a good sign if a school seems desperate to hire me? Small town Kęty


CMC1989
25 Jul 2014 #1
Hey guys! My question is about a school that is located in a small town (20,000 people) seeming to be a little desperate to hire me. I think they don't have enough potential native English teachers in the area to recruit locally. The interview with the school went well and the boss seemed like a good person; but I can't stop worrying about the school being small in size, located in a small area, and being so desperate to hire me. Any thoughts guys?

Thanks in advance!
Wymagajacy
25 Jul 2014 #2
seems normal to me. years ago I was hired over the internet, with zero references, after a short telephone interview. My whole CV could have been fake - they just wanted a native speaker haha

..but do your really want to live in a small town with a bunch of wiesniaks? you will get bored after the first day

how many zl are they offering you? free 'luxury' appartment?
jon357 63 | 14,600
25 Jul 2014 #3
I think they don't have enough potential native English teachers in the area to recruit locally.

Almost certainly

but I can't stop worrying about the school being small in size, located in a small area, and being so desperate to hire me

That can sometimes be a good thing

Interesting to know not necessarily the name of the school or the town, but the general area. You might also want to check the job discussion fora at Dave's ESL cafe - you may find that someone there knows the school.
OP CMC1989
25 Jul 2014 #4
They're offering me 30 pln per 45 minute lesson Net for, at the minimum, 20 hours a week. Should I ask for more?

Is it possible for you guys to give me some advice for living in a small town? Especially since I am an African American.
PC_Sceptic - | 70
25 Jul 2014 #5
Is it possible for you guys to give me some advice for living in a small town? Especially since I am an African American.

Very good question.

Just be yourself, smile a lot, try to greet people on the street (you being the initiator) like How are you, how is your day, nice weather today basically simple pleasantries.

(Make a list in Polish lingo)
People in small town(s) in 99% white Poland might look strange at you at first, like being on exhibition.
Don't find this kind of behavior as aggressive, thus the reason to make preemptive strike by being polite, and spreading "Howdy" all over the place :-)

If you understand well Polish and/or feel like someone is talking about you in negative way ( racial or in whatever form) just ignore it and pretend to be deaf.

With time you will win their hearts.

Good luck
Roger5 1 | 1,458
25 Jul 2014 #6
Hi CMC. They're offering you very little and they know it, which might explain their enthusiasm. When you consider the many holidays there are in Poland, a full month's work would be rare. Remember, they won't pay you for the long Christmas break, or the two-week 'winter holiday' at the end of Jan/beginning of Feb. Are they offering free accommodation? Tell them you've taken advice and need more. Also, make sure you have an exit strategy. Go with enough funds to enable you to walk away if you don't like it.

a small town with a bunch of wiesniaks?

It is unlikely that you'd be teaching hayseeds. Local doctors, lawyers, etc. and their kids will be your students. My first students in Poland, in a similar-sized town, included the children of accountants, doctors, teachers, businesspeople, and an internationally-known artist. These kids might well have been taught at a good local school by young, highly qualified English teachers. Some of them will have a firm grasp of English grammar. Make sure you do, too.

Your name suggests you are 25 years old. Is that right? Did you have a telephone or Skype interview? Are you qualified to teach? Where is this place?
OP CMC1989
25 Jul 2014 #7
Hey Roger, how much should I ask to be paid? To answer your questions, I had a Skype interview and the position in Kety.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
25 Jul 2014 #8
Kęty is not too far from Bielsko Biała and pretty close to Kraków. It's also near Oświęcim/Auschwitz. I wouldn't worry too much about being isolated.

I'd advise you to ask for 50PLN net and be prepared to come down a bit if you are new to teaching. Make sure that they take care of all the legalities, including health insurance, and it is reasonable for you to expect at least some help with accommodation. Ask them for their schedule for the school year. This way you'll be able to work out how much you'll actually be paid (is that 20hrs/week guaranteed?).
OP CMC1989
25 Jul 2014 #9
The 20 hours is guaranteed as a minimum. I have the opportunity to work up to 30 hours. Since I am new to teaching, should I ask for 40 pln Net? And how should I ask them to help with Accommodation?

Thanks
DominicB - | 2,703
25 Jul 2014 #10
They're offering me 30 pln per 45 minute lesson Net for, at the minimum, 20 hours a week.

Not that bad IF they are paying for your accommodation IN FULL (rent, building maintenance fees, utilities).

Forget about it if you have to cover these costs yourself. You won't break even for the year if you take your airfare and visa fees into account, even if you only stay until the end of the academic year (early or mid June).

Remember, you are only going to get paid for 30 weeks out of the year. That's a measly 6000 bucks a year. 500 bucks a month, or 1500 PLN a month. A little more if you stay only until June. Minus your airfare and visa, of course. You MIGHT earn a little during the summer, but don't count on it. Also, don't count on getting any private students to supplement your income during your first year.

Even if you manage to convince them to pay 45 zl per hour, that doesn't change the fact that you will not break even if you have to pay for your accommodation, and barely break even, if at all, if you do not have to pay for accommodation.

You will not be able to learn enough Polish to communicate easily in nine months or a year. Unless you are planning to stay for many years, it's best to forget about learning Polish beyond a few basic phrases. It's a devilishly complicated language that takes a lot of grammar knowledge to express even simple things. It isn't a "plug-and-play" language like English.

The only reason to come would be as an extended vacation, part of which you will be able to earn for, part of which has to come from your own savings. In any case, this is not a viable stepping stone to career advancement. There are much better options to enhance your resume elsewhere.

As for racism, you will have people stare, but more out of curiosity than hostility. You might hear occasional unwelcome comments from drunken low-lifes, which it is best that you ignore. Violence in Poland is rare, unless alcohol is involved, so don't drink and steer clear of intoxicated individuals. Your students might have some bizarre ideas and ask silly or inappropriate questions, again more out of curiosity and unfamiliarity than out of hostility. If you are assertive, self-assured, open, friendly, self-confident and understanding of ignorant, but otherwise innocent and good-hearted, people, you'll be fine. If not, forget about it.

Small town life has its advantages. It's cheaper, in general, and you will be able to develop closer relationships with people. That is, if they decide that you belong.The disadvantages are that there is little to do for mental stimulation. You will find yourself going to Katowice or Kraków just to get out. I myself spent my first four years in Poland in a small town with 50,000 people. Some of the people I met there are still among my closest friends ten years after.
Gaucho 2 | 49
25 Jul 2014 #11
Hey I'm an American (though grew up in Argentina) living in Bielsko-Biala and I'd said it depends a lot on your personal characteristics. There's things to do, but I wouldn't recommend it to the "typical" 25yo. Please feel free to contact me and we can talk on Skype or similar. Salutes!
CMC1989 - | 1
25 Jul 2014 #12
Hey Gaucho, I haven't met the basic requirements to PM or email you. So if you can, what are the reasons why you say that the area is not for a typical "25" year old? And on a broader note, what cities or towns should I be applying to for a 25 year old?
Gaucho 2 | 49
27 Jul 2014 #13
Well, I'd say if you are 25 and like to go party or for a drink, there's a limited choice. Not huge places and eventually you'd have to repeat them. I never liked that as 1) maybe want a place where's specific kind of music and there just ain't 2) you encounter the same people over and over again. Not good if you like to date different people in peace :P That night life example applies to most cultural aspects. 3) without Polish, is very hard to find locals that are comfortable outside their native language. 40yo and older just won't speak English. And youngsters usually feel ashamed about their poor English and switch back to Polish after 5 mins. There's no possibility of having a decent sized social circle without a good grasp of Polish.

Now if you think you'll settle down as soon you find a nice gal (you can bring your girl from home....if not, there's many in Poland :P) then it could be for you.

I'd say you have more choices in bigger cities as Krakow, Warsaw, etc.
Maluch 30 | 95
1 Oct 2014 #14
You will find life in small town Poland depressing and lonely. Skip the small towns and head right to the big cities!
jon357 63 | 14,600
2 Oct 2014 #15
Agreed 100%. There's a reason these places are somewhere people come from rather than go to.


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