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Advice on Teaching English in Poland


Wroclaw 44 | 5,386
10 Sep 2007 #31
chromium,

Nice first post.
Ronek 1 | 261
10 Sep 2007 #32
OMG - is this really true??

I will once again have to remind you that Michal makes bizare posts but....
yes it is true... Polish use white cloths.
Especialy on sunday dinner or when guests and family arive its to show the hospitality.

But Michal is writing something different, so maybe he is right and for whole this time when I've been visiting my parents and my mom put the white cloth on the table.. maybe... just maybe its because they wanted to use me. Yup Michal is probably right, Again.
Gary Busey - | 51
11 Sep 2007 #33
Thank you for the informative post, chromium. And thanks also to Wroclaw, Lady in red, and Michal for your input. I'm in the US, and from the little research I've done so far, Poland sounds like the best destination in Europe as far as demand and pay--relative to cost of living, of course.

I made a mistake after finishing college, in that I didn't even KNOW about TEFL/English teaching opportunities back then. I went straight into grad school when I should have done my travelling in between. Now I'm older and wiser, but also deeper in debt!

I'd be curious to know, from chromium or any other English teachers who might be reading this thread, if it is common for schools/employers to provide housing for teachers? Also, I'd imagine that rents are substantially lower outside of Warsaw and Crakow, and perhaps it is easier to save at least some money working in the smaller cities?

Also, I'd be grateful if anyone can give me an estimate of how much things like utilities, DSL/Internet, and taxes and insurance might cost per month. Assuming a reasonable monthly salary for native-English-speaking teachers is 3.000 zl, how much of this goes toward taxes and insurance, then utilities and incidental costs, and what (if anything) is left?

Anyway, I don't want to clog up the forum with too many boring questions, but if anyone can give even a little insight on these topics, please share.
chromium - | 15
11 Sep 2007 #34
Well, actually the rents are going up in every major city very quickly, like over 30% a year in Wroclaw, Warsaw rent is insane.

You mentioned that Poland sounds like the best destination in Europe for pay, etc. Although Poland is one of the higher paying countries in the former Eastern Bloc, it is by no means one of the higher paying in Europe. However, as an American for one, and no teaching experience for two, you have no chance of getting a job in Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, France, Spain, the UK, Austria, where the pay is much higher.

So, Poland is one of the better countries where you can get a legal job as teaching.

Here is my advice if you do indeed want to teach: Get your CELTA or Trinity TESOL. Do the intensive course 4-5 week course, not some online, 2 week certificate that means close to nothing.

The pay I was quoting was net pay. If you are going to pay taxes in Poland, it's 19%, so ask for 19% more, if the school is not going to pay taxes. Some schools, like International House, provide accommodation, but your pay is lower. It mostly balances out. But, by all means, only consider a school that will either substantially assist with your accomodation, ie, find one and help with getting your residency permit, or one where accommodation is already provided.

If you are legal here, the school should pay for at least half of your insurance. The other half will be about 100 zl per month. High speed internet will be between 60 - 90 per month. Utililities another 150 or so. Electricity and landline phones are criminally expensive here.

You may save some money, but not enough to pay off US debt or anything. I haven't saved anything because I've squandered it on going out whenever I wanted and by living alone. In most schools that do provide accommodation, you will be sharing it with another teacher.

Good luck!
Gary Busey - | 51
11 Sep 2007 #35
Hey, thanks for the added info., chromium. I have an EU passport/dual citizenship via my father, who was born in Europe, so all of the paperwork and red tape shouldn't be nearly as bad for me as it would for someone with American citizenship only. Of course, that leaves pretty much all of Europe open to me, but from what I've read so far, Poland is the best TEFL market as far as demand, readiness to hire new teachers, and pay vis-a-vis cost of living.

As far as the CELTA certificate being the best bet, I've heard that as well. Would you recommend getting it in Warsaw or Prague? I'm guessing Warsaw would be cheaper.

I appreciate the specific numbers on utilities and basic costs you provided. That will help me to calculate expenses. Do you know anything about rents outside of the major cities? I'd be curious to know how much a single room costs in the smaller cities and towns, where prices are probably much lower than in Warsaw and Crakow. Thanks again, and take care.
Michal - | 1,865
12 Sep 2007 #36
(I'll be moving to Sopot in 2 weeks). I

I have been to Sopot many years ago. In fact there is a very nice modern private swimming pool there so if you enjoy swimming I can recommend it.
chromium - | 15
12 Sep 2007 #37
Rent outside major cities will be about 750 zl a month, plus utilities. This is for a 53 square meter place.

I would choose not to do the CELTA in Prague or Warsaw. If you do it in Poland, go to Krakow or Wroclaw. Prague is nice, but too touristy with all the Brits (sorry Englanders!) being able to travel there so cheaply with how strong the GBP is compared to other currencies in Eastern Europe.

I would recommend going to the UK or Spain to do the CELTA.

Warsaw is not that great. Too spread out and not attactive.

This is just my personal opinion, others may disagree.
Michal - | 1,865
12 Sep 2007 #38
Mind you, if you are doing a DELTA which I imagine is a very intensive course, you will not have that amount of free time for sightseeing anyway. The powerful British pound might make Poland an even better choice of destination?
dtaylor 9 | 823
15 Sep 2007 #39
average wage for a 20hour weeks for native speakers in private school is about 1500 - 2500pln, which is way above the national average wage and gives you a comfortable life-style. if you add private clients to that you will be laughing all the way to the bank. simply put
Michal - | 1,865
15 Sep 2007 #40
It must be an interesting life style whilst you are young with the thrill of adventure. Overseas teaching experience and meeting new people and being paid at the same time. Can't be bad! I suppose the only down side is you do not pay in to a pension scheme and you have little security of tenure unlike other state jobs.
chromium - | 15
15 Sep 2007 #41
if you add private clients to that you will be laughing all the way to the bank. simply put

a
I'm not sure why you think that teachers will be laughing all the way to the bank. Have you ever taught a private student who really wants to learn English in Poland? Before I give my answer, which I will be glad to, I'd like to know the answer to my question, Mr. Taylor:

Have you ever taught a private Polish student and actually taught them to their needs for learning English?

average wage for a 20hour weeks for native speakers in private school is about 1500 - 2500pln

Also, where the **** have you been working? In a garage? 1500 is a complete joke. Please don't try to lead astray the good people who want to teach English. Maybe that is what you made or were offered because you don't know know what you are talking about and are a complete idiot about wageS, but QUALIFIED people make about 2 times what you are saying.

Sorry, *****.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,386
15 Sep 2007 #42
but QUALIFIED people make about 2 times what you are saying.

150zl per hour. Are you serious ?
chromium - | 15
15 Sep 2007 #43
Wroclaw, you usually have something inteligent to to say, but to to suggest that 1500 per hour is normal? I was suggesting per month!

150zl

\\\\\
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
15 Sep 2007 #44
I think ch. means a monthly wage.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,386
15 Sep 2007 #45
Chromium,

Please clear this up. In your opinion. What is the average hourly rate of pay ?

My comment didn't mean. Are you fcuking serious?

It meant. Oh! Are you serious? Because I don't know the rate and would like to know more.
chromium - | 15
15 Sep 2007 #46
comment didn't mean. Are you fcuking serious?

I guess you are talking about teaching English? I don't know what you do for a living.
I can only give you my experience as an English teacher with a DELTA and someone who has lived here for 3 years.

There seems to be others who disagree. Let me know your circumstances, and I'll try to advice you based on what I've done. But do not let listen to "Michal".
Wroclaw 44 | 5,386
15 Sep 2007 #47
There seems to be others who disagree.

You are right. I haven't seen any figures that match on this site.

I'm not involved in teaching much these days. I was just looking for insight, because you have written with broad knowledge.
I was wondering about the hourly rate as every week is different [holidays etc]
It's not important for me to know, but others might find it extremely useful.

Working at a Language School. What is the arrangement during the summer holiday ?
Again, I'm not asking for myself, but for others. Did you find yourself with plenty of work ?
Michal - | 1,865
16 Sep 2007 #48
But do not let listen to "Michal".

I have never been a teacher of English either in England, Poland or anywhere overseas for that matter. I have never quoted pay rates in Poland as I have no idea of current levels today in 2007 but I do know that 2000 zl per month is the usual maximum wage for most jobs in Poland plus anything on the side for private tuition if you are a language teacher. No, do not listen to me as I have no interest whatsoever in working in Poland as a teacher, politician, policeman, nurse or anything else fore that matter.
johan123 1 | 228
16 Sep 2007 #49
All I can say is that you might be lucky and get a good job, or you might have to work for your money. Send a few e-mails to check the opportunities.

There are many well paid jobs in the Lublin area.contact: eflsolutions@hotmail.
Michal - | 1,865
16 Sep 2007 #50
In most schools that do provide accommodation, you will be sharing it

So why do it, may I ask?
ajgraham - | 121
16 Sep 2007 #51
I have never been a teacher of English either in England, Poland or anywhere overseas for that matter.

I can not find the your thread i'm refering to...... but you did say you once taught English to migrant workers who used this opportunity to chat with each other rather than learn

Sorry!....That should have been.....'learn English'(according to Michal).
Michal - | 1,865
16 Sep 2007 #52
at should have been.....'learn English'(according to Michal).

No, I am no expert and that is for sure!

but you did say you once taught English to migrant workers who used this

I was refering to Czech and Hungarians attitudes in the classroom. I was a student in Guildford in the academic year 1999/2000 as an evening student and some of us did a TESOL Trinity course for fun. There were very few Polish then as they could not work legally but au-pairs from the Czech republic and Hungary could work in England for two years on their visas. We gave free lessons to our guinea pigs as we had to do controlled lessons, the equivalent of six hours for the final certificate. For the students who volunteered, it was simply a free lesson and an opportunity to sit and talk in Czech with your fellow countrymen for an hour! It was all for free and it was obviously not the same thing as working overseas, which I would never ever do.
Michal - | 1,865
16 Sep 2007 #54
What does that mean then?

I am pleased that I have made the situation clear. I think the course cost around £520 in 1999 but I imagine that it would cost more like a £1000 today, which I would not pay for such a piece of paper. It was good fun at times and I met some interesting people but none as far as I know ever went on to do anything with it as a job.
ajgraham - | 121
16 Sep 2007 #55
What does that mean then?

Its Italian for 'I understand now'.... I think!!
Lonman 4 | 111
16 Sep 2007 #56
If anyone has any specific questions, please post them or send me a private message.

Chromium
Thanks for this excellent post... answered a lot of my questions before I even asked them.

I have been thinking about teaching as a way to stay in Poland or a place like Thailand... just can't figure out what course to take and where. I am an American living in Middle East at moment, visiting Poland in a few weeks. Would like to find a good school in Krakow area to take the TESL course?

My only experience is a father who taught 4th graders for 30th years and I swore I would never teach... strange how the son comes around to what the father did...

I may drop you and msg or email to avoid from hearing from people who shouldn't post on this topic.

blessings
Lon
dtaylor 9 | 823
16 Sep 2007 #57
ok to clear some things up. the 1500-2000pln is based on me, also i havent yet got my nip so i am limited to the amount i can command as a wage. from the company i work for in krakow(city well known for paying crap) the teachers earn 38pln per hour.

concerning the private students, i find they do want to learn english, since it was them who came to me asking to. you can make 120pln an hour if you teach the right stuff. typically for basic english i ask 80pln. but 120 for when im teaching in hospitals because i teach medical terminology as i have degree in mental health nursing.

so i will only say that in a city like krakow teachers are paid less, but i find 1500 enough for me to get by, any more is a bonus. 1000 on rent and bills, 500 for beer:) im scottish so i have history of being tight:)
Michal - | 1,865
16 Sep 2007 #58
Its Italian for 'I understand now'.... I think!!

Yes, I looked it up in my dictionary and worked it out.

concerning the private students, i find they do want to learn english, since it was them who came to me asking to. you can make 120pln an hour if you teach the right stuff. typically for basic english i ask 80pln. but 120 for when im teaching in hospitals because i teach medical terminology as i have degree in mental health nursing.

I think it is all a bit degrading myself earning money spreading the power of American imperialism around the world, not that I am left wing though it might sound it!. I like individualism and difference and no longer want to go to hundreds of McDonalds around the World.
chromium - | 15
18 Sep 2007 #59
someone PM'd me about what the DELTA is. For anyone interested:

The DELTA is the Diploma in teaching English to Adults.

You can do the DELTA after getting the CELTA (Certficate) and having 3 years of experience.

To become a Director of Studies or to have Senior Teacher responsibilities, you pretty much have to at least have done the DELTA in today's market. But, just to teach, it is not necessary. However, it greatly increases your chances of getting the better, more highly paying jobs.
Michal - | 1,865
18 Sep 2007 #60
having 3 years of experience.

That is not a compulsory requirement.


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