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Advice on Teaching English in Poland


Sparks11 - | 335
27 Jun 2014 #631
I would guess pretty slim. Not that you're English isn't good enough, just that there are pretty many Polish people with master's degrees in English who teach. You could try teaching Dutch in Warsaw, I believe that there is a bit of a market for it. Perhaps start there and see if you could land some other work. It never hurts to try.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
27 Jun 2014 #632
Not that you're English isn't good enough

you're?

a EU citizen

What are my changes

Harry
27 Jun 2014 #633
What are my changes in Poland for a full time teaching position anywhere?

I'm sure that somebody will have a full-time position as an English teacher for you; however, there will certainly be a reason (or even many reasons) why no native speaker or Pole wants that job.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
27 Jun 2014 #634
Teachers are already fearing for their own jobs as there will be lay offs.

300 teachers' jobs to go in Białystok.
Marszy
8 Jul 2014 #635
Aloha, everyone. This thread has been very informative to read but I'm interested in insider opinions for my own situation. I'm American (currently living in Hawaii, joy of joys!), a native English speaker, and I have a bachelor's degree in English (literature) from a decent American university. I have no English teaching qualifications, but I do know the language thoroughly and I also write well. Do I have a decent chance of finding employment?

I really love Poland. My grandfather is a Polish WWII survivor - he never told us much when he was younger, and now that he's older he's forgotten almost everything, so in high school I became curious and started my own research and that was that, I fell in love. Even despite things that make me sad - I was disappointed in this year's burning rainbow and the ridiculously high levels of anti-Semitism* found after an international study - but I still love it. I've been before, as a child to meet some relatives, so it won't be a total culture shock... I assume, economically, it hasn't changed massively in the last 15 years or so. People still aren't getting paid enough, right?

I don't know. At the moment I'm not fully on board, even with my nerdy love affair and my attempts to learn Polish it's very far away and there are some things that I won't enjoy even if I'm expecting them (basically everyone smokes, for example, I'm asthmatic; nearly everyone drinks and I am stone-cold sober). But I hate my current job, I genuinely care about the country, I like children, I like English, I like cultural exchanges, I'd like to somehow help. I just don't want to end up living in a cardboard box, ripped-off and stranded in a city alley somewhere. :/ So I'm just starting to look into it.

(* P.S. Srsly, Poland, that is not how you rainbow. Or how you people. i.huffpost.com/gen/1371973/thumbs/o-RAINBOW-HAWAII-900.jpg?2 Love, Hawaii. )
Roger5 1 | 1,458
8 Jul 2014 #636
basically everyone smokes, for example, I'm asthmatic; nearly everyone drinks and I am stone-cold sober

Not everyone. You won't have a problem. Even in people's homes smokers often go outside to smoke. People drink everywhere in the civilised world. You should be used to that by now. They won't force you to drink here.

People still aren't getting paid enough, right?

Show me a country where the people say they are paid enough. Nobody need be chronically hungry in Poland. Yes, a lot of people are very poorly paid, but most have enough to live on.

I assume, economically, it hasn't changed massively in the last 15 years or so.

It has changed enormously.

ridiculously high levels of anti-Semitism* found after an international study

Study-shmuddy. Most of the anti-semitism is either the casual ignorant stereotyping of the illiterate, or the incoherent lies of right-wing politicians. Among the educated young you won't find much.

I'd like to somehow help. I just don't want to end up living in a cardboard box, ripped-off and stranded in a city alley somewhere. :/ So I'm just starting to look into it.

Poland doesn't need your help. Don't come with that attitude. Come to do a job. You won't end up dead in a dumpster. This is not America. If you are serious about teaching English in Poland, get a teaching qualification, preferably RSA/UCLES CELTA. Then come in September and start looking. There's plenty of good advice on here. Take note.
DominicB - | 2,709
8 Jul 2014 #637
But I hate my current job

I have a bachelor's degree in English (literature)

Maybe if you had studied a STEM field (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), you'd be a lot more satisfied with your job.

In any case, you're highly unlikely to find a decent job as an English teacher in Poland. When you factor in your airfare, the cost of getting a CELTA certificate and the cost of getting a residence permit, as well as the fact that you will be working only 30 weeks out of the year with no income for the other 22, you'd be very lucky indeed to break even the first year. God forbid if you get sick and have to miss some work. You'd have nothing in the way of a rainy day fund.

That is, if you find someone willing to hire you and give you enough hours, which is difficult for non-EU citizens. It's too much hassle for someone with your qualifications (which basically amount to nothing, as you yourself admit).

I don't know. At the moment I'm not fully on board

Follow your feeling. Teaching English in Poland just ain't for you.

I genuinely care about the country, I like children, I like English, I like cultural exchanges, I'd like to somehow help.

No one gives a rat's a$$. If you really want to help people in need, go back to school, learn something useful that helps you get a job, and then you can donate a significant portion of your earnings or volunteer doing something a lot more useful for them then teaching English.

You could really make a difference if you dedicate yourself to improving yourself.
Tamarisk
8 Jul 2014 #638
They won't force you to drink here.

The Poles sure do make it hard on you if you do not partake in a drink with them though. It's quite ridiculous really how they push the booze.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
8 Jul 2014 #639
Not where I live, i.e. Poland.
Tamarisk
9 Jul 2014 #640
@Roger5

Well I live in Poland, Zywiec to be precise. Maybe it's just MY relatives who are pushing the alcohol every time I visit or they come over to the house?

Please read the title of this thread, thanks.
mirak 1 | 3
16 Jul 2014 #641
Merged: Looking for a job - how do I get a work permit or extend my tourist visa in Poland?

Hello Mates i am new in this Forum i wish i will find what i am Seeking :)

i was wondering how hard it is to Get a work Permit or Visa Time extention ! since i will get in poland with a touristique visa

since i had the idea of working in poland for quite a long time ago

i am a French Teacher with a Degree

worked as an English teacher for a Privet school

also i worked as a translator and occupied a customer Service Post

Beside that i am a Football Player

anyone who can help me with instructions and details will be very appreciated

i would love to know which steps to take once there

Best Regards
Littlegirl
8 Jan 2015 #642
Hello everyone!

I am hoping to come to Poland mid-March after my TEFL course. The place where I would like to work as a TEFL teacher should be either in Nowy Sacz or around that vicinity for personal, and romantic reasons. Anyway what I aim to do in March is basically take my CV to all the schools I can find around that area and speak to the head of the school for potential jobs. I have a MA degree and teaching exp with Undegrads/Postgrads and Int students as an academic tutor. I don't know if this will even come in handy :/

Was wondering if you guys would have any recommendations? Is this an all right area for a noob? It's foresty and such and I will most likely turn to cavewoman lol but would I be better off here than the main city? I do not need accommodation because the person I am going for in Poland in the first place is willing to let me kip at his house. Well I bloody hope so! haha

Any info would be great.

Cheers me dears.
Harry
8 Jan 2015 #643
I am hoping to come to Poland mid-March after my TEFL course.

One of the worst times of the year to come to that city. There will be very very little work starting up until school starts again in September. In cities with lots of business teaching (Warsaw mainly), there are some classes starting year round (with a very big peak in September) but in a place like Nowy Sacz there will be very little.

Anyway what I aim to do in March is basically take my CV to all the schools I can find around that area and speak to the head of the school for potential jobs.

That is exactly what you want to do at the end of August; there is very little point doing it in March: they simply won't have the work to give you.

I do not need accommodation because the person I am going for in Poland in the first place is willing to let me kip at his house.

As plans go, that one has very little to recommend it and a lot to object to.
Littlegirl
8 Jan 2015 #644
Okay well there goes my plan out the window Harry! Haha

What about private lessons? Or summer work?
DominicB - | 2,709
8 Jan 2015 #645
Schools are generally closed or working at reduced capacity during the summer, and often pay teachers half-rate during that time. Not likely that you will find any work then, especially in a small town. Like Harry said, most schools start up around the beginning of October, so looking before August is pretty pointless.

As for private lessons, it takes years to establish a reputation and a reliable client base. Count on earning only enough to cover beer and smokes the first year. Nothing serious.

I do not need accommodation because the person I am going for in Poland in the first place is willing to let me kip at his house.

If by "his house" he means his parent's house, you will be expected to contribute at least 1000 PLN to the household budget each month, or else you will soon be seen and treated as a parasite. And parasites are not treated well in Poland, especially by "mothers-in-law", so to speak.

The only thing that makes sense in your plan is that you are avoiding the big, popular cities like Wrocław, Kraków and Warsaw, which are all crawling with "native speakers" scrounging for even the crummiest teaching job.

Otherwise, be aware that moving to Poland to make money very rarely works out, and moving for love even more rarely. It would be much more sensible for him to move to your country and try to make a go of it there then for you to try to make a go of it in Poland. The golden age of English teaching in Poland is long gone.
Littlegirl
8 Jan 2015 #646
Thank you guys.

I think I'm gna go crawl under my rock now. Better yet, jump off the highest mountain in Poland.

Things seem bleak. To be honest he hates the UK and I explained over and over again job prospects are better here in terms of pay and such. I guess, well I guess I have to rethink the whole lot. It's not even about the money, it's about being with someone and I know he is a typical Pole he loves his country more than the world reason why I would even suggest following him back.

Ergh. Never mind. Thank you folks.
DominicB - | 2,709
9 Jan 2015 #647
It's not even about the money

When you won't have money, everything about your relationship will become solely about the money. "Love" is ok when times are good, but when the cash runs out, so does the love. Take it from someone far older and experienced than you. If a relationship does not make sense in dollars and cents, ain't nothin' that love can do about it. So if your planning to get married, take love out of the equation and see if it still adds up. If not, then end it so that both of you are free to pursue more realistic partners without wasting time.
Littlegirl
9 Jan 2015 #648
Dom, your words cannot be any truer. I of course will be thinking about this carefully. I suppose I am being a little hasty but you know what we shall see how things plan out. I do have a back up plan though! :)
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,839
9 Jan 2015 #649
while Dominic does speak some down to earth sense Littlegirl, do not be put off altogether.
What he said about contributing to the household is spot on - you do not want a Polish MIL slagging you off at every opportunity. And she will if she gets half a chance.

You might find work in a summer school, keep looking at TEFL.com
Also how is your Polish?
Littlegirl
9 Jan 2015 #650
Hello Roz,

I have been using polish learning apps to improve my polish, unfortunately my brain simply can't get over the phonetics and I feel like I am gna drool all over hahaha saying that I know how to say hello, bye, how are you, my name, sorry, thank you etc very basic. I sound so silly. I know some names of veg and fruit, coffee, beer etc numbers 1-10. I am still using the apps and even contacted a private tutor.

I am definitely going Poland in March. I just want to see what it is like. I know finding a job would be very hard that is why I am saving as much as I can just incase. I am not a scrounger and would not ever want to live off other people esp the monster in law, whom btw seems nice but still....

Reading these posts makes me laugh but disheartened at the same time.

Why must life be so hard?!?
Roger5 1 | 1,458
9 Jan 2015 #651
Why must life be so hard?!?

Original sin? Seriously though, as has been said, work will be almost impossible to find in March. Come and see if you like the country. You could at least visit all the schools in the area so they'll know you're around. Don't be too disheartened. I guess you're young, so what the hell. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,839
9 Jan 2015 #652
I must say that I too found Polish very difficult to start with. Just saying Szczeczin was a challenge! oh look and now spelling it is too....

All good luck to you!
If you want to keep the MIL happy make sure you bring her flowers and stuff!
do what Roger suggested and look on the trip in March as a reccy mission, bring lots of CVs and distribute them around the schools
Littlegirl
9 Jan 2015 #653
Haha yes original sin. Okay I am not that young but I do feel like I'm hitting a brickwall BUT I am an optimist, brave and defiant and willing hehe soooo this is my plan.

Go Poland for 10days, visit Krakow as a tourist, eat the food, chill then use all my time to visit schools (gna refrain from handing CVs)

Hopefully tefl.com has some nice summer work, if I am lucky.

So that's it really. I will take this chance, only because sometimes we must take a leap of faith and hope for the best :)

Thank you guys again.

P.S. polish is ridonkeylously hard!!!
pigsy 7 | 305
9 Jan 2015 #654
P.S. polish is ridonkeylously hard!!!

say Koo***A 250 times and youve learnt 30% polish:)
Littlegirl
9 Jan 2015 #655
KURWAAAAAAA x30 lol
DMor - | 2
13 Jan 2015 #656
Hi everyone! Was wondering if someone more experienced than me could give me some pointers and enlighten me on this

I'm moving to Katowice this week. Last month, I've sent my CV to several Language schools in the area (Katowice, Chorzow, Bytom), and got 4 replies so far: 1 of them already booked an interview, and the others asked me to contact them once I arrive in town.

I chose Katowice because it doesn't seem to be saturated with foreigners like Krakow, Warsaw, Wroclaw, etc, and also because I have a few friends in that area, who will help me out in the first couple of weeks.

Here are a few facts about me:
- 28 years old, Portuguese, but due to a multicultural education and social circle since childhood, it's safe to say that my english level is pretty much on par with a native's. In fact, I've been selling myself as a native in both languages, to increase my perceived value.

- I have a BA in Multimedia Design

- In terms of teaching experience and education, I lectured several workshops at my local university (total of aprox 80h). I also have a CCP certification which is a 2 month intensive course covering teaching in general, for what in Portugal they call "Professional Courses". This course dealt with topics like managing student's motivation and attention, teaching methods, tools and techniques (passive and active), lesson preparation, establishing learning goals, evaluation, and course planning. This certification is not specific to language teaching, I'm not sure if I should see this as a positive or negative, frankly.

- I have a varied work experience (much more than most people with the same age as me), and acquired lots of different skills that I feel will be very useful in a classroom:

--- Tech support callcenter (communication skills; communicating ideas and concepts to people from widely different backgrounds and education; problem solving and research on the spot;)

--- Workshop lecturing (to university students; theory and practical)
--- Freelancing for the illustration and 3d modelling fields (dealing with a variety of clients; time management; organization)
--- Spent 1 year collaborating with a small team on a AR entrepreneur project (team work, tackling different challenges not connected with my main occupation, conflict resolution)

In a way, I feel cautiously optimistic regarding those 4 replies. However, despite researching online quite a bit, I'm still a bit unsure regarding what would be a reasonable expectation for someone like me, when it comes to income.

I'm thinking of only considering a salary of at least 2500zl\3000zl net, for 20h\25h schedule. Is this unrealistic from my part? Am I selling myself short and should ask for more?

Finally, any particulars I should be aware of?

Thanks!
DominicB - | 2,709
13 Jan 2015 #657
Is this unrealistic from my part? Am I selling myself short and should ask for more?

Very unrealistic, but not in the way that you think.

First of all, teaching languages is pretty much a dead end job in Poland nowadays. That ship sailed long ago. Wages are dropping or stagnant, so prospects are rather poor.

If you thinking about a career that pays 8000 or 9000 USD per year, 12 max, then you need your head examined. There are very few teachers that top that, and most of them were lucky to get themselves established in the good old days. Now it's a lot harder.

Start thinking about a real career where you can earn real wages and lead a real life. Beef up your qualifications in Portugal or the West. Consider reschooling totally to a STEM field like petroleum, geological or biomedical engineering. Designing is OK if by designing you mean writing high-level code in exotic languages, or, even better, hardware design, especially research and development. Less so if you mean gaming or the more "artistic" side of the field. The world needs more "artists" like it needs more rats and cockroaches.

At the end of the day, math means money, and the more advanced applied math you study, the better your life will be. Or else you will end up as a barista at Starbucks, a burger flipper at MacDonalds, a shelf stocker at Tesco, or a lousy English teacher at some obscure language school in some backward country somewhere.

You Are selling yourself short, You CAN do better. And should. Think about your future children.
DMor - | 2
14 Jan 2015 #658
Thanks for your input Dominic, although it doesn't really answer my immediate question: what would be a reasonable expectation in terms of income for an english teacher in poland, with my credentials?

Thanks!
DominicB - | 2,709
14 Jan 2015 #659
: what would be a reasonable expectation in terms of income for an english teacher in poland, with my credentials?

If you are not making 4000 PLN netto, coming to Poland is a waste of time. And I highly doubt that anyone would pay you that much, 12 months a year. 3000 netto is going to be a frugal existence that doesn't allow for much fun or comfort, and less would be terrible.

Ask for 4000 netto, guaranteed for twelve months out of the year, or for 6000 netto, guaranteed for nine months out of the year, and don't be disappointed if no agrees. Like I said, you have to re-evaluate your priorities. Teaching English in Poland has ceased to be a viable career option for newbies.
jestemsexgoddes
14 Jan 2015 #660
"or a lousy English teacher at some obscure language school somewhere"

Dominic with my English teaching skills, qualifications, and experience I can get highly paid work in universities worldwide.
I can assure you my pay in Oman is not 'lousy' by anyone's standards.
why are you so down on English teachers anyway?
Did you fail a tefl course or something?

or perhaps you have met so many English teachers who are doing a whole better than you are.?
Have you any idea at all how jaded and cynical and negative you sound?


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