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Advice on Teaching English in Poland


Wroclaw 44 | 5,386
8 Jul 2008 #151
If you set up on your own then the answer would be not necessarily.

Private teaching work is down to reputation.

I've been headhunted twice and have no qualifications.
ukpolska
8 Jul 2008 #152
Private teaching work is down to reputation.

This is so true, as I have never advertised for a job in Poland, not blowing my own trumpet (well perhaps a little). :)

Once you start having private conversation lessons and if you don't bore them to death, it just snowballs, and in the end you have to start turning people away.
lowfunk99 10 | 397
8 Jul 2008 #153
I have a question. This sounds like a great way to do it. However, how does a Non-EU person come there for any length of time? If I come there in a month and a half to look it would only be on a visitor visa. How can I come and job hunt and stay with out having to fly back to the US?

Probably easiest to find a job once you're 'on-the-ground'. Present yourself well, up-date your CV (resume) and do the rounds of schools in the area. You are more likely to find work at certain time of the year than others - start of the academic year is best.

ukpolska
8 Jul 2008 #154
lowfunk99, the person to speak to on here is Harry, and although I have had one or two run ins with him, he knows his stuff and he is a OK guy really.

If you do a search through his messages on his profile or do a search in the top right hand corner, you should be able to find all the info you need, or send him a PM and he may help.

userinfo&user=3605 - LINK TO HIS PROFILE
Seanus 15 | 19,706
4 Apr 2009 #155
Harry is alright. He excels in some threads but he's come up a little short in teaching discussions.

Still, a nice bloke who reasons and argues well.
Dazza 1 | 33
4 Apr 2009 #156
I have taught in Poznan, Warsaw and Krakow....
Hourly wages start at 40zl-70zl in my experience

I know of teachers without CELTA but have a degree(not in English) and teach in reputable schools. I don't know anyone teaching without either of these qualifications.

Without either of these qualifications you can get work in Callan schools so long as your accent isn't too strong.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
4 Apr 2009 #157
Callan does admit people in more cheaply. Still, it is a decent experience for starting out in Poland. It's important to see quals as opening doors. I was well 'overqualified' for Callan but still I enjoyed my contact with some ss there. Anyone who matches quals to jobs TOO closely is being a bit robotic.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
4 Apr 2009 #158
See, I'd say that a Callan school is a good way to start out - if you find the right school. The 'method' is dreadful, but it does let you loose on real, paying students who have expectations and demands. The great thing about it is that if you find the right school, you can experiment on people - with the benefit of being able to say 'right, that's enough, back to the book'.

One huge problem I've discovered is that a fair few people see themselves as being at a certain 'standard' just because they've completed six stages of Callan. Of course, they actually suck in reality - and you have the problem of dealing with their inabilities without being horrifically rude.

Seanus - question for you, out of curiosity. When you did the CELTA, was the whole thing focused on teaching you to teach the kind of English that Cambridge examiners would like to hear, or were they more realistic in terms of accepting how diverse English is?
Seanus 15 | 19,706
4 Apr 2009 #159
I did the CELTA in Apr-May 2004 in Basil Paterson College, Edinburgh. Hmm...good question. I'd say it leaned more towards the former. It was very structured teaching, as the days were in my month there. Little dynamism characterised the teaching, unlike when I was in Callan.

Still, having a rounded experience is good. It prepared me for FCE and CAE teaching. With adequate techniques under my belt, I also took on CPE classes. I was chatting with my HOS/DOS at my school and she has twice the amount of exp that I have but hasn't done ESP or EAP yet. We'd both like to do it.

Poland could tap into that market. That may well be a worthy business proposal. One to consider.
Lonman 4 | 111
15 May 2009 #160
Once you start having private conversation lessons and if you don't bore them to death, it just snowballs, and in the end you have to start turning people away.

How long have you been teaching English in Poland? Are you a native English speaker?

I have been looking at ESL teaching for a couple of years now. For me I am not a post college type looking for a year or two of fun. I just hit 40 and started a 2nd career and life style a couple of years ago. To include more travel and more freedom. So if I enter the field would be looking to do more business English lessons? Can you comment on the market for business English. ie Business who bring people in to work with staff.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
15 May 2009 #161
It depends where you are based. The demand isn't always constant but you need to keep your ear to the ground. The financial crisis changed a couple of things. Businesses reduced their overheads and English was one of the first things to go.

It's important to build up a reputation. One teacher here has a reputation for being a drunk which is unfortunate as he is a super teacher.
Lonman 4 | 111
15 May 2009 #162
I think that is pretty sound advice and goes for any type of consultancy or contract work. I also think that if/when I do take the jump I will have several months of support banked so I can take a good course and take the time to work on the reputation. I'll probably wind up taking the CELTA in Krakow or Warsaw. By the time I do hopefully some of the financial mess will be on the mend.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
15 May 2009 #163
It's always important to have fall-back funds for unforeseen contingencies. They pop up when you least expect them.

One of the greatest skills of a teacher is to be adaptable and turn your hand quickly to something. A teacher often has little time between lessons to change gear and somehow is expected to make the shift smoothly. Sometimes you'll get the feeling that classes just mould into each other.
ukpolska
15 May 2009 #164
It's important to build up a reputation. One teacher here has a reputation for being a drunk which is unfortunate as he is a super teacher.

Don't put yourself down like that Seanus or are you implying that Dave likes a tipple or two?

How long have I been in teaching?
Too bloody long now that is why I am looking at other things, prostitution is out too old and pudgy now, so proofreading and another project are the strings to my bow at the moment, which are quite good.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
15 May 2009 #165
I'm smart enough to keep my drinking clandestine :)

However, the other guy is a Scotsman :)
Harry
15 May 2009 #166
I'll probably wind up taking the CELTA in Krakow or Warsaw.

Do it at IH in Krakow: ELS-Bell in Warsaw is far too expensive. I think that IH in Wroclaw is cheapest of the lot but they only run a couple of courses a year.
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
15 May 2009 #167
However, the other guy is a Scotsman :)

Like you know, if you knew me in real life, you would see the difference.
A lot of natives who come to Krakow end up in the same wagon, they earn a decent wage but dont know how to spend it properly. It was something i fell for a lot when i first came here. After a while i soon learned that competition in Krakow was fierce, so i gave up the parties, and put myself out there. Ive been here now 4 years, and doors are starting to open, I always had a saying, no teacher is perfect, but every teacher should try to make their students perfect.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
15 May 2009 #168
Exactly, teachers shouldn't be in it for the money. It's not pure business as you just can't pull the figures which more ruthless businessmen can. I really do my utmost to get my points across and get the students learning rapidly. As George Harrison (RIP) said, "let it roll for all it's worth". Do your thing and make the life of other willing people better. Not all of us can be top artists and entertainers, we have to keep it lower key but respectable in our own way.

Modesty only hurts the few :)
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
15 May 2009 #169
as i said before, we should strive to improve not only ourselves, but our teaching itself.
Doors will open for us, and despite the strange rep i have on here, i hold down a full time job, plus 12 private students, and im a consultant at one of Polands biggest firms. I never show up late for a lesson, i often spend more than i need too explaining grammar, and through that fact i live a healthy life here ;)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
15 May 2009 #170
The key with teaching is often maintaining the attention of your students. Some of the lessons I teach are choppy as the TL isn't constant enough. It hops around and, although the students learn a broader range of structures, feel dragged a bit. Sometimes it's better to draw the most out of one point in a lesson so they feel some semblance of mastery.
aussydan 1 | 7
24 May 2009 #171
this is a real good pthread guys perhaps an idea would be to make it a "sticky"

Done ;) but it must stay on-topic or it'll come unstuck. :)
Lonman 4 | 111
25 May 2009 #172
I am just curious before you started teaching (and any other person who wishes to answer) how would you describe your grasp of English grammar?

Please excuse my ignorance but what is a "sticky" as it applies to this Forum?
Seanus 15 | 19,706
25 May 2009 #173
My graps of English grammar before October 2001 was not ideal but it doesn't take long to pick things up :)

Sticky, I dunno :(
niejestemcapita 2 | 561
25 May 2009 #174
how would you describe your grasp of English grammar?

Before I started teaching,minimal...(this is a noun, a verb is a "doing word"!)
Transitive? INtransitive? Subjunctive? WTFis that?????
Seanus 15 | 19,706
25 May 2009 #175
And now only fractionally better? ;) ;)
niejestemcapita 2 | 561
25 May 2009 #176
ha ha ha......yes a small fraction...! There certainly have been some embarrassing moments over the years...of course now I am also expert in sidestepping questions..:)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
25 May 2009 #177
Just like a politician, I do the same on occasion. That's good advice, make it out like a kind of assignment for the students to check for themselves.
niejestemcapita 2 | 561
25 May 2009 #178
make it out like a kind of assignment for the students to check for themselves.

yeh or throw the question to the class.. some smartass will always know....;) (teacher, sorry facilitator, wipes sweaty brow in relief!)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
25 May 2009 #179
A facilitator is more what I see myself as now (in my main school). I was a mere mouthpiece most of the time at Callan. Profi-Lingua, well, a bit more of a regular teacher but still not as much of a teacher. Britam is the school at which I feel best as I am a teacher who makes their own lesson plans there and has to adapt articles.
frd 7 | 1,399
25 May 2009 #180
Sticky means that it's always on top of the forum board. In most forums there's a special "sticky" section with topics that regard certain reappearing subjects, they usually include some kind of a tutorial, and advices, hence it's a shame to loose them over time.

Not to dash away from the main topic, I'll have to say I was really fond of my teachers teaching methods in Gliwice, in the British Council English school, he's name was Jamie, he was a scottish expat and he was really creative, every lesson included some kind of a game, story telling all mingled with standard teaching lessons ( every person has to do his amount of formal and informal writing stuff ), a really great and interesting formula


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