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English teaching or English language preschool in Poland?

Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
16 Mar 2015 #1
Would a native speaker of English at present be more likely to find a good job teaching English in Poland or would setting up an English-language preschool be more profitable?
jon357 63 | 15,614
16 Mar 2015 #2
Unless the person is highly skilled and can find freelance work at corporate rates, it's almost always more profitable to run a business - assuming of course that they have the capital to start it and to keep going for a while until they're established.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
16 Mar 2015 #3
A qualified, trained and experienced teacher could find a job in Poland, but what is a 'good job'? From the op's use of the word 'profitable' the main criterion would be money, and nobody's going to get rich working as a jobbing schoolteacher, here in Poland or anywhere else.

An unqualified person would be able to pick up a few hours here and there, but they would be competing with Polish teachers with Master's degrees (of varying worth).

Setting up a school teaching little ones English is an idea which is occurring to people more and more often these days, which is to say it's getting more competitive. There is certainly money to be made in that area, and with patience, the right team, and a willingness to ruthlessly exploit unemployed teachers, there's room for more investment.
16 Mar 2015 #4
Depends on what you mean by a pre-school. If you mean a proper facility with all the usual activities but done through English, then the overheads of renting premises and equipping it with appropriate furniture and materials might exceed the profits at least in the first couple of years. Also does the native speaker have any training/qualifications in early childhood education? As a trained Montessori and primary school teacher myself, I have witnessed the struggles of untrained people, and secondary school teachers who think it's 'easier' to teach young children. I don't know what the regulations are in Poland regarding staffing but you might need to have a qualified pre-school teacher on the staff which would add to the expenses.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
17 Mar 2015 #5
Renting premises is the least of the problems. An associate of mine went into this sector. She found what she thought was a suitable place, but then had to spend time and money adapting the space to conform with Min of Ed requirements, e.g. ventilation, light, which appear to be much higher than those for other establishments. Equipping classrooms is not a great expense.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
17 Mar 2015 #6
This particular lady inherited a "villa" (one unit of a terraced house) in central Warsaw, so premises are not a problem.
She ifs from the States and speaks good English but is not a professional teacher. I wonder what the bureaucratic requirements are for this sort of business. Does it fall under the open-ended "działalność gospodarcza" (business activity) category or involve some special certification?
Roger5 1 | 1,458
17 Mar 2015 #7
Afaik she'll need to satisfy the local authorities that the requirements for operating a school have been met. She'll need toilets, adequate natural light, no hazardous materials, etc. It's all doable, it just takes time, effort and money. If I were your lady friend, I'd try to poach an experienced teacher or administrator from an established school. Or at least pay one as a consultant.
17 Mar 2015 #8
Without wishing to sound argumentative equipping a pre-school properly is not cheap. Bear in mind I have actual experience in this. I had to set up a pre-school from scratch for a state primary school in Ireland and I taught there for 5 years so I also saw the ongoing running costs. Furniture and equipment need to be of excellent quality in the first place or they will not stand up to the daily wear and tear. Children can be taught how to handle things properly but even so accidents and damage occur and items do need to be replaced regularly. Bits of puzzles for example are always going missing and if they don't turn up you can't expect children to do a puzzle with a piece missing so you need to replace it.

Also in Poland where children don't start primary school until they're six, you need to have a range of materials suited to ages from three to six. A five/six year old is very different developmentally to a three year old and the school nees to cater for that properly. If you have a child with you for the full three years you need to continue to stimulate and educate them over that period of time. Then there are all the things which need to be purchased at least once a term like play dough, paint, glue, paper, art and craft materials. You simply can't ration these things, all children should be able to paint or make a collage at any time.

As for even contemplating taking on teaching a pre-school class with no training, the mind boggles. This is not simply baby-sitting or child minding. You need to understand child development and be able to deal with parents who have concerns about their children. How do you answer a parent's questions if they ask you 'Is it normal for my child to...??' Would you be aware if a child in the class was showing signs of Aspergers or if they weren't reaching the expected developmental milestones? Would you know how to handle the situation if a child crawled under the table at lunchtime and insisted on eating their sandwich off the floor instead of a plate? What's the best way to respond to that? What do you do on the first day when a child is howling and roaring and trying to run out of the building after their mother? How do you reassure the mother? What if the child continues howling and roaring for a full hour after you've convinced mother to leave? What do you do when another child who was previously fine gets upset listening to the roaring one and joins in? Etc, etc. And at some point one of them will wee on the floor..............
Roger5 1 | 1,458
17 Mar 2015 #9
You raise very pertinent and useful points. I was just thinking about furniture. Now you mention it I bet they can get through enormous amounts of materials.
jon357 63 | 15,614
17 Mar 2015 #10
And of course safety regulations, fire exits and fireproofed everything including wherever they go to sleep during the day (normal in PL).
x_mala_myszka - | 5
20 Aug 2015 #11
moved from other thread
Hi :)
I haven't read all of the posts but just the more recent ones - yikes :)

I am looking to work within preschool teaching English, I will be based close to Poznan and don't really know the best way to look for a position.

I have TEFL, TEYL and other courses such as Grammar etc as well as English language being my native language :)

Does anyone have any ideas on best way to look for a position?

Polish language! well I have been learning for quite some time but I haven't had a lesson in over a year so it feels like I have forgotten everything :(
Atch 17 | 3,344
20 Aug 2015 #12
Your best bet is just to approach schools directly. Trot along in person with your CV and if they like the cut of your jib you might be lucky. However.........I don't want to be a negative Nelly but I wouldn't be too optimistic. Firstly most of the international schools have English speaking staff and won't need specialist English teachers as such. Schools both international and Polish often don't care whether you're a native speaker or not and won't pay anything extra for it. Actually that's another point, do you want to support yourself through teaching? If so you might struggle. I'm interested in why you're choosing pre-school as opposed to widening your options to all ages? By the way I'm CraggyIsland the teacher who posted here about children weeing on the floor etc! I wasn't a member at the time. I joined the forum a few weeks later I think.
delphiandomine 87 | 18,463
21 Aug 2015 #13
I am looking to work within preschool teaching English, I will be based close to Poznan and don't really know the best way to look for a position.

Actually, if you want to work in a preschool, it will be pretty easy to find a full time job. There's a distinct lack of natives that can actually work with such children - but be warned, the salaries will be low. What are your expectations, financially?
Atch 17 | 3,344
21 Aug 2015 #14
But can she? I mean does she have any actual experience with that age group? TEFL for young learners doesn't really cover the pre-school age group does it? Isn't it six to twelve years. Very different ball game. Of course a school might be willing to try her out and she might have a flair for it. She can but try.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
21 Aug 2015 #15
the salaries will be low

6 PLN/hour?

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