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Finding English teaching jobs in Poland

szenoa_d 3 | -
31 May 2014 #1
I am an English teacher who has been looking for work for Poland for several months now, mostly in Warsaw. I'm a native speaker, with qualifications and experience, I already live in Poland and speak Polish to a conversational level, and have been looking very hard, so I feel like my chances of finding something should be good, but I have barely even got a reply. Someone suggested that many schools collect CVs over a long period of time and only reply to applicants much later in the year - is this true? And, if not, at what point should I give up and look elsewhere? This is the first year that I have done this so I'm not really sure what to expect, it would be really useful if someone could tell me what's normal and when I should start worrying!

Thanks :)
Dougpol1 31 | 2,640
31 May 2014 #2
Advertise on the net. It's really that simple. Plus, be prepared to travel or teach unsocial hours when you get offers.

But don't accept work for less than the going rate. You'll be shooting yourself in the foot.
Dave's esl cafe
jon357 74 | 21,935
31 May 2014 #3
Someone suggested that many schools collect CVs over a long period of time and only reply to applicants much later in the year

Early autumn is the time that most of them hire, though it's good to stay in contact throughout the year.

looking for work for Poland for several months now, mostly in Warsaw

The market's small and saturated now.

There's a small chance with these, none with the other website which is not seen by prospective learners.

Another possibility is to advertise in GW - yours wouldn't be the only advert however and this is not the time of year.
Roger5 1 | 1,449
31 May 2014 #4
You can stop wasting your time looking now. It's the worst time of the year. Why Warsaw? Try smaller cities and towns from late August. You'll have a much better chance. Bear in mind that there are now excellent Polish teachers with lots of experience, so a first year teacher is likely to be offered poor pay. If I were you, I'd go to the Far East. Twenty-odd years ago, when I started in EFL, I was prepared to go anywhere to get work. China is the place to be for people in your situation in my opinion.
Dougpol1 31 | 2,640
31 May 2014 #5
Maybe he doesn't want to go to China Roger :))

LinkedIn/ own website/ self promotion.

Plenty of work out there. It's a question of how experienced the OP is, as you suggest.

Jon - what's GW? (Dougpol brain not functioning)
Roger5 1 | 1,449
31 May 2014 #6
Doug "Maybe [s]he doesn't want to go to China"
It was a suggestion, not an order.
"Plenty of work out there."It's really that simple."
Really? Come on, give the lass some advice. It's not simple at all.

szenoa, Warsaw, as you know, is expensive. A small school in a small city would suit you better than a soulless franchise in the capital. If you really want to stay here, explore the regions. There are beautiful places here that need people to teach English in their tourist infrastructure. They may not be party central during the winter, but you'd live more easily and probably enjoy life more than in Warsaw.
DominicB - | 2,707
31 May 2014 #7
many schools collect CVs over a long period of time and only reply to applicants much later in the year - is this true?

Yes, that's true. Most jobs in schools start in October and last until June. There is precious little work to be had during the summer, and what little there is has already been snatched up by more established teachers. Furthermore, many schools pay reduced wages for summer courses. So don't waste your time trying to find work for the summer.

And, if not, at what point should I give up and look elsewhere?

The boat for English teaching in Poland sailed long, long ago. The economic crisis has shrunk demand significantly while simultaneously increasing supply as unemployed British and Irish slackers, drop-outs and recent grads have gravitated to the larger, attractive cities in Poland in search of cheap beer, easy poontang, and jobs. They have driven prices down quite a bit as they are willing to give lessons for 20 or 30 PLN an hour out of desperation. Work in schools has also decreased as fewer companies are generous in footing the bill for classes for their employees. Also, there are more native Poles that can do a decent job of teaching English at the lower levels, so schools are less willing to pay extra for native speakers.

Forget about the large cities especially Warsaw, Kraków and Wrocław. The competition is to fierce there for a 23-year-old to become established whether as a teacher in a private school or as an independent tutor, so forget about that path. You might get a job in a lousy school for lousy wages, thinking that it would at least be a foot in the door. Sorry, but working for a crumby Callan method, Direct method, Avalon or Berlitz school just ain't gonna open up any doors.

If there's still opportunity to be had for native speakers, it's in small towns off the beaten track way out deep in the provinces, in places that are never mentioned in the tour guides, especially in Eastern Poland, where native speakers are rarely seen, and therefore are still in demand. Places like £omża, Chełm, Sejny or Limanowa. Of course, these jobs are a lot harder to find and are riskier, but the pay to cost of living ratio is higher than in the bigger cities.

My advice would be to give up English teaching altogether and go back to school to earn some salable qualifications while you are still young. English teaching is going to do little for you in terms of career development, and as a career, it has no future, even in places like the Far East. If you're doing it for a year or two for vacation, adventure or just plain ***************, have fun. But don't expect to make any money from it, and you won't be disappointed.
Roger5 1 | 1,449
31 May 2014 #8
It's a pity you have such a low opinion of my profession, Dominic. While it's true that I have never made a great deal of money, I have made a decent living and have got great satisfaction from my work.

szenoa. If you love teaching, stick at it. You'll never get rich, but I guess you knew that already, didn't you.
Sparks11 - | 334
31 May 2014 #9
Again with the negative views of teaching English here. Warsaw has more work than there are DECENT native speaker teachers. If you're a drunk, have no idea about teaching methodology and have no character whatsoever, you may find it difficult to find work. If you have at least a B.A. and CELTA and take an interest in your job instead of thinking of it as just something to do before you go back to the pub, you'll be fine. You can expect to work early mornings and late afternoons/evenings. Going either the route for privates or the private school route should give you more than enough cash.
krecik89 3 | 60
31 May 2014 #10
I have to agree with the above poster. For qualified EFL teachers who enjoy their job and continually develop there really are many opportunities in Warsaw. My advice would be to focus on the corporate sector. The question is would you spend your evenings in your first year refining your craft and putting in the extra effort to please your students; or would you prefer to go down the pub? If it's the former you'll be OK. Your USP will be that you give a s*** and many teachers don't but even these get by. It will take 3-6 months to develop your name and you should easily achieve 50-70pln an hour for privates and you could mix in some school and / or corporate work. After a year or two you may achieve more and you'll be turning away work.
jon357 74 | 21,935
31 May 2014 #11
Jon - what's GW?

Gazeta Wyborcza. In their Warsaw section (same for other larger cities) they carry small ads including from language teachers. Also Gumtree - a Polish friend who does private tuition for another language got a couple of pupils from there recently. Prices are falling right now unfortunately.

While it's true that I have never made a great deal of money, I have made a decent living and have got great satisfaction from my work.

Agreed - it can be a very rewarding profession, less so if you're punting out Headway in a private language school, more so in a public sector university or a good company. You can however make very good money indeed, but PL really isn't the place to get rich. Nowadays that's the oilfields of Central Asia and Iraq as well as certain other parts of the Middle East and Africa. Worth mentioning that the OP who says in another post that she's 22 wouldn't have much of a chance their though Saudi universities are always looking for female teachers.

LinkedIn/ own website/ self promotion.

While I remember, there's another option that might be useful to the OP, as an alternative to LinkedIn. I've got a profile on (Poland's answer to LinkedIn, seems to be slowly dying a death now) and am listed as being in some of the English speaking and ELT groups. It also has my CV on that says I used to be an English teacher and do something similar even now. Because of that, I've had a few messages from private language schools offering lessons in Warsaw.

Might be worth a try, though not much will happen at this time of year. In fact a good 3/4 of EFL teachers in Warsaw will lose all their lessons for the summer and either have a break themselves or do UK summer schools. Of the remainder, most will lose some of the teaching they do and mid-August will be very, very quiet. The time to send out a CV is the last week in August, and maybe repeat the mail 2 weeks later. Empik School used to be a big recruiter and Speak-Up (a method school, used to be called Orange) have several centres around town.

She should also look at every couple of days (posts are filled fast) and maybe sign up for the job alerts they do, though most of the work in Poland that advertises there is not in Warsaw.
6 Dec 2014 #12

I'm from the UK and I have a BA in applied linguistics...I moved to Krakow in 2011 and i lived and worked in Krakow as a Callan English teacher for about a year, it was really ******, the hours were unsocial and they pay was abysmal (25 zloty per hour, and then I got second job at another school where they paid 30 zloty per hour and right in the end I got a job through a social media wesbite, where a headhunter in Warsaw offered me to teach in Krakow, and I was getting 60 zloty per hour then). I only did this, because at the time I was unemployed in the UK; I wanted to get back into teaching, and I wanted to get some experience before doing a CELTA teacher training course, after a year in Krakow, I returned back to the UK and I did my CELTA in London at Westminster Kingsway College. After that, I found a job in Germany, I currently live in Dortmund, Germany and I have been living here since 2012. The pay in Germany is considerably higher and there are more opportunities to find work (belive it or not, Poles speak more English than Germans, or they are more exposed to English when you compare them to Germans). You'll never be able to have a basic conversation or ask for anything in English in Germany (with the exception of Berlin or Munich, I guess) with a taxi driver, or waiter. You can also find work through word of mouth and there are plenty opportunities to offering private one to one tuition. Also, the cost of living in Germany is cheaper than the cost of living in Britain, but it's not that much expensive when you compare it to prices in Poland. The bad side is that...Germans are not as friendly as Poles, and life is way more boring, every shop closes at 8 pm, you can't find an OV (original version) cinema, as most films are translated into German and Germans refuse to watch anything that's not dubbed, and you can't do anything on Sunday as Germany has the most conservative Sunday Trading laws in Europe. My advice to should try any city in Western Germany, you'll definitely be able to find some work, working conditions are way better than Poland, and there is not a lot of competition. But do not expect a lot of social interaction or the openess/curiosness that most Poles have when they meet foreigners.
Dougpol1 31 | 2,640
6 Dec 2014 #13
Very interesting report DB. I lived down the road in Dusseldorf and I agree with most of what you write. I liked the bars though with their co-op owners - always good for a convivial chat, unlike the souless rubbish that masquerades as "public houses" here in Polska.

However the cleaning ladies would insist on mopping the floor under my feet when I was stripped down after a plunge in the municipal baths. It's some particular German kink I presume?

Of course the Ruhr food is disgusting and I take it you are signed into a good health farm from time to time?

It all reminds me not to complain too much about the perceived lack of a greeting on the streets of Baltic shipyard Poland (Silesians being generally more open).
JollyRomek 7 | 480
6 Dec 2014 #14
(Silesians being generally more open).

Quite interesting that you agree "with most Britindortmund" has written yet you say that Silesians are more open that other Poles would be. While I agree, on that I am not sure how you can agree with Britindortmund's statement about Germany and then say that Silesians are more "open".

If you would pay a bit of interest, you would understand that Silesians hang on to their German history quite a lot. Oberschlesing is a language still spoken by many people ( even the younger ones), German is considered to be their second language, there is even a German newspaper published weekly that covers events from Silesia.

There is a good reason why you may find Silesian people to be more open than other Poles. It is because not many Silesians would consider themselves Polish, although they would not necessarily make their feelings public.

Regarding the teacher issue. I agree that living in smaller cities increases the chances of getting a better paid job. I was on 66 zlotych an hour when I worked for a language school in Chorzow.
Dougpol1 31 | 2,640
6 Dec 2014 #15
Well that's a stranshe thing JR - maybe I think Silesians are friendly because I didn;'t speak much German..
There ARE deffo more friendly than here in snobville Gdynia - and anyway Katowice is Polish not Silesian...
JollyRomek 7 | 480
6 Dec 2014 #16
There ARE deffo more friendly than here in snobville Gdynia

I have never been to Gdynia so I can not judge.

and anyway Katowice is Polish not Silesian...

True. Chorzow, Zabrze, Bytom etc, would be more Silesian than Katowice is. But Ireland is more Irish than Dublin could ever be.........
InWroclaw 89 | 1,911
6 Dec 2014 #17
You'll never be able to have a basic conversation or ask for anything in English in Germany

I found that to be reasonably true when I was there, remarkably enough. Most Germans seem to know far less English, even in many major cities.

I also found a larger proportion of Germans to be 6ft 3 plus! And seemed that many supermarkets didn't sell black tea bags or black tea ?!
Paulina 16 | 4,211
7 Dec 2014 #18
I don't know if you guys realise that but after 1945 Poles who were thrown out from Eastern Borderlands (Kresy Wschodnie - the territories that nowadays lie in western Ukraine, western Belarus and eastern Lithuania) were settled in Silesia. There's even a very popular Polish classic comedy about two such families who had to move to "Regained Territories" (in the film they have a characteristic accent from Kresy):

I found that to be reasonably true when I was there, remarkably enough.

Yeah, me too. Although it wasn't that remarkable for me - I've heard long ago that Germans usually don't know much English. Maybe that's because they dub everything?
7 Jun 2016 #19
Recruiting now EFL teacher for bilingual primary school: wieliczkamontessori

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