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Finding work in Warsaw / Poland as an English private tutor

babynogin4981 1 | 1
30 Jul 2011 #1
Hello all, I am moving to Warsaw in just over a month and I plan to work as a private English tutor, I was also wondering if anybody knew of other places I could look for work when I am there, by the way its a permenant move with my partner, and I have no expectations of high income, just moving there as I really love the place and she has all her friends there, any help or advice is welcome, also I am qualified TEFL, went to Glyndwr Univerisity in Wales (I'm Welsh) and for the past 7 years Have been working in social care but before that I was a crane driver in a steelworks.

Thank you
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
30 Jul 2011 #2
What is your experience in the field? How do you plan to find students?
normalnyfacet - | 31
30 Jul 2011 #3
You can place free adverts on here
31 Jul 2011 #4
Hi, I plan to advertise in local universties and such like, also cards with my details on and various websites

I have approximately 7 years experience working for a company who employed polish workers, whom I used to train to do the job, I am also TEFL qualified and a native speaker, another thing is my other (better) half is Polish
TommyG 1 | 361
4 Aug 2012 #5
Merged: Moving to Poland soon. Need advice on finding work teaching English...

Hi guys! I know you get these posts a lot, but.... I have just finished a TEFL course and I am looking for work as an English language teacher at a school. I have already started contacting schools and have been sending my CV to prospective employers. Really, I am just looking for some advice on which schools to try, which to avoid, and which towns would be most likely to employ a native English speaker. And also whether to set myself up as a company and start chasing private lessons even before school begins in September...

I have read a lot of posts in the pasts (as a guest) but, as I am hoping to fly out in the next 3 weeks I really need some advice. A few things about me to help you guys out are;

I am English, 32 years old, no family yet. No, I don’t have a CELTA, just the (worthless???) TEFL..... and I don’t have a degree, although I do have 4 (again, worthless???) A Levels.

I have considered a few countries to try teaching, but as spending a lot of time with Polish friends in the UK over the past 4 or 5 years, always learning new words, I am used to listening and watching to Polish television, music and films. So the language is very familiar. Also I have been there on holiday twice. So, for me it’s the natural choice.

I’m not looking to work in Krakow, as most people are, as I understand it’s already flooded with us Brit’s and other natives, but I would like to start in a town which has enough potential customers to earn a decent wage (I’m thinking about 4-5k PLN a month) which I understand is totally achievable with hard work and a lot of privates on the side. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

PS: sorry for the essay...
Eva Aeri - | 14
4 Aug 2012 #6
Hey, I suggest you advertise online on or google 'korepetycje' and advertise on one of many websites (korepetycje=tuition).

Polish EFL teachers ask for 50zl per hour on average in Warsaw. I believe that a native can ask for 50-60. I'm not sure if you can teach in a mainstream school if you don't have a degree, but check private FE colleges and interestingly some private HE institutions. They may need someone to teach listening or speaking skills. Also you may check language shools, but they tend to pay **** money. And there's always an option to try a British school, they may need a TA or a learning mentor?

I've been told that a salary is not great when you work as a primary/secondary teacher so maybe focus on tuition first? If you work 20 hours a week 50 zl per hour you get 4k a month:)

I recommend Warsaw, I used to live there and really liked it, it's a busy city as well.

Let me know if you have any questions:)
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
4 Aug 2012 #7
No, I don't have a CELTA, just the (worthless???) TEFL..... and I don't have a degree

Honestly - this will cause many people to put your CV straight in the bin in major cities. There are more than enough native speakers around with both degrees and qualifications in these major cities to not need to touch someone without a basic education.

The problem you have is simple - in a major city, no-one worthwhile will touch you because you're unqualified. In a small town, they'll restrict you to only working for the school - and will fire you on the spot if you're caught doing private lessons/etc.

My advice is simple - try every single small town school you can find. You should get accommodation and around 2k a month salary - it's not great, but it'll give you a starting point in Poland. Don't annoy the school, work with them and stick out a year - you'll find that the better employers will be far more interested once you've proven yourself - and they might be willing to overlook the lack of proper qualifications.

But really - in anywhere where you can get 4-5k net a month, they're going to be demanding better qualifications.
TommyG 1 | 361
4 Aug 2012 #8
Thanks for the honest replies. I know I am in a bad situation with regards to not having a degree and having no prior teaching experience. But, tbh, I really can't go back to university for 3 years now... I would rather spend those 3 years teaching. If I can make it successfully through the first year (and IF I can save enough) I think I should definately invest in taking a 4-week CELTA, during the summer, which should help me in the future. So, should I really just avoid applying for jobs in cities such as say Poznan, Gdansk, Wroclaw and Lublin this year? If so, could you recommend any smaller towns which might be worth trying?

Also, do schools really take such a hard line on private tuition? I understand that no school wants to lose students, and also that I should read the contract carefully, but don't a lot of teachers do this as common practice?

Thanks again.
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
4 Aug 2012 #9
Drop me a line and your cv Tommy. Are you in or around Krk?
TommyG 1 | 361
4 Aug 2012 #10
Thanks, DTaylor. I will send you my CV tomorrow. But I have to pre-warn you, other than my TEFL course, I don't have any real teaching experience. I'm still in England at the moment but I'm all set to fly out in the next 2-3 weeks. I would love to work in the south of Poland, in places like Slaskie and Malopolskie, especially Krakow. However, after having read posts on here and on Dave's eslcafe I am a little reluctant to work in Krakow where there does seem to be a lot of competition from other native speakers, many of whom probably have both a degree and a CELTA. But thanks again, I'll send you my CV asap :)
terri 1 | 1,665
4 Aug 2012 #11
Tommy G
Things have changed tremendously in Krakow with regard to EFL teaching. Now being a native - does not open doors. There are hundreds of natives with degrees, masters and teaching qualifications) looking for work.

If you have never taught in class - this will show up pretty quickly. Remember also that you might be teaching people who have degrees coming out of their ears and once they realize that you do not - they will not respect you.

In my humble opinion - your best bet is to get on a degree course somewhere perhaps one with teaching - there are schools in Krakow you could attend. Meanwhile you could offer conversational English to some private students.
smurf 39 | 1,981
4 Aug 2012 #13
Hi Tommy

I;d suggest any of the cities in Silesia, Katowice, Gliwice, Tychy, (but not Zabrze, Bytom or Ruda), loads of language and a serious shortage of native speakers. I came here 3 years ago and had 3 jobs out of 2 interviews.

Lower your salary expectations tho for the first 2 years, schools are tight and will try to screw you on everything & it'll take 12-24 months to build up a good list of contacts before you have enough private students.

If you've any questions about the area PM me.

The cities of Silesia have a combined population of about between 3.5-4.5 million and there are 12 cities in the metropolitan area, most are pretty close to each other, but I wouldn't recommend moving any where in Poland without having a car/license/money to buy a car. Poland's a huge ****** of a place and you'll need wheels to get to schools/clients.

Anyway, all the cities have loads of language schools and many of them are desperate for native speakers.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
4 Aug 2012 #14
Anyway, all the cities have loads of language schools and many of them are desperate for native speakers.

Contacted a couple at random near here a short while ago and all but one said no vacancies, best response was- "Well, we do need a native speaker but must be experienced. No experience? Well, hmm, [sigh], send your CV in just in case. Bye." Nothing ever heard of course,
Nightglade 7 | 97
4 Aug 2012 #15
Papieza suggests he makes a breezy 5000-7000 a month

50zł / hour for 'conversational English'? Oh my.

If you could find someone capable of having 10 hours of classes in one day (let alone three-four times a week) then I would call him mi'lord. I'm fairly used to long days and little sleep, but on any day where I have 5 or 6 individual classes, I feel completely drained.

I've only been doing it for two years and I'm fed up with it. Don't get me wrong, I love my students and it's amazingly rewarding to see their progress and I would now consider many of my past-students to be friends. With private students, there is a tendency for cancellations or "rescheduling" which often results in your loss. It seems the most common route for teachers who don't get a solid job at a reputable school providing 20-25hrs / week in-school tend to move on after a few years. They either set up their own school or take up other positions (exams, state-schools, translation and in the unfortunate cases, 'methodology').

Sounds like Papieza is either beyond mortal or beyond honesty, which you believe is your choice :)

Tommy: With one or the other you'd at least have a chance. But without either you'll find it very difficult to get work with any reputable school. Even if you were able, I'd be cautious of any school that would offer a position to someone completely devoid of both qualifications and experience. It's not uncommon - at least in Poznań - to see such people come here for a girl and charge 20zł/h for "konwersacje" to fuel their nightly beer and kebab runs. However, they often won't make it past a year.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
4 Aug 2012 #16
Sounds like Papieza is either beyond mortal

Beyond mortal or incredibly lucky ;o)

Very interested to read your insight, Nightglade.

Anecdotes from others I know of suggest similar. I am guessing you have to offer to teach for a very modest sum to get started, I'd guess at 10zl an hour, maybe 20zl in a city. Because the wages here are typically low. I even offered to teach some friendly local people for absolutely free but they just weren't interested. At bus stops you see different ads for English teaching at regular intervals as someone else tries their hand at teaching for an income. More often than not the strips with the phone numbers aren't getting torn off. These were ads offering it at 30zl for 2 or 3 people sharing a tutor and 40 or 50zl an hour for individual tuition. Lots of different ads like this from various people or "schools" appear regularly and as I have the misfortune to need the buses I see them a lot. Unless it's just a blip, piecing together the evidence locally I'd say those looking to learn English are already well catered for and it takes a lot of perseverance and maybe that magic thing called luck to find some students. It probably can be done but a person should not rely on it when they come here, certainly not in Wroc anyway. I know, I know, some of you will know teachers in Wroc doing a great trade - but for newcomers Papieza needs to start a company to hire out his lucky charm.
TommyG 1 | 361
4 Aug 2012 #17
Thanks for all the advice guys and all the PMs. I certainly feel a lot more confident now than I did yesterday, lol. Plenty of leads to go on.

If anyone else has any more schools or towns that they would recommend it would be greatly appreciated. Also, if there's any horror stories or schools that really should be avoided, please feel free to PM me.

Thanks again.

4 Aug 2012 #18
I wish you all the best, TommyG!

In the event anybody, Brit or Pole, discourage you in a friendly way from teaching English in Poland (for that matter, anywhere in Europe), just remember as an educated/professional (??) native English speaker, YOU'VE got the goods and your random Pole off the street who fancies themselves an English teacher, merely because the "studied" it:-))

As for me, I taught TOIEC-level English at a language school in Freiburg, Germany eons ago in the early 90's. Had a bloody Dickens of a time convincing the 'Schuldirektorin' (principal) that someone NOT a native German would be absolutely imperative to teach respectable English to German-speaking foreigners. She simply didn't, or couldn't make the intuitive connection between knowing the language as a native vs. as a foreigner. On the one hand, ALL her French, Spanish, italian and Russian instructional staff were natives of their countries. On the other hand, for English, literally any Hinz u. Kunz with a 'Lehramt' (state sponsored license) from Germany, Moldova, France, every country along with the UK, could teach English. I was told US -English was not international standard. Sadly, she was right. Yet look at the damage already done; we have a new generation of former English learners speaking with German, Moldovan and Italian accents, British only if they're luckyLOL

Give 'em hell, Tommy!! Trust you'll do better than I did there, matey ^^
jeff2009g - | 2
5 Aug 2012 #19
Hello! I'm also looking at teaching English in Warsaw and would greatly appreciate any info on which schools are good and which ones to avoid. Does anyone here in this forum teach English in Warsaw?

Jeff :)
jon357 69 | 18,445
5 Aug 2012 #20
I'm also looking at teaching English in Warsaw

Experienced teachers in Warsaw are chasing lessons at the moment, so a new arrival doesn't have much of a chance.
Jacus Aucamp - | 12
10 Aug 2012 #21
Hey Tommy

I live in Krakow and i'm from South-Africa. I've been here for about 8 months now and i can really tell you that most schools i've dealt with aren't interested in your qualifications. They just want to know if you can teach and what sort of price you would charge them. I'm currently working for 4 schools and i'm busy all the time. I just had an interview yesterday and got the job with another school, but this is really to get rid of the 4 that i'm currently working for, because it gets a bit much to juggle 4 at the same time, although the money is good and you work your ass off, but on a serious note, you won't struggle to find work here. I know so many brits and canadians here, and they are to lazy to work, they are just happy with the norm ( no offense to them ) but i have never had problems finding work here. I'm also a graphic designer with a master degree and i'm finding it hard to get work in this field. I had my portfolio checked by the graphics director of one of the biggest advertising companies and Poland and got told i have a brilliant portfolio but communication in polish dealing with companies will be a problem and that's most likely why i'm not getting anything. Anyway, back to the point. I will be leaving the schools that i'm with at the moment in september most likely, so if you want i can send you the email addresses of them if you like to sendyour cv. I can tell you about 1 school that will take you for sure, no problem, skills,no skills, qualifications or not, he will take you because you speaka da language-a. You'll get enough hours from them to pay you around 2-3K per month. Don't rely on privates, i used to but they really messed me around, and it's not worth it, so stay away. The polish - english speakers brought the average rate so far down that everybody wants a good deal and it screwed it all up ffor the rest of us. Anyway, give me a shout and let me know when you're in krakow as well.

When are you flying in?

TommyG 1 | 361
15 Aug 2012 #22
Hey Jacus,

I will be booking my flight tomorrow, so I will let you know then. I'll probably be flying from Bristol to Krakow around 28/29th August. I do have some questions about teaching and the schools in general, but I will PM you about that soon. I'm not specifically looking to work in Krakow as I am aware of the vast competition. And, I'm not 100% certain as to whether I'll be working in Slaskie or Malopolskie yet - It depends largely as to where I can get a job. But, I think it's definately worth a look. I would like to talk to some other teachers about their experiences teaching in Krakow, or just some general advice about interviews, schools etc. So, if anyone is about and wants to meet up, please reply or just send me a PM. I think that the Irish bar (Nic Nowego) is a definate must visit for me. So, I'll be popping in there for a swift one before the month is out :) I don't like the idea of having to juggle 4 jobs, and congratulations on getting another to resolve that situation, but personally I'd take anything right now (including privates), as I will need the money. Will send you that PM soon.


welshguyinpola 23 | 463
15 Aug 2012 #23
I started off on the teaching route, I have a degree P.G.C.E and CELTA but found that it sucks so opened my own business. Remember that counting all the holidays (especially the long summer holiday) you wont be paid for all this time, unless you are lucky enough to get as salaried job and this only happens in acredited schools usually, So many of my colleagues were literally skint during the summer. I was ok I opened a business which i did during the summer and luckily it grew big enough to quit teaching. Don't bother coming if yo have no passion/qualifications for teaching, you'll be depressed within 2 years and crying for home.
Jacus Aucamp - | 12
15 Aug 2012 #24
Hey welshman :)

Thanks for the post. What type of business do you have? Im a graphic designer with a seriously good portfolio but im strugggggling to find work in it.i also wanna start up my own thing. You in krakow?

welshguyinpola 23 | 463
15 Aug 2012 #25
No in Sopot. There are lots of Ideas that can be started up here, especially web based ideas in which you being a foreigner would make no difference eg, a website offering graphic design services etc. Build up some money, make a good website, hire someone to sell it to customers and do some advertising et viola. It really is that easy, its what I did. I have a company that hires out chocolate fountains to weddings and corporate events, we also do sushi workshops, chocolate making workshops and body sushi (which is just taking off in POland). I'll let you into a little secret, when my very first fountain party was booked I had no fountain, I ordered it and it arrived 2 days before the wedding was to take place. GO it alone, its fun when you see it finally starting to work.

Check out my site and give me ur honest opinion about the design :-)
TommyG 1 | 361
15 Aug 2012 #26
Welsh Guy, I'm sorry to hear that teaching wasn't for you. But, it's great that you have a new business now! I like your website.

As for me I do have a passion for teaching, it's what I want to do. I'm only coming to Poland as a first assignment as I can speak the language (to some degree). Whether I stay or move on to another country idk yet.

I certainly am aware of the financial situation. I wouldn't go into teaching to become 'rich'. And if I need to teach at a summer-school, either in Poland or back in the UK, to finance the summer months, so be it.

Or maybe I'll just budget accordingly... I certainly won't be 'depressed... and crying for home'! LOL:)
I've only been to Poland twice, on two two-week holidays, but I am really looking forward to living and teaching there.

But, thank you for the advice.
welshguyinpola 23 | 463
15 Aug 2012 #27
I can speak the language

As for me I do have a passion for teaching

I've only been to Poland twice, on two two-week holidays, but I am really looking forward to living and teaching there.

I hope you dont think that my post was nasty in any way, I just want you to know about the reality of this country. You have vised twice for 2 weeks, its not enough to see the Polish reality. You haven't battled with Polish authories etc.

Also, no matter how much Polish you think you know, you will be shocked when you come here as to how much you don't know. Ive seen many Brits come here with their Polish partners who have bigged up their Polish abilities in the UK, amongst ppl who don't speak a word of Polish but when they move here they jsut embarass themselves and make no effort to go for Polish lessons because their wife tells them their Polish is excellent, when in fact they cant't srtring a sentence together.

Its very easy to have a passion for teaching before youve actually done it.

All I'm saying is be careful when you move here and dont think itll be a walk in the park
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
15 Aug 2012 #28
As for me I do have a passion for teaching, it's what I want to do.

Do you want split shifts, neurotic bosses and bored clients?
fez0130 1 | 48
16 Aug 2012 #29
Hi tommy i'm also looking at Moving to Krakpw in May
TommyG 1 | 361
16 Aug 2012 #30
Do you want split shifts, neurotic bosses and bored clients?

Yes, please! Nothing wrong with a siesta, or polyphasic sleeping for that matter. Nothing new for me. But I will try to make an extra effort to create a decent working relationship with any school that I work for..

As for "bored clients" - *insert random cocky comment here* - I won't go there. Obviously, I don't know what your personal experience is of teaching, but it certainly isn't for everyone.

Sorry, I'm not trying to be sarcastic. But you did ask a rather silly rhetorical question. I do appreciate your honesty though.

Hi tommy i'm also looking at Moving to Krakpw in May

Hi Matt,

I read your thread. Yes, sounds like a plan! You should do that course in Polish that you mentioned, that will help you a lot. But, also practice speaking and texting with your Polish friends/gfs as much as possible in Polish if possible. I can recommend some materials that really helped me if you're serious about studying the language. Send me a PM if you are interested. What work are you looking to do in Krakow?

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