I would be grateful for any suggestions or help anyone could give.
Hi, Jim. If you really want to teach English in Poland then just go for it. I was in a simlar situation to you and I've been very fortunate. I think that other posters have already given you the best advice but here's my honest opinion on the subject:
- Go back to college and get some 'A' levels. I passed 4 on a one-year course. (Although, General Studies is just a 'freebie') I'm teaching without a CELTA or even a Batchelor's Degree. When your colleagues all have an MA and you don't... well, you get the picture.
- Take a CELTA. Don't bother taking a TEFL it's worthless. I should know, I took one and next year I'll be going to Krakow to do my CELTA course. However, if you're not sure about whether you want to teach, try it. It's just meant to be a taster course. Afterwards you will know whether you want to teach or not.
- Save up some cash. It's going to be an expensive initial outlay.
- Try to learn some more Polish. I don't have any problems talking to people or doing the shopping. Be prepared that some school Directors don't speak any English. Most do but some don't. And you'll definately make an impression if you can speak Polish. Also, when you get yourself registered, or get your PESEL, or deal with any bureaucrat it will help immensely. Also, if you decide to advertise and take on private students you might want to understand what the person on the other end of the phone is saying...
Was there not another poster here who made it big in a small town? If genuinely so, then your advice is better than mine. That other poster did unbelievably well, according to their account on here
I think you're probably talking about me:) Yes, it's definately easier in a small town. I would definately recommend going somewhere a lot smaller than Szczecin. You really want to go to the places where no other native-speakers go. Anyway, I hope my amatuer advice is useful for you. Personally, I think that I made the right decision coming here but it's up to you mate. Being a Southerner like myself should help you. Just try to shake off your cockney accent (if you have one) in class and try to speak with a neutral accent. Any questions, feel free to PM me.