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Are you teaching English in Poland?

VaFunkoolo 6 | 654
7 Jun 2008 #1
Are you teaching English in Poland? Where are you teaching? Did you come to Poland to teach English or are you teaching English because you are in Poland and it's the easiest job to get? Where will I work? Are there many language schools in Poland?

Do you have a teaching qualification? What resources are you using? Do you get training where you work? How easy was it to find work? What are the best schools to work for? When should I look for work? Who do I apply to?

How much will I earn? How many hours will I work? Do they pay you enough to live a decent life? Is it enough to support a family? Can you pay a mortgage in the wages of an English teacher? Do you see this as a future for you?

And many other questions about teaching English in Poland. Share your experiences if you will.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
7 Jun 2008 #2
OK, I'll answer ur questions in order.

1) Yes, I am

2) In Gliwice, near Katowice

3) I came to Poland to teach, it was full of jobs in 2004

4) U can work with so many schools these days, check the websites

5) There are many language schools in Poland, more and more are popping up

6) Yes, I have a CELTA

7) I use English File, English in Mind and Market Leader, as well as others

8) I didn't get much training as I already had experience and was deemed not to need it

9) It was easy to find work

10) The best schools, hmm, I can't speak for Warsaw or Krakow. Profi-Lingua is one of the bigger schools, I work for them and Britam

11) There are contact addresses online.

12) Ur earnings depend on what u negotiate. 4000PLN maybe. I work for 2 schools and do privates so that changes things

13) U can live a decent life, no problem

14) U can support a family but u have to budget more in that case

15) U could pay a mortgage but I'd advise against it, ur future is far from assured

16) Teaching will be an option for quite a while but for how long? Hmm...

I've kept my responses short. Please ask for specifics if u want
8 Jun 2008 #3
1. Yes I am at the moment
2. Northern Poland
3. To teach after a career change
4. & 5. Loads of schools and quite a few sharks. (One job I was offered worked out 10zl per hour for some hours and they wanted me to work in a public school so they didn't have to pay my ZUS!)

6. Yes, CELTA and IHCTEB
7. Have used English File Series, Face2face, Cutting Edge, FCE / CAE Gold, Read & react
8. A lot of on the job training and support originally, now I am left to my own devices as long as I complete the book and the students are happy!

9. Relatively easy to find work but see 4 & 5
10. & 11. Would recommend IH if CELTA qualified - see websites and write to DOS (Now!)
12 Wage varies according to how much work available from 2000zl to 4000zl per month (usually about 3000) - rent and taxes have to be paid from this as I am self-employed.

13. & 14. Struggling to survive and will probably give up soon if things don't get better!
15. Prices have been falsely inflated recently - even if you buy your own flat you still have to pay a monthly charge to the admin ours is 550zl per month.

16. I would like to keep teaching as I love the job but if it don't pay the bills....

Hope this helps. If you are thinking of coming with a family - I would say don't unless both of you can work. Most young polish teachers still live with their families as they do not earn enough to live apart and have any standard of living. At the moment I teach 20 x 45 minutes a week + 2 x 60 minutes - but don't forget you have to prep your lessons and tests and do marking too!

If you can work for a company like IH who deal with most of the paperwork and sh*t you are ok - if not and you haven't got any friends expect a life of hell and bureaucracy! (It's still bad with friends!)

On the plus side Poland is a beautiful country to travel in. (Stay away from the coast in the summer!)

As for summer you may find it better to go back to the UK to work summer schools to help pay your way.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
2 Jul 2008 #4
VaF, I thought I'd revive this as I know u have an interest in it
pawian 224 | 24,432
2 Jul 2008 #5
Guys, when you provide earnings from 2000 to 4000 zlotys, do you include vacation months ?
Seanus 15 | 19,674
2 Jul 2008 #6
It really depends. U can expect to earn around 55k per year if u play ur cards right but, as I said, it depends.
eccnb - | 1
7 Jul 2008 #7
Hi guys, can anyone direct me towards schools in Poland that may employ a native english speaker without a degree???? Ideally Im looking for something to coincide with university in Poland. Any help is greatly appreaciated!
OP VaFunkoolo 6 | 654
7 Jul 2008 #8
Callan is probably your best bet without degree or cert.

VaF, I thought I'd revive this as I know u have an interest in it

Thanks Seanus
Seanus 15 | 19,674
7 Jul 2008 #9
U still theoretically need a degree to teach at Callan. They are beginning to enforce this.
7 Jul 2008 #10
I was teaching with this method for six years until it drove me mad. To be honest the last two years I adapted my lessons, and if they gave me an answer that was grammatically correct and contained the key word, I accepted it.

Too many teachers of this method stick to it like stone it and it becomes repetitive and boring for the student and teacher.

I proved this one year to the director of the school by going through the records of returning students after each semester, and we found that all the teachers who didn't adapt the method had a low return of students.

This changed her mind so much that she dropped this method and turned to another similar method called "avalon", or something like that, maybe you know it Seanus.
OP VaFunkoolo 6 | 654
7 Jul 2008 #11
another similar method called "avalon",

Currently recruiting a new Marketing Director as it goes.

That said, Avalon have experiences huge growth in the past 18 months or so and much of it has been in Poland
Seanus 15 | 19,674
7 Jul 2008 #12
I've never taught Avalon but I think, ironically enough, that I wrote some of the material for it. I know it is being used here in Gliwice as I am still in touch with the teachers there.

Adaptation is key to injecting new life into it. I stuck to the book, both for the purposes of familiarity and for observations, but I came into my own with it after a while and would be damned if anybody stepped on my toes.

I trained new teachers in the method as, by that stage, I knew it like the back of my hand.

What school did u teach at may I ask?
OP VaFunkoolo 6 | 654
7 Jul 2008 #13
I've never taught Avalon but I think, ironically enough, that I wrote some of the material for it

Im sure you mentioned that before, S. I am still trying to decide if that is something to be proud of or not ;)
7 Jul 2008 #14
Avalon have experiences huge growth in the past 18 months or so and much of it has been in Poland

I seem to remember seeing somewhere on the net a map of callan schools in Europe, and Poland was the only country virtually to plastered with blue callan signs.

They must have had good marketing in those days and maybe Avalon is going the same way.
I think the first school was in Krakow, with my school in Lublin coming a close second or third.

What school did u teach at may I ask?

I taught in the New English School in Lublin.
OP VaFunkoolo 6 | 654
7 Jul 2008 #15
Callan method has appeared to dominate Poland for sometime. It seems many Polish schools are becoming disillusioned with Callan and moving to Avalon

Callan schools are not actually Callan schools if you get my drift. Just schools using their method. One of the marketing coups was that you could become a 'Callan' school just through using their materials without the financial outlays required by franchised language schools. Another coup was not requiring your teaching staff to be cert qualified

I taught in the New English School in Lublin.

Where are you teaching now?
7 Jul 2008 #16
I had some amazing answers to questions over the years.
And one of the questions,
Would you like the job of a priest?
Repeated again.....
Would you like the job of a priest?
The guy sat there for a while thinking and replied, "no I wouldn't like the job of a priest because I like sex too much", and another student replied, "why should that stop you".

There were so many over the years it's hard to remember them all :)
Seanus 15 | 19,674
7 Jul 2008 #17
It's not sth 2 b proud of as I got regular rate of pay whilst they cream it all. A repeat of Uni, the Profi's and lecturers stole my ideas. Sods!!

I've never been to Lublin, is it a happening city?
mafketis 37 | 10,904
7 Jul 2008 #18
1. Yes
2. Western Poland
3. Neither, but the second is closer, especially in the beginning.
4. Up to you, dude. If you're not an EU citizen, you need to get the job (and visa) before arriving.
5. Many, many language schools. Relatively few that treat foreign teachers fairly and with respect.
6. Not traditional ESL qualifications, but other, possibly more important ones (plus tons o' experience now)
7. Depends on what I'm doing. Not being British I find the standard textbooks here to be awkward and unnatural. I mostly use real-world materials and my own (and I specialize in advanced learners)

8. Ha! Ha! Ha!
9. My main job found me, besides my best efforts to duck away.
10. That's when the grapevine (among natives in your destination) is for.
11. The private market hires for fall (september) and winter (february) and intermittently for the summer (language camps, avoid if you can)
12. Anyone and everyone you can think of. If you have a target destination use google plus "szkoła językowa" and send out emails and faxes like crazy until you get some leads. If you have contacts on the ground in Poland, work them mercilessly. Getting here is half the battle. Once you're here (legally) you have more room to maneuver and find extra/better work.

13. Depends on how much tolerance you have for private lessons (note: too many private lessons will sap your will to live)
14. Depends on your assertiveness level (employers will try to get you to teach as many classroom hours for as little money as possible, knowing how to put your foot down is a useful skill)

15. Depends. The traditional model is that teachers supplement their income with private lessons.
16. A Polish family (with working spouse) maybe. A non-Polish non-working-spouse family? No.
17. Where?
18. I'm not interested in teaching only English, but I get to teach other interesting things too.
7 Jul 2008 #19
I've never been to Lublin, is it a happening city?

Can be as it has four main Universities with something like 200,000 students and is really lively in the clubs.
Harry rates it in his article in NWE
Seanus 15 | 19,674
7 Jul 2008 #20
One of the classic Callan questions, stage 11, was 'Do you generally like seamen?'.
SeanBM 35 | 5,806
7 Jul 2008 #21
I used to word teaching Callan, did my head in. Learned the books off by heart. He hated children but I found it worked very well for beginners, book 1.

My mouth was wrecked from pronouncing "th" ha ha ha
Seanus 15 | 19,674
7 Jul 2008 #22
Stage 1 was just a pounding session. U can't let up or u lose their attention. The trainees watched me one lesson and they told me after that they were wondering when I was gonna take the foot off the pedal. 3 years was more than enough. I've now finished with Profi and will move to Britam FT and Empik PT.

Knowing the books by heart was good as u could wander round the room, keeping the ss on their toes.
lowfunk99 10 | 397
7 Jul 2008 #23
I was offered a callan job at 32pl per hour with 20 hours garenteed. Plus 25pl cash for private lessons.

Its not my first choice. I have a few other things in the works and might take the CELTA class in Wroclaw in September.
7 Jul 2008 #24
Do you generally like seamen

lol, yeah I remember. I used to try and introduce the word in Polish to help a bit, but I soon gave up when I encountered such words as angle kąt in Polish and I gave up after that.

I was offered a callan job at 32pl per hour with 20 hours garenteed. Plus 25pl cash for private lessons.

That is low, private lessons I charge 50zl and get 45zl for teaching, that is when I do it now. I only teach at the local Veterinary Institute in the mornings now, and most of my work is done at home proofreading.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
7 Jul 2008 #25
26 hours should be guaranteed lowfunk. 25PLN for privates, not good. Having said that, I have charged that to poorer students. I don't believe in pricing people out of 'education'
lowfunk99 10 | 397
7 Jul 2008 #26
It would be my first position. My whole thing is to get there.

I have a degree. I will be taking a weekend class starting this weekend.

Its a 60 hour course. I know its not CELTA.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
7 Jul 2008 #27
U don't need CELTA for Callan although they prefer it. U could do a year at Callan, and do a CELTA course over the summer, maybe in Wrocław.
SeanBM 35 | 5,806
7 Jul 2008 #28
I used to charge a rich guy 100Zloty an hour and he'd buy the beer. Last time I saw him was when I gave up the drink for a while and just stuck to water. God he was boring.... he just wanted someone to drink with, grand like but after a while you know yourself


Good thing about Callan is you do not need to prepare, when you know the books, but it is boring as hell

I don't believe in pricing people out of 'education'

Fair comment.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
7 Jul 2008 #29
I had a couple of students who paid handsomely so u can afford to lower the rates for some.

Callan is boring, 2 years was hard. Getting to the final hurdle was tricky, a hard 3rd year, but it's a good method for certain students.
lowfunk99 10 | 397
7 Jul 2008 #30
It does not sound interesting at all. However, with a year of callan and a CELTA it should be easy to find a job the next year.

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