Hey all. I'm an American who currently teaches English at a kindergarten in Moscow. I use the term 'kindergarten' loosely because it's more like a ****** daycare for rich people. Not entirely sure if I've picked the wrong career or if this school just sucks, but whatever the case, I'm looking for greener pastures.
I lived in Poland as a child and have always thought of going back. I've even toyed around with the idea that I might try becoming a citizen, although I'm not sure how feasible that is considering I'm not fluent in Polish (yet). It's also been awhile since I've been there, so I could definitely be jumping the gun on that one... For now, I just want to get back and see what happens. I've read a lot of bad about the TEFL scene in Poland, but I still want to hear from people who currently work there. What are some good schools to apply to? I'm not seeing a lot of job listings out there, and I'm trying to avoid places like York School of English and the rest of their ilk. I'm not opposed to working in smaller or rural areas either. I used to live in Czestochowa and am wondering if anyone's worked there before?
Your advice is appreciated!
That ship sailed years ago. Americans have had a hard go of entering the English teaching field in Poland ever since Poland joined the EU. Teachers from the UK and Ireland do not need visas and work permits, and do not have to be hired on full-time work contracts. Few employers are now willing to jump through those hoops for an American nowadays. It's quite a hassle, and I don't blame them for not wanting to deal with it.
There are also plenty of Americans who already have permanent residence in Poland to cover whatever American-specific jobs arise. Permanent residents don't need work permits either.
Wages have largely stagnated over the last twelve years. They have not rebounded since the recession hit, and are not so appealing to young Americans anymore, as they have not kept pace with inflation. And cushy jobs go to those from the UK and Ireland or to Americans already on the ground long before you would ever hear of them.
The golden age is long past. Definitely for Americans. And not just in Poland, but just about anywhere in the EU.
If there are any "greener pastures" left, they are probably in Asia. But since I know nothing about that market, don't take that as a recommendation. My recommendation would be to forget about TEFL altogether, and school up for a real career with a real future.
Based upon with what I've kept up in the field, through colleagues presently teaching in Poland, France, Germany etc. DominicB is unfortunately right on point.
A youngish man from New York, of Polish descent and fluent in Polish, confessed to me of late that not only is he the SOLE Yank in the crowd where he's teaching (somewhere in the capital, but wouldn't disclose the name of the institution), but the sole native English speaker as well. If he's being truthful, there are zero Anglophones in the bunch, rather, fellow instructors from Vienna, Hamburg, Stockholm, a student intern TA (Teaching Ass't) from Paris and that's pretty much it.
The international mélange of Globish actually hurts his ears, so he texted:-)