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TEFL Jobs in Poland - your success story?


mleigh2710
27 Aug 2009 #1
Hi there,
I've gone through endless TEFL employment websites, and unfortunately I've not had any luck. When tapping into the unadvertised TEFL vacancy in Poland, what is the most effective method; cold calling or handing in your resume in person? What's your successful experience?

Thanks
delphiandomine 87 | 18,458
27 Aug 2009 #2
Going there and handing it over face to face, without a shadow of a doubt. The TEFL employment websites are as good as useless in my opinion, I don't know anyone that's actually landed a job through one - or at least a job that's worth doing.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
27 Aug 2009 #3
I just cold called and just walked into several schools. Got a job with the best in town (even as unqualified newbie), did a year and got CELTA. Been with them ever since.

Cold calling (or even ringing for an interview) gives both you and them the chance to meet and make a few impressions first).
Harry
27 Aug 2009 #4
Going there and handing it over face to face, without a shadow of a doubt.

Exactly.
KLD 1 | 7
21 Jun 2010 #5
I emailed my CV to as many schools as I could find then followed them up with a phone call. I did however leave it a bit late (due to not arriving in Poland earlier) but managed to get a position more by luck as a teacher 'left' the school so they needed a replacement.

Start your application process as early as you can, personally I would say July-August before school starts in Sept.
Varsovian 92 | 634
21 Jun 2010 #6
I applied to the main language schools in springtime, was interviewed at Easter and started in September.
Being a schoolteacher (of French) in England, I found it really easy going teaching English in Poland - though I was surprised at the emphasis put on grammar.

If you find you like it, in the longer term it is worth going freelance. Setting up your own sole proprietorship is easy and you pay 19% income tax and lower social security (a few percent only, depending).
Harry
21 Jun 2010 #7
A few percent?! You must be raking in the cash! ZUS is about 800zl per month for a one-person company; so for it to be only "a few percent", you need to be making 20,000zl a month and there is no way a TEFL teacher will earn that much!
alexw68
21 Jun 2010 #8
There's a ZUS holiday for certain types of startups (maybe including TEFL sole-traderships, dunno). After two years, though, you do indeed get slammed at the 900zl rate.
Varsovian 92 | 634
21 Jun 2010 #9
Also depends on who the SSCs are being paid for - I'm married (so we have to cover 2 people) and have opted out of or got minimal contributions to virtually everything except health insurance.
delphiandomine 87 | 18,458
21 Jun 2010 #10
Setting up your own sole proprietorship is easy and you pay 19% income tax and lower social security (a few percent only, depending).

Lower? 350zl for the first two years, as said. But then 850zl after 2 years is anything but "few percent" - someone earning 4000zl a month can expect to end up paying around 25-30% in total - which is drastically more than the 9.5% rate you can pay under umowa o dziel contracts.

You also need an accountant, so that's anything from 122zl to 200zl a month on top.

Starting a business if you're here for the long term only makes sense if you have plans to grow the company.
Harry
21 Jun 2010 #11
the 9.5% rate you can pay under umowa o dziel contracts.

If you go for the umowa o dzielo you can actually not pay ZUS at all (there is no legal obligation to pay it if you're a foreigner employed that way). Of course that means you get no help if you need it but frankly you're not going to get any anyway!
sobieski 107 | 2,128
21 Jun 2010 #12
Harry
I can understand that as concerns hospitals etc.... Public ones are best to be forgotten...
That is why I have Medicover (which is also far from perfect but still...). But if you pay ZUS, at least you get your medicines for the normal rate and do not have to pay the complete price.
IrishinPoland 1 | 22
21 Jun 2010 #13
I did a phone interview some years ago and replaced a drunken, brawling Irish teacher who got the boot. I drink and brawl less so they like me:-)

At the moment I'm in a dilemma cause I just have Umowa o Dzieło but take home 3,500 netto (in addition I get 500 cash benefit for renting my own place, basic private medical cover, ZUS pd. monthly - 172 zł). So it works out 4,000 net + basic public and private med. care for theoretically (28*45min lesson units per week). This is from the start of Oct. to the end of June. There is of course lots of additional stuff (unpaid) that goes with teaching in a school - reports, homework, class prep., meetings.

Umowa o pracę (unless you are a Centre manager usually) is out of the question, as is Zlecenie. (By the way, is there any English website with detailed outlines of what the various umowa's actually mean in practical terms?). Mowię i rozumiem po polsku w ogóle ale ZUS, umowy, to jest coś zupełnie innego (I understand and speak Polish gemerally but when it comes to the nuances of contracts, that's something entirely different). So are there really many more benefits for me to set up 'działalność gospadarczy' (setting yoursef up as a self-employed entity).

As regards the latter, I would make about 5,200 brutto monthly with the same school if I worked for myself (under dz. gosp.) But how much, realistically speaking, does a teacher end up at the end of the month from this. Accountant seems to be 150 zl. a month. Zus for the first 2 years is exactly what (my employer said 290zł). Given that he was pushing me in this direction I figured it was bad for me. Is there any foreign language teacher out there who has umowa o pracę??

And to those of you who have set yourselves up as a separate teaching 'company', how much and what can you put down in costs per month. Details would be appreciated and useful I think to many teachers who read these threads.

Thanks. I've added the above cause I've often lacked a lear run down from other teachers of what it is exactly they are getting from their employer. Hence, collective bargaining is virtually impossible and those who work in the private language school sector never end up getting the contract they deserve.
delphiandomine 87 | 18,458
21 Jun 2010 #14
But if you pay ZUS, at least you get your medicines for the normal rate and do not have to pay the complete price.

And to be fair, many of the services under the NFZ aren't bad at all. For instance, it's very easy to find a competent NFZ dentist, who, unlike the UK, will happily keep seeing you until you're completely sorted.

So are there really many more benefits for me to set up 'działalność gospadarczy' (setting yoursef up as a self-employed entity).

Probably not, unless you're a true freelancer. There's not much benefit to anyone who has a stable set up like yourself - though the business does give you the ability to chop and change as you see fit without relying on schools to give you a contract.

But how much, realistically speaking, does a teacher end up at the end of the month from this. Accountant seems to be 150 zl. a month. Zus for the first 2 years is exactly what (my employer said 290zł). Given that he was pushing me in this direction I figured it was bad for me.

350zl these days for the first two years. It's not necessarily bad for you, but more accurately, it's probably not worthwhile if you're working solely for one school. I'm properly freelance and probably issue between 12 to 16 invoices a month - so it's well worth it for me. But then, I do 4 hours here, 3 hours there, 10 hours somewhere else - so it's very effective for me - I do this by choice, as it's much easier to remind schools that you have alternatives out there.

There is of course lots of additional stuff (unpaid) that goes with teaching in a school - reports, homework, class prep., meetings.

I have none of this, thankfully - again, the true benefit of being freelance is that you can simply blow off anything unnecessary.

Is there any foreign language teacher out there who has umowa o pracę??

Not in any private language school. No-one would be so stupid, because the laws are such that no school would risk it.

And to those of you who have set yourselves up as a separate teaching 'company', how much and what can you put down in costs per month. Details would be appreciated and useful I think to many teachers who read these threads.

I would be shocked if any teacher actually knew the ins and outs of it. That's why we use accountants - it's just not worth the hassle of understanding the complexities of Polish tax law for something that costs us 3 hours work a month at most. But - to give an idea - I write off the cost of my office, travelling, mobile phone, office equipment, stationery, books (any sort of English materials), photocopies, ZUS, advertising costs - basically, as long as it's justifiable, it's allowed. But the calculations are horrifically complex - and beyond the work of anyone who doesn't speak Polish well. But for instance - even education costs related to the business are justifiable - conferences, training courses, etc.

It's actually quite easy to write off a significant amount as "costs".

Hence, collective bargaining is virtually impossible

To be honest, the reason for this is because most teachers can't see beyond the next summer. There's also a glut of overqualified English teachers in Poland - if a school such as Empik was facing unionization, they would just cull their existing teachers and steal teachers from other schools. No sweat to them.
Pushbike 2 | 58
18 Feb 2012 #15
Is it possible to set up a company in the UK and teach from it. I have been told you pay less tax and the first 2 years you pay 300zl ZUS
ken67
18 Feb 2012 #16
Obvious statements, but I attend meetings with prospective clients (private lessons) in a good suit, armed with materials, methods of learning vocabulary (knowledge of language learning strategies always I winner I find with students and potential employers), and references. First impressions count. I can also charge around 70-75zl an hour because of my 'first impression'. Not blowing my trumpet. There are just really scruffy animals out there who think they walk into any job and get anything from anybody because they were born in the UK, for instance.


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