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2000 zloty in Katowice as a teacher - worth moving there?

Depeche Mode
12 Feb 2015 #1
I am wondering is it worth moving to Katowice for an English teaching job that pays 2000 zloty after taxes? How much is a studio apartment, groceries, transportation and phone for one person? Thank you.
12 Feb 2015 #2
Do you have a formal academic degree to teach in Poland?
Monitor 14 | 1,817
12 Feb 2015 #3
It's little money, but enough to live frugally. Move if you're starving where you are or if you think that you will get valuable experience from the work in Katowice.
pigsy 7 | 304
12 Feb 2015 #4
valuable experience

I strongly doubt that in that particular field in Poland.
Roger5 1 | 1,443
12 Feb 2015 #5
2000 zloty after taxes

1000 PLN will get you a small studio. A room in a student hostel can be as low as 400, but do you want to live like that? If you are a qualified teacher, look for a lot more pay. If you are a backpacker just bumming around Europe, why not follow the seasons doing agricultural work? On 2000 net you'd be on the bones of your arse.

I strongly doubt that in that particular field in Poland.

That depends on your value system. If life is just about chasing money by whatever unscrupulous means, then teaching is not the right job. If, however, you value job satisfaction, interacting with people, and a never-ending learning experience, teaching is a fine way of life.
smurf 39 | 1,966
12 Feb 2015 #6
that pays 2000 zloty after taxes

No, certainly not.
And I'm speaking as someone who lives there.

You're going to need at least double that to have a decent standard of living.
Rent 1000zl
Phone 200zl
Groceries 150-200 per week (including beer)
Bus & Tram 200zl per month (if I recall correctly)

So you'll have 400zl left. Hope you don't smoke.
And you'll easily spend 100zl on a night out, something to eat and a few pints.

Tell them to stick the job where the sun don't shine mate, they're trying to screw you.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,854
12 Feb 2015 #7
I was getting that back in 97, and with a flat paid for.
Tell em to stick it.
DominicB - | 2,707
12 Feb 2015 #8
I am wondering is it worth moving to Katowice for an English teaching job that pays 2000 zloty after taxes?

First of all, realize that you are only going to be paid for 30 weeks out of the year. You will not be paid for holidays, and it is extremely unlikely that you will be paid full-rate for the summer, if anything at all. So that means that you will be making only 1154 after taxes per month when averaged over twelve months, or a mere 14,000 PLN a year, about $3752 US, or 3345 Euro, or 2459 Pounds per year after taxes.

Second of all, after you deduct your travel expenses and visa and residence permit fees, you will be making substantially less than 1154 after taxes per month, far too little to survive as a foreigner in Katowice.

Third of all, regardless of what anyone says, experience as an English teacher in Poland is worth just about nothing on your resume.

Sorry, but like Smurf said, you'd need about double that to make a move to Poland worthwhile, and then only marginally so.
Roger5 1 | 1,443
12 Feb 2015 #9
experience as an English teacher in Poland is worth just about nothing on your resume.

Unless, of course, he intends to teach as a career.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,854
12 Feb 2015 #10
True Roger a couple of years at the chalkface in Poland would be a good preparation for eg an MA in ELT. Then the fat salaries in the MIddle East could be OP's!
OP Depeche Mode
14 Feb 2015 #11
Hi guys thanks for all the info! I am teaching in Canada in a private school and the money is ok to get by. Our public school system is oversaturated but the pay in that sector is great. I have a EU passport and understand polish somewhat:/ but after I did my.budgeting it seem like it isn't enough. I will try to negotiate the pay if they wont accept raising the offer the goodbye. And I believe that legally the school should provide accomodations for teachers coming from overseas.
14 Feb 2015 #12
No, they have no legal obligation to provide housing.

However, if you're an EU citizen who is also a qualified, experienced teacher, you can get very reasonable jobs with the international schools in Poland (in particular Warsaw). Now is not a bad time to be looking for positions starting in September. Feel free to PM for addresses to send your CV to.
DominicB - | 2,707
14 Feb 2015 #13
I am teaching in Canada in a private school and the money is ok to get by.

No teaching job in Poland will pay you that much, so coming to Poland to teach will entail a major downgrade in wages. Even at the best schools, we're talking a mere $1000 USD a month after taxes for 7.5 months of work during the year. And, for you as a first-year foreigner from the West, the lower wages are not going to be offset by the cost of living.

Coming to Poland on the expectation that you will be able to earn decent money or make a career out of it is not realistic anymore. Maybe 15, 20 years ago, but that boat has long sailed. There is a huge glut of desperate unqualified and marginally qualified "Native Speakers" from the UK and Ireland who are willing to work for peanuts on "garbage contracts", and they drive wages down a lot for the qualified teachers. Few schools offer real full-time work contracts anymore, and pay teachers as private contractors on "garbage contracts". Real wages for ESL teachers have plummeted substantially in terms of purchasing power over the last ten years.

Sorry to be so blunt, but your best option by far would be to stay in Canada while taking advantage of all it has to offer in terms of building up your qualifications. There will be nothing you can do in this regard in Poland.

Another, and perhaps even better, option would be to reschool into a field where job prospects are better than in teaching, like petroleum, geological or biomedical engineering, actuarial sciences, econometrics or financial mathematics. Something useful and salable that involves lots of advanced applied mathematics.

Otherwise, the only justification that I can see for you to come to Poland for is for vacation, and from what you write, it doesn't look like this a good point in your career to take a year-long vacation.

What are your long-term plans, and how, realistically, do you expect a year in Poland to help you achieve them?
OP Depeche Mode
14 Feb 2015 #14
I would never pick a career based on it's value in income, so no biomedical engineering for me. My question has been answered in terms of expenses/ income ratio in Poland.
Monitor 14 | 1,817
14 Feb 2015 #15
That's privilege of people living in reach countries. Most people in the world have to bring money to their family though.
14 Feb 2015 #16
Even at the best schools, we're talking a mere $1000 USD a month after taxes for 7.5 months of work during the year.

Sorry Dominic, but that's not quite correct. The best schools will offer very good salaries (10,000zl gross is normal), and many decent private schools will offer in the range of 4000-6000zl net. They simply have to in order to attract qualified teachers. It's still the case in Poland that a qualified teacher (i.e. one qualified to teach as opposed to having 'teffle' qualifications) is able to attract a high salary.

Don't confuse language schools with real schools.
OP Depeche Mode
14 Feb 2015 #17
Monitor, Where exactly did you read that all Canadian citizens arevrich country? You probably saw it on TV. If you want to see life in North America book a ticket and see for yourself. People in Canada also have bills, including myself. But you probably think that in rich countries government just gives you a job, a house and car and says enjoy lol. YYeah right
English teacher
14 Feb 2015 #18
I am teaching English in lodz and making 2700 pln netto and am living a normal life, not luxury life but get by.
Monitor 14 | 1,817
14 Feb 2015 #19
Monitor, Where exactly did you read that all Canadian citizens arevrich country?

I am just noting that minimum salary (or simply lowest salary earned by 10% of population) in rich countries like Canada allow for poor, but decent live, but in less successful countries it often doesn't allow to buy enough food and pay the rent.
OP Depeche Mode
15 Feb 2015 #20
In Canada, 60% of population minimum lives from paycheck to paycheck with a lot of student debt, credit card dsvrsi etc. Don't watch Kardashians too much lol
Monitor 14 | 1,817
15 Feb 2015 #21
Tell that to all the immigrants:

Canada Population

Why aren't they going back after realizing mistake?
15 Feb 2015 #22
Because where they come from things are worse then In Canada and standard of living way below.
OP Depeche Mode
15 Feb 2015 #23
Lol that looks like a very unrealistic and illegitimate chart. I just don't appreciate when outsiders who have never lived in Canada are preaching how in Canada money grows on trees, which is completely untrue. Kingsman, you are right these immigrants are coming from third world or war torn countries. Influx or European immigrants has increased majority in the past 10 years.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,768
16 Feb 2015 #24
As a former resident of Canada, I can tell you that for all intents and purposes, money does grow on trees there compared to Poland.

Don't under any circumstances allow yourself to be played the fool and move to Kato for that kind of money. Language school owners make it their #1 priority to pay their staff as little as possible while taking maximum gains. That's their business model and if you want to be a sucker for it then, "have at it man, giverago!"
OP Depeche Mode
16 Feb 2015 #25
Foreigner4 why are you a former citizen of.Canada then? And there is something called the "negotiation". You never accept the offer if you are not satisfied, you negotiate and.turn.the your.favour. I am negotiating.with this school from Poland, because in reality they need them.
16 Feb 2015 #26
Why negotiate with a school which has already tried to rip you off by offering you a fraction of the going rate for people with your qualifications?
OP Depeche Mode
16 Feb 2015 #27
I've put my expectations and what I want.out of the deal. If they can't meet my rerequirements then obv. It's not a go. They are currently considering it. Seems they are in shortage, bc if they didn't they would plain and simple say no.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,768
17 Feb 2015 #28
Dude, Harry is right.
Their initial offer should have told you everything you need to know about them by now. You think they're going to be straight with you all of a sudden and negotiate in good faith? You think we don't know what we're talking about? They don't need you, they just need you to be a sucker.

Dude, here is the low down on schools in Poland:
They rely on the naivety of native speakers and your ignorance of how their pay-structure and contracts work....oh and they just straight up lie.
OP Depeche Mode
19 Feb 2015 #29
Oh come on, if it really like would ever step.foot to teach English in Poland.

Forgot "was" typo:/
DominicB - | 2,707
19 Feb 2015 #30
Oh come on, if it really like would ever step.foot to teach English in Poland.

It really is like that, with some exceptions that probably do not apply to you.

The golden age for English teachers from outside of the EU was before 2004. It's gone steadily downhill since then, even for teachers from inside the EU.

in 2004, Poland joined the EU. This meant that teachers from the UK and Ireland no longer needed work and residency permits, while those from outside the EU still do. Schools became shy about going through the hassle and expense of hiring teachers from outside the EU.

Two things aggravated the process. Brits and Irishmen started coming to Poland in droves for cheap beer and easy poontang. As time went by, more followed their girlfriends whom they had met in the UK and Ireland and who wanted to return to be close to their families. Soon, there was a glut of native speakers in Poland, and they were desperate enough to be willing to work for peanuts on "garbage contracts". This was especially true in the large, more popular cities, especially Kraków, Wrocław and Warsaw. This drove wages down a lot in terms of purchasing power. You will see plenty of ads from "native speakers" offering lessons for 30 PLN an hour, or less.

These cheap British and Irish slackers also gave native speakers in general a poor reputation, while at the same time, the number of qualified native Polish teachers was increasing, so schools were less likely to hire native speakers in general.

Then the economic crisis came in 2007, and it hit schools hard because they relied on lucrative business contracts for much of their profit. Businesses did not renew their contracts for in-house teaching, the cash cow ran dry, and schools cut back. The market was over-saturated with schools as it was, especially in the larger popular cities, so a lot of schools either closed or drastically reduced their activities.

Even established teachers from both inside and outside of the EU found that schools were no longer willing to offer full-time contracts, forcing teachers to establish their own businesses and work part-time as independent contractors, for substantially less money overall. Saving money became an obsession in schools in the larger, popular cities, and even in the smaller, less popular cities.

The exceptions I mentioned are twofold. First of all, there are still occasional opportunities to be found off the beaten track in very small towns, especially in eastern Poland, where few native speakers ever go. The cost of living is also lower in these towns is substantially lower than in the larger, popular cities, so if you do land a contract there for 3500 net, you can pay your way.

Meanwhile, the cost of living skyrocketed in the larger popular cities, while wages for English teachers remained stagnant at best, or decreased. So it is extremely unlikely that you, as a newbie, will find a job in those cities that pays well enough so that you can enjoy what the city has to offer. Gone are the days when a newbie could expect a full-time contract for 4000 PLN a month net.

The other exception is for very highly qualified teachers with backgrounds in medicine, science or law, or with real business or management experience.

Besides private language schools, there are three other possibilities.

Private day schools, especially high schools, pay well, but they hire only real teachers with masters degrees and substantial experience. Furthermore, there are very few of these schools in the whole country, so finding an opening in one is quite a challenge.

Then there are public schools. These pay very low, even for native speakers.

The same for universities. Unless you happen to be paid by a grant, which isn't as likely as it once was.

Overall, the golden age for English teachers in Poland is long past. Like I said, there might still be a few opportunities off the beaten track, but you have to look for them, and they entail a certain amount of risk.

Last of all, beware of any Callan Method, Direct Method, Avalon or Berlitz schools. They generally pay very low, or often enough, not at all. The school that offered you 2000 PLN net a month is probably one of these. Teaching in these schools is tiring, boring and not very rewarding, financially or otherwise.

As for doing private lessons, it will take you quite some time to build up a good word-of-mouth reputation, which you will need to build up a quality clientele. Otherwise, you will end up with slackers who flake on every other lesson without warning, or clients who strongly desire deeply reduced rates.

Very tiring is that you will probably work between 7 or 8 to 9 or 10 in the morning, and then from 4 to 9 pm, with little, if anything, in between. If that entails a long commute, it can be very tiring indeed.

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