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Rise and fall
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blaz88



Joined: 09 Nov 2010
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:39 pm    Post subject: Rise and fall Reply with quote

In 2004 I arrived in Leszno, Poland to teach English for the first time, leaving a 10 year career in private investigations. Best year of my life, met great new friends and my loving wife. Traveled throughout the UK as I hooked up with a Polish scrap metal company as a side job in which I secured labor contracts in the UK for Polish workers. In 2005, returned to Canada and married my now wife. Hated being back and working in my old industry but all my family got a chance to meet my wife and hear of our Polish experience. In 2007, I returned to Poland with my wife and secured more teaching contracts as well as a paid position of Head Coach of the newly developed Polish american football team. This was my dream job and life was great. My wife also was employed in an international company which gave her and I opportunity to visit Paris. During this time, mini vacations to Croatia, Czech and Slovakia, Germany, Scotland and England and France were affordable and enjoyable. Life was great, short work days and paid to coach football, I couldn't ask for more. Come 2011, my family in Canada convinced us to more back and start making dollars. I can analyze for hours on what made us return to Canada but it is not worth to discuss why, we are back now. I can honestly say that I have had the most depressing year that I can remember being back in Canada. I feel that I have become unemployable here. I am 40, educated and have cross-cultural experience in several work environments. However, I can honestly tell you that I cannot secure meaningful employment, deadend jobs at minimum wage is not a life. Regardless of the current ESL situation in Poland, I still am in contact with my corprate clients and will return to Poland sept 2012. Just wanted to share my personal rise and fall.
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sharter



Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 878
Location: All over the place

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:38 am    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

It's a hard game to get out of.
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blaz88



Joined: 09 Nov 2010
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is the point, the game , i actually perfer to "normal north american life in general". Not about money but quality of life, how we enjoy our lives each and everyday. In Canada, too much bullshit coming out of everyones mouths everyday. People talking for hours about home renos, like anyone cares. No one has the balls to just say, shut the fuc up, tell me what you are truely interested in and lets talk about it.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 938
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teaching English abroad: It will eat up your years, make you unemployable back home and not make you rich, but it beats rejoining the suburban 'keeping up with the Jonses' bullshit rat race back home.
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sharter



Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 878
Location: All over the place

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:33 am    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

It gets complicated when you have kids tho'.
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 504

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate to say it, as I believe it applies to myself as well, but it may just be a case of not knowing exactly what you want out of life. I've also struggled, for nearly a decade now, with this question. The old, N. America is full of shallow, self-interested etc. etc. people; society is...whatever, yet modern and usually wealthy v. Poland and its honest, yet depressing people who live in gray buildings. Some people are able to get in and get out and never look back, a handful never question the decision to stay. Perhaps it's only the deep and thoughtful souls who have the difficulties Smile
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simon_porter00



Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 443
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been working in Poland for 6 years now, have built a house in a village on the outskirts of Warsaw in a quiet (although soon to be developed) village with a massive garden. I've changed my job into one which will allow me to work from home when I want and work normal office hours. I've got my first kiddy on the way in August. To be honest, I don't think it'll get any better for me now, certainly not back in the UK.

If I had the chance, I'd move well out of Warsaw and set up in the wife's village, but her work is the only thing stopping her from doing that.
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Jack Walker



Joined: 23 Oct 2008
Posts: 412

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing your story Blaz. It was really interesting and I can relate.I lived in Poland from 2003-2010 and really enjoyed it.After 7 years,I came back to Canada and have been here ever since.

The 7 years I spent in Poland are not even acknowledged by potential employers and it is quite difficult to find well paid employment here with mainly a TESL background.It's almost as if my seven years were lost years but I wouldn't have changed a thing.

I had a great experience and it changed my outlook on life in a positive way.TESL can be a bit of a trap though, as it's hard to get out of it and do other things with respect to employment. There are many lifers in this business,especially in places like Korea as they are virtually unemployable in their native country after spending decades in Asia teaching English.

They should place a warning on TESL jobs: once you start playing this game,you may never be able to leave, or something of that nature. It's something like the freakin' Hotel California.

Good luck Smile
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 938
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jack Walker wrote:
They should place a warning on TESL jobs: once you start playing this game,you may never be able to leave, or something of that nature. It's something like the freakin' Hotel California.


True that.

So if you don't want your years TEFL-ling to slip into a black hole, you have to be motivated and move up the ranks:

Get DELTA, become a DoS, go into teacher training or testing or materials development. Or you can branch out and do proofreading or translations, voice acting.

Your experience counts for a lot more when you're better qualified, or are doing something more than 'just teaching.'
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 1030

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MasterShake wrote:

Quote:
So if you don't want your years TEFL-ling to slip into a black hole, you have to be motivated and move up the ranks:

Get DELTA, become a DoS, go into teacher training or testing or materials development. Or you can branch out and do proofreading or translations, voice acting.

Your experience counts for a lot more when you're better qualified, or are doing something more than 'just teaching.'


I can't help but wonder what even that would do for you state side.

If you spent 5 years as a DoS in a country nobody knows anything about, would anyone really care in the USA? Sure, it'll get you an ESL teaching job quickly, but that's not what you're looking for after 10 years of TEFL'ing, DELTA, etc. Plus, you gotta wonder how many people, after years and years of TEFL in Poland.....would want to head back west......and continue doing it.

It's simply not as lucrative in the USA in general and I'd say you'd have to go into more of the business side of the market to make any real dough, i.e., open your own school, which would take a good nest egg to get started....which you certainly didn't build up in Poland earning that shite currency.

It's also worth mentioning that if you were going to open your own business in the USA and had the cash/means to do it, there are probably more lucrative paths to take than a language school.

Jack Walker wrote:

Quote:
The 7 years I spent in Poland are not even acknowledged by potential employers


It's another reason why I had to get out when I did. At some point, you gotta take a step back and look at it for what it is.
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Jack Walker



Joined: 23 Oct 2008
Posts: 412

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dynow wrote:
MasterShake wrote:

Quote:
So if you don't want your years TEFL-ling to slip into a black hole, you have to be motivated and move up the ranks:

Get DELTA, become a DoS, go into teacher training or testing or materials development. Or you can branch out and do proofreading or translations, voice acting.

Your experience counts for a lot more when you're better qualified, or are doing something more than 'just teaching.'


I can't help but wonder what even that would do for you state side.

If you spent 5 years as a DoS in a country nobody knows anything about, would anyone really care in the USA? Sure, it'll get you an ESL teaching job quickly, but that's not what you're looking for after 10 years of TEFL'ing, DELTA, etc. Plus, you gotta wonder how many people, after years and years of TEFL in Poland.....would want to head back west......and continue doing it.

It's simply not as lucrative in the USA in general and I'd say you'd have to go into more of the business side of the market to make any real dough, i.e., open your own school, which would take a good nest egg to get started....which you certainly didn't build up in Poland earning that shite currency.

It's also worth mentioning that if you were going to open your own business in the USA and had the cash/means to do it, there are probably more lucrative paths to take than a language school.

Jack Walker wrote:

Quote:
The 7 years I spent in Poland are not even acknowledged by potential employers


It's another reason why I had to get out when I did. At some point, you gotta take a step back and look at it for what it is.





Some good points all around. I've jobbed around a bit since coming back here and am now only on a part time editing gig. The pay is not great either. I've had a few interviews for some really great,relatively high paying jobs in uni TESL positions, but it's mainly about who you know and there are a lot of experienced people here fighting for the rare TESL gigs that come up.

They told me they get a few hundred applications for one position. I didn't even make the cut for the Sub list at one the colleges.It's tooth and nail out there these days and it's only going to get worse.

10 years of abroad TESL experience and you can barely get a sniff at anything.
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hrvatski



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 270

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I investigated TESL upon returning to Australia, and did some teaching at first. The market is extremely volatile and at the mercy of ever-changing government visa policy. Restrictions were placed on Indian student immigration recently and entire schools disappeared, teachers made redundant along with them.

The best jobs are in Universities, but again numbers of international students in any given University can fluctuate wildly from year to year.

So I said farewell to TESL and took up a continuing job in administration, much more secure, equally well-paid and great retirement contributions. Smile
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Jack Walker



Joined: 23 Oct 2008
Posts: 412

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hrvatski wrote:
I investigated TESL upon returning to Australia, and did some teaching at first. The market is extremely volatile and at the mercy of ever-changing government visa policy. Restrictions were placed on Indian student immigration recently and entire schools disappeared, teachers made redundant along with them.

The best jobs are in Universities, but again numbers of international students in any given University can fluctuate wildly from year to year.

So I said farewell to TESL and took up a continuing job in administration, much more secure, equally well-paid and great retirement contributions. Smile




Nice work if you can get it Hrvatski. I'd love a job like that but the economy here is in the sh itter and it's hard to get anything above minimum wage which is basically slave labor.It must be better in Australia?
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hrvatski



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 270

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Australia is surviving the GFC pretty well cause of its mining boom... not going to last forever though. But generally it is a good place to live with low unemployment and dignified pay for even entry level jobs. We recently employed a receptionist on $50K (AUD more or less = USD) a year with 17% retirement contributions on top of that - pretty good deal IMO for fielding ad hoc queries.

If all else fails here people go to the mines and earn $100K+ a year with free food and accommodation - always work there at the moment. Not great places to live for long, but you can get a house deposit together pretty quickly.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 938
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dynow wrote:
I can't help but wonder what even that would do for you state side.

If you spent 5 years as a DoS in a country nobody knows anything about, would anyone really care in the USA? Sure, it'll get you an ESL teaching job quickly, but that's not what you're looking for after 10 years of TEFL'ing, DELTA, etc. Plus, you gotta wonder how many people, after years and years of TEFL in Poland.....would want to head back west......and continue doing it.

It's simply not as lucrative in the USA in general and I'd say you'd have to go into more of the business side of the market to make any real dough, i.e., open your own school, which would take a good nest egg to get started....which you certainly didn't build up in Poland earning that shite currency.

It's also worth mentioning that if you were going to open your own business in the USA and had the cash/means to do it, there are probably more lucrative paths to take than a language school.


Since when did I write anything about returning state side? Now who needs a reading for detail refresher course. As I wrote, the States are a BS rat race where you spend your free time (what little you have when your not working or commuting) listening to people go on and on about how they're adding a sun room, buying a new flat screen.

Poles may have their faults, but at least they don't take me on a half hour guided tour of every room of their house when I come visit. Many people in the US do.

To have a career in TEFL you are better off staying international. There are lots of higher level international TEFL jobs which pay a respectable salary and pay for your kids to attend an international school. If you get in with the British Council, for example. They do value experience teaching abroad, and they are in so many different countries. Or you can do a stint in the middle east if you really want to earn some cash. As hrvatski posted, Australia is an possibility as well.

This lifestyle is not for everyone, but if you like to travel and don't have serious commitments back home it can be more exciting.
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