Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Vows of Poverty ?
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Poland
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 11714
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:36 pm    Post subject: Vows of Poverty ? Reply with quote

To teach in Poland do you have to reconcile yourself to a life in poverty ?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 457

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hasn't this been discussed ad nauseum?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 457

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry, most of the threads end up on the discussion which I think you're trying to elicit. Maybe some people are ready to go at it again... certainly within a month or so...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 268
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No. you don't have to reconcile yourself to a life in poverty, not if you know what you are doing.

Between 2009 and 2011, after a number of years with the British Council, and then leaving them, I found myself back in Poland without really having the option of getting a contract position with them again.

So, we got ourselves the nicest flat we could afford in Warsaw with a nice teaching room, advertised online - selling my credentials for all I could - pitched myself to the higher-end of the market at 80-90zt an hour, developed a workable cancellation policy and pretty soon I was earning my old BC wage, then more.

The thing is, my little 'business' succeeded because I had two initial income streams - the hours I taught, and late cancellations that the students had to pay for, which I then put another student in and earned double, sometimes this happend twice and thrice fold in the snowy winter months!

So many people told me this couldn't be done, so many people told me that Poles wouldn't agree to a cancellation policy, but it could and they did.

I ran my little operation for two years, earning at the end of it, a tiny bit more than I made with the BC.

Be inventive and go make $$$ and educate the populace.

I am out of Poland and TEFL now, after a 13 year career in it, but what I learned during those two years is now helping me with my own new little business back in the UK.

There is so much negativity in TEFL, with expats in Poland and amongst your peers..subscribe to it and your career and life will become one big 'TEFL-Fulfilling Prophecy', like described in that infamous Guardian artice on TEFL a while back.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 11714
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

People should be made aware of the realities of life in TEFL-land. Too many get into this sphere with unrealistic ideas.

The reality is that most TEFLers earn a lousy wage - whether in Poland or elsewhere !


Last edited by scot47 on Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 268
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would agree to some degree but it doesn't have to be that way, maybe that is what they should be made aware of?

Last edited by TwinCentre on Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:22 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 268
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
People should be made aware of the realities of life in TEFL-land. Too many get into this sphere with unrealistic ideas.

The reality is that most TEFLers earn a lousy wage - whetehr in Poland or elsewhere !


'TEFLers mostly earn a lousy wage' - Yes, people should be made aware of that fact.

'Too many get into this sphere with unrealistic ideas' - I'm not sure, too many people don't have enough ambition or basic business sense and should think bigger, as illustrated in my previous post. I am not worthy of Dragon's Den by any means, and have a lot to learn yet, but give me a decent room in a big city, and I will make a good buck teaching groups of eager (-ish) learners in it...I have acquired some skills towards doing that well....many other teachers should too, in my humble opinion.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
john123



Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread is ridiculous, and TwinCentre has summarised well in his/her spot-on posts the pointless nature of the OP.

If you have an ounce of business sense, and advertise your credentials, then you do not have to reconcile yourself to a life in poverty. I am not doomed because I focus on providing a professional service to my clients/students. I also don't drink myself stupid or smoke - as many TEFLers seem to do to (while complaining at the same time about being poor and not having enough money to spend on more alcohol).

So, I would say that most TEFLers perhaps earn a half-decent wage that they cannot control.

Can you tell me enlighten me further though Scot with such blindingly misguided comments? Your reality is different from mine (and that of TwinCentre).

Regards
John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 859
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Vows of Poverty ? Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
To teach in Poland do you have to reconcile yourself to a life in poverty ?
This has been discusses to death. Go to any other thread about any topic and by about the 2nd page onward it will have degenerated into a stagnant, bitter cost of living debate. But, hey, why not beat a dead horse a few more times...

It is critical to differentiate between two basic groups of teachers in PL. Though they basically do the same job, these two groups have vastly different income.

1) Newbies fresh off the boat, plane, hovercraft. They are either fresh out of CELTA, or have some teaching exp. but are unfamiliar with Poland and teaching here. They appreciate support from a school with things like getting a visa (if needed), airport pick-up, finding accommodation, buying things in shops, what to do when they're caught riding the trams without a ticket, etc. etc. etc..

2) Crusty, grizzled, battle-hardened veterans. They've been here too far too long and likely have a wife who would never dream of leaving PL - hence, they're stuck here. They know which schools pay well and on time, which to avoid, and have optimized their timetable with the good ones. They have a reserve of reliable private students. They have specialized in business Eng, teaching kids, voice acting, etc. and have a solid client base in this field. They may have set up their own companies and they can spot the ticket controllers two carriages away.

Group 1 earns crap pay (but hopefully loves the experience of living abroad!). Group 2 can earn a decent living, though they're not wealthy be any means.

The million zloty question is: How long does it take one to graduate from group 1 to group 2? Some never do, mostly for lack of trying.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 338

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Vows of Poverty ? Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:
The million zloty question is: How long does it take one to graduate from group 1 to group 2? Some never do, mostly for lack of trying.


I know some that have been here years and still are in group 1 - the common theme? Too much drinking and not enough time learning Polish.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mr. Kalgukshi
Mod Team
Mod Team


Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 5947
Location: FSU 13-0 -- Go 'Noles! 2014 BCS Bowl Champions

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make your points civilly and without insults.

If not, there will be sanctions and this thread will continue without you.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 268
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The two groups mentioned may be a generalisation and somewhat visible, but I just feel it doesn't well describe the varied cross-section of different people that I met in the Native TEFL industry during my 5 years in Warsaw. I would like to add more distinct groups to the list if I may, supplementing Master Shakes first two:

3. The QTS ELT Teachers. The ELT/TEFL teachers with QTS who work at one of the International Schools or the British Council (on contract, although they mostly seem to be TEFL-Q these days?)/ They earn 11-16k a month, usually stable types IMHO, quite a few of them have partners from their home countries who have come with them and therefore have no direct links with Poland, perhaps less so at the BC though.

4. The Entrepreneurs. (If I can spell it), I knew of a bunch of them who devoted their days to scoring Business Training contracts and outsourcing the work to teachers, taking a 50-70% cut. Although, I have to say the guy I knew who was the most successful at this spoke brilliant Polish.

5. The Transients. They come to have fun for a year, enjoy the experience of living in Poland and teaching then leave for somewhere else. This is the group who seem the most harmless and perhaps they have the right idea?

6. The Trainers. I have a group of good friends who just train TEFL teachers how to teach and nothing more, CELTA/DELTA/HELTA SKELTA etc. They seem really pro.

7. The UK Project People. I became quite friendly with a cross-section of this group at The Casablanca Bar in Warsaw, they were quite a large group of UK Uni Lecturers in ELT who were sent out to Warsaw to train doctors and dentists in the years after Poland joined the EU, might be a dying breed now. They earned UK salaries and had very nice apartments in the Old Town, Nowy Swiat or Mokotow.

8. The Publishers. The last group I knew of, distinct in Warsaw and krakow, were the TEFL teachers who had got into the publishing market and were out in Poland to get leads and flog books/courses etc. They all seemed happy to have left the classroom and were often female.

I have the most experience of group 3, seen many group 1s and 2s. Group 2s are the most difficult to befriend for me.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 457

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice add-on TwinCenter Smile The problem with your list though is that of the types of people on there most usually spend their weekends doing things like taking trains to Zakopane instead of drinking themselves stupid and complaining. To me these folks never seemed to be integrated into the Polish "way", I knew a guy who had lived there for, like, 15 years, married a rich Polish lady, taught very expensive "specialized" classes and never learned more than a few words of the language, to drive a car, anything. This fellow always seemed to be floating on top of the world though. I guess some people just find happiness wherever they go.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 268
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparks wrote:
Nice add-on TwinCenter Smile The problem with your list though is that of the types of people on there most usually spend their weekends doing things like taking trains to Zakopane instead of drinking themselves stupid and complaining.


Why is that a problem? Smile Just kidding and I do take your point.

I admire people who learn Polish well, I have to speak some in my daily life, even now living back in the UK, but why do you have to learn? Why do you have to intergrate into Polish life? Many TEFLers behave is though that is obligatory, and there can be a fair amount of one-upmanship in that regard.

If you want to great, but going native isn't for everyone...I always remembered where I came from even after living and working in many countries in Asia, North Africa and Europe, and my experience of those countries was richer for me by not losing my image of self and my own perceived identity, which is basically a humble Northerner from England.

What I am trying to say is that living and working in another country and choosing not to intergrate into the culture is a most valid option that for many may bring greater happiness and should not be derided, look at some of the Polish expats in the UK, they are happy living in their self-made Polish community, and good on them. The beauty of the much recently-criticised multi-cultural society that the Western world now is.

I am a fan Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 457

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Why do you have to intergrate into Polish life? Many TEFLers behave is though that is obligatory, and there can be a fair amount of one-upmanship in that regard.


I kind of agree, I think...I haven't thought about it too much. Of the expats I know/have known in Poland, I would say that the ones who mostly stayed in their little expat, English speaking circles are/were quite content. Perhaps "going native" is what drags people down.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Poland All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 1 of 4

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC