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Master Shake



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

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparks wrote:
Quote:
Can you name a school outside Warsaw that pays over 100zl/hour net or gross? I can name a few here in the Big Potato.


Do it. Besides the BC I don't know of any and I've been here a good long while. Privates, sure, but a regular old language school? Even Archibald. Maybe I'm just a poor negotiator.
Akademea pay quite well. They focus on preparing students to study abroad. My friend worked for Highton, a school which teaches mainly in-company. He made near 100zl gross for some lessons. And, of course, the British Council.

But aside from the few schools that do pay well, you're better off just going to clients directly. Set up a web site, get the word out and cut out the middle-man.

There is no shortage of people in Warsaw willing to pay more for quality lessons, especially teaching kids.
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 985

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:
sparks wrote:
Quote:
Can you name a school outside Warsaw that pays over 100zl/hour net or gross? I can name a few here in the Big Potato.


Do it. Besides the BC I don't know of any and I've been here a good long while. Privates, sure, but a regular old language school? Even Archibald. Maybe I'm just a poor negotiator.
Akademea pay quite well. They focus on preparing students to study abroad. My friend worked for Highton, a school which teaches mainly in-company. He made near 100zl gross for some lessons. And, of course, the British Council.


i had a few contracts with schools in Wroclaw that paid quite well but my normal, day to day classes were usually around 50zl/45 min. What I eventually started doing is looking for contracts with my schools that required much more than coursebooks, meaning I'd have to either partially or entirely design the course. That way I was able to use the schools' marketing to gain more exposure to clients and just look for the right time to capitalize. Eventually I became their only option and I was simply telling the schools, "sure, I'll do that contract, but it's gonna cost X." I was almost never turned down because the school made money on it either way. One school I worked for was charging 155zl/45 min lesson, generally paid for by their company, for immersion type classes. Even if I demanded 110zl/45 min from the school for a similar contract, they're still making money and have nothing more to do than collect because I'd run the whole damn thing start to finish.

Also, I still think the drop in economy actually helped my wallet the last year or two I was in Poland because no matter what I asked to be paid for a contract, the school would agree to it, even if it meant that the school would earn very little on the deal because it was either they earn very little....or earn nothing. Beggars can't be choosers and all that.
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Infinite



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 113

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:
Do you have some specific examples to back this up? I don't buy it.

Warsaw is more expensive than other Polish towns, but the amount you can make here more than makes up for the cost of living.

Show me some figures, Infinite. Can you name a school outside Warsaw that pays over 100zl/hour net or gross? I can name a few here in the Big Potato.


I won't get into the specifics and name schools, I'd like to remain anonymous. I'll tell you however, that the schools that you'd mentioned which pay 100zl/teaching hr. are few and far in between. Most natives go on the 1zl/1min minimum. Usually it's about 50 per 45 or 100 per 90 [NET of course]. I find this to be reasonable and this is what I expect. Having said that, these are national rates and apply in cities and in small towns. After working in a city for few years I did some research, traveled a bit and found a place in a small [30,000 inhabitants] town and moved. I now have a lot more hours, no competition [only about 4 other natives spread across several towns] and have more hours then I ever did while working in the metro area. I also do in-company in the mornings, but those are my privates and yes, those bring in more than what the school would pay.

Quote:
Now where did you get this idea? I only teach blocks and when I get and offer to take on a 1 hour class in BFE the answer is invariably 'no, thanks'.


Nearly 90% of my classes were in-company, I did have blocks couple days out of the week, but the rest was 7-10 and 4 - 8 with nothing in between and ton of time wasted on traveling between companies. Here I do my 6 to 8 in company and then 2 to 8 at a school, Mon-Fri, which allows me to do skype lessons with my privates and proof reading / translations between 9 and 12.

Quote:
But I had to read these first two points twice because this is simply not what I've seen in PL at all, and I've been here a while.


I've met some natives in my area who'd been here for many years, now teaching Uni levels or running their own schools. The pay stays the same for natives no matter where you go in this country, the difference is, not all schools are willing to spend that sort of money and if they are, they make sure to get their money's worth by hiring reliable teachers. Hence, not too many backpackers, can't say that I'm too upset about that.
My job interviews in small towns were much more complex than those in city schools, all of them lasting an hour or more sometimes.
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Infinite



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 113

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:


There is no shortage of people in Warsaw willing to pay more for quality lessons, especially teaching kids.


That goes for the entire country. It's smart to look for the EU Economic zones when looking to relocate. Some of them are huge and host foreign owned companies with hundreds of workers. If you can secure a contract with one or two of these giants you're safe, especially that there are usually few different factories right next to each other. Cuts out travel time, although when living in a small town, you're able to walk pretty much anywhere in 15 to 20mins tops.

Another thing about teaching in smaller towns is the lack of teachers willing to teach Business Eng. Most Polish teachers don't want to waste their time prepping for it and expending their lexicon. Why would they? They can do Matura prep for the rest of their lives and be happy with hardly any effort involved. Or, sign up with one of those many schools which promote Callan/Direct method... and simply wake up and go to classes every day with zero prep time. Callan / Direct however is a whole new bag o' tricks that I won't even get into.
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Master Shake



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

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dynow wrote:

i had a few contracts with schools in Wroclaw that paid quite well but my normal, day to day classes were usually around 50zl/45 min. What I eventually started doing is looking for contracts with my schools that required much more than coursebooks, meaning I'd have to either partially or entirely design the course. That way I was able to use the schools' marketing to gain more exposure to clients and just look for the right time to capitalize. Eventually I became their only option and I was simply telling the schools, "sure, I'll do that contract, but it's gonna cost X." I was almost never turned down because the school made money on it either way. One school I worked for was charging 155zl/45 min lesson, generally paid for by their company, for immersion type classes. Even if I demanded 110zl/45 min from the school for a similar contract, they're still making money and have nothing more to do than collect because I'd run the whole damn thing start to finish.

Also, I still think the drop in economy actually helped my wallet the last year or two I was in Poland because no matter what I asked to be paid for a contract, the school would agree to it, even if it meant that the school would earn very little on the deal because it was either they earn very little....or earn nothing. Beggars can't be choosers and all that.
Most schools would simply find someone else who will do the course for less. Maybe if you'd built up a name for yourself as the only teacher who can teach highly specialized courses like "English for Screw and Nail Salesmen" they'd be stuck going with you.

Every so often I get an offer to teach a course like the above. It's usually quite well-paid, but the massive amount of prep time turns me off. The same goes for Legal English.

Even earning 150zl/hour, 2 hours of prep for a 1 hour lesson means your only really getting 50zl/hour. I'll stick with my general English, exam prep and kids and teens lessons.

Infinite wrote:
I won't get into the specifics and name schools, I'd like to remain anonymous. I'll tell you however, that the schools that you'd mentioned which pay 100zl/teaching hr. are few and far in between. Most natives go on the 1zl/1min minimum. Usually it's about 50 per 45 or 100 per 90 [NET of course]. I find this to be reasonable and this is what I expect. Having said that, these are national rates and apply in cities and in small towns.
It's reasonable, but you're wrong about the same rates applying to towns and cities. The rates are higher in the cities. It just takes a little time to find the right schools/clients, which you didn't.

I know quite a few teachers in Warsaw and the vast majority that have been here more than a year earn well over the figures you've quoted.

Warsaw isn't for everyone, but the fact remains: You can earn more here.
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 780
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only things I would point out about those specialized classes is that you should gauge whether there is any opportunity for repeat business. Additionally, you might have some considerations in getting your name out and about. If you are an independent, marketing is something you have to devote some time to doing in order to be successful.

If you do that legal course three more times in the next 2 years then you have already done the prep in terms of support materials, setting a timeline/pace of the class and, hopefully, building a quality reputation.

A few years ago I was paid $1200 to do four six-hour Saturday classes on Human Resources. I would say I put about 15 hours of prep into it since I have taught it as a college subject so quite a bit was just organizing it for presentation, picking out vocabulary lists and designing some exercises. There was also another 4-5 hours involved assessing their writing of job descriptions, CV analysis notes, performance review exercises and job ads.

Two months later I did almost the same program over 8 weeks at 4 hours a day but added in a lot more information on compensation planning, incentives and beefed up performance review.

If you can specialize with a quality presentation and learning experience you can consider whether building a couple of niches is possible for you.
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 985

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:


Even earning 150zl/hour, 2 hours of prep for a 1 hour lesson means your only really getting 50zl/hour. I'll stick with my general English, exam prep and kids and teens lessons.
.


and i don't blame you. at some point, convenience and quality of life trumps everything else. if you're content with your income level and you've got plenty of time to do all the things you enjoy in life outside of work, that's aces. people constantly go on and on about expanding your horizons and becoming more than "just a teacher", but for some, they're quite content with just that, especially if you don't plan on staying in RP forever.

shake wrote:

Quote:
Most schools would simply find someone else who will do the course for less.


American native speakers in Wroclaw are a high commodity (at least 2007-2011). I did my grunt work the first year and made a name for myself and after that, schools went to me for this stuff because I was qualified, not just a young kid fresh out of college with no life experience or work experience and it was a heck of a lot more convenient than trying to find another comparable teacher that would do it for less. Also, in my experience, schools are very very warry of natives due to dependability issues which made them lean even more to me. I don't call in sick, I don't come in drunk, I'm always prepared.

It was what it was.
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 457

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
schools are very very warry of natives due to dependability issues which made them lean even more to me. I don't call in sick, I don't come in drunk, I'm always prepared.


Sadly, I guess, this is quite a rarity, especially here in the capital. In the last few weeks I've heard things like "Oh, you've made some copies for us, how nice, our last native teacher never gave us anything" and "I'm glad we didn't talk about movies today, that's all we ever talked about with out last teacher." Now, I don't mean to toot my own horn but...I know how use a photocopier AND I can talk about topics besides movies. So...
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 985

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="sparks"]
Quote:
Now, I don't mean to toot my own horn but...I know how use a photocopier AND I can talk about topics besides movies. So...


and the point being....the bar for natives is still set pretty low. i got in with a great small school in Wroclaw after about 2 1/2 years on the job and the only reason I landed the job is because I was recommended by a Polish teacher from another school that also worked at this school. They flat out told me during my initial interview, "we haven't hired a native in a very long time because they're just not dependable, sometimes don't even show up or just disappear one day...." I was their only native speaker and was paid more than Polish teachers that had been there for several years. That's how ya' do it.
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Master Shake



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

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points, ecocks, about teaching specialized courses being worth it if they're reusable or you want to get your name out.

sparks wrote:
Sadly, I guess, this is quite a rarity, especially here in the capital. In the last few weeks I've heard things like "Oh, you've made some copies for us, how nice, our last native teacher never gave us anything" and "I'm glad we didn't talk about movies today, that's all we ever talked about with out last teacher." Now, I don't mean to toot my own horn but...I know how use a photocopier AND I can talk about topics besides movies. So...
Just wait until you learn how to make double-sided copies, sparks, and teach the past continuous tense. Then you're really a badass.

Why, these highly sought after skills paid for my first tram ticket in Warsaw. Now, I've got a three-month karta miejska (bus/tram/metro pass).

How far I've come. Cool
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 457

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Just wait until you learn how to make double-sided copies, sparks, and teach the past continuous tense. Then you're really a badass.


I think there's a workshop on how to use the copy machine next month, if it doesn't come up, I'll certainly ask Smile I'm not sure what this "tense" thing is, I can only assume it's grammar and thus definitely NOT anything I would do Smile
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Infinite



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 113

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:
It's reasonable, but you're wrong about the same rates applying to towns and cities. The rates are higher in the cities. It just takes a little time to find the right schools/clients, which you didn't.

I know quite a few teachers in Warsaw and the vast majority that have been here more than a year earn well over the figures you've quoted.

Warsaw isn't for everyone, but the fact remains: You can earn more here.


I'm not wrong; I lived in a city for few years and now I'm in a small town. I earn exactly the same.
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Infinite



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 113

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:

Even earning 150zl/hour, 2 hours of prep for a 1 hour lesson means your only really getting 50zl/hour. I'll stick with my general English, exam prep and kids and teens lessons.



I conducted classes on aviation English few years back, plus prep for the commercial license. It was a real pain but the pay was 250zl / 60. Loads of prep materials and time wasted, but received other offers later. I'd love to just do specialized Eng. classes, you do a single class per day at 200 or 250 per 60mins and you're pretty much living the life after a year. Once you have all of your materials in order that is.

Also, providing lectures on specific subjects i.e. IT technology or presentations also pay rather well. Just make sure that the contract you sign doesn't come with a clause which allows the facility to use your materials after you're done with it.

I know a teacher who's rates start at 1000zl per hour. There's a market for it... just need to do your homework.

I prepped the owner of an event company for a presentation,which landed him a contract with Carlsberg for the Euro 2012 "Fan Zones". He was more than generous.
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Master Shake



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

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Infinite wrote:
Master Shake wrote:
It's reasonable, but you're wrong about the same rates applying to towns and cities. The rates are higher in the cities. It just takes a little time to find the right schools/clients, which you didn't.

I know quite a few teachers in Warsaw and the vast majority that have been here more than a year earn well over the figures you've quoted.

Warsaw isn't for everyone, but the fact remains: You can earn more here.


I'm not wrong; I lived in a city for few years and now I'm in a small town. I earn exactly the same.
I know you earn the same as you did in Warsaw. You're beginning to sound like a broken record mentioning this again and again and again. You were underselling yourself here in Warsaw; this doesn't mean everyone else is/was.

I've provided examples of how to earn more in Warsaw and I've dropped some names of schools.

You haven't posted anything concrete on how to do it in a small town. Nor do we even know the name of the town you're in. Are you actually living IN Poland? Put up or clam up, bro.
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Infinite



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 113

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No need to put up or clam up, I don't have to prove anything to anyone. As per the broken record, the usuals on this board do a great job at that.
I think I've explained it pretty clearly.

Moze powinienem po polsku to zrobic ale mysle ze raczej trafilo by to jak kosa na kamien. Tak jak zwykle.

Pozdrawiam
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