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Caledonian School in Prague: too good to be true?

 
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Michael Gaylord



Joined: 09 Oct 2004
Posts: 32
Location: Kalisz, Poland

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 5:41 pm    Post subject: Caledonian School in Prague: too good to be true? Reply with quote

Hi there,

I have been teaching in Poland for almost a year, but I am considering checking out the Czech Republic for the upcoming year (pardon the pun). The Caledonian School seems to look pretty classy and offers "guaranteed" work after finishing their program. Would appreciate some feedback from someone who's been there, or taught in Prague.
I already have a TESOL cert. and 1 year expce.: DO I HAVE TO TAKE THEIR COURSE? And, is there anything I should be warned of about this school? IS the cost astronomical?
Dzięke,

Mike
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9450
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't need another certification to teach in Prague, or other cities in the CR.
Caledonian is one of the better schools....but there are close to 100 private language schools in Prague, and none of the others requires the Caledonian cert! Go with your current certification and experience and you will certainly be able to find a contract that is equivalent to what's offered by Caledonian.

There is a new association of Prague language schools to help ensure quality of teachers. You can find more info about this at the Prague Post online (www.praguepost.com). Any of these schools will offer an employment package relatively commensurate with Caledonian, and these schools have all been around for some time - hence, should be generally more stable. There are many to choose from!

If you haven't 'checked out' the Czech Rep in the past, here are a couple of work-related details that might help you. You may have noticed that Prague has become something of a centre for teacher training courses. Between the 6 or 8 or 10 current programmes on offer, there are literally hundreds of newly certified teachers hitting the streets every couple of months. Of course, not all new teachers opt to stay in the city, but a considerable number do.
Your year of previous experience, especially accompanied by letters of recommendation (try to get them both from your current employer and from a few students, if possible), gives you a leg up already.
You may be able to line up interviews long-distance, but you'll need to be there on the ground, nicely dressed, CV in hand, to actually land a contract.

Smaller cities and towns have more open job markets, if you're not totally set on Prague. I believe it's the same in Poland, but it's good to be in the CR in early August, to set up interviews, and be ready to start in September. There's little summer work around, and most of that tends to go to teachers who have already worked on contract period....though you might get lucky and find something, if you need to.

Good luck, in any case
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Michael Gaylord



Joined: 09 Oct 2004
Posts: 32
Location: Kalisz, Poland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 12:38 pm    Post subject: A couple more questions about Poland Reply with quote

Spiral78:

Dzięke za pomoc! Jestem wdzięcny! (I appreciate it!). Yes, as is the case in Poland, I understand that in big cities like Prague the market is over-saturated with English teachers, and thus I would be willing to go to a smaller city. Ever been to Brno or Karlovy Vary? And one more question about going to the Czech Republic: is there any chance on "getting away from" the cigarette-smoky atmosphere and insane, stressed-out drivers and pace that is here in Poland. I'm looking for a healthier "climate".
Thanks again.
Mike
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9450
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Either Brno or Karlovy Vary would be more laid-back than Prague, but the smoky, stressed out, dark quality's there too....maybe not as much as in Poland.
I had a job interview in Karlovy Vary a few years back, so checked out the market there at that time pretty thouroughly - which didn't take long. There were only something like three native English speakers living there at the time....mostly Russians, not Czechs. Things may have changed by now, though...
I suggest you make a working tour of the country, if you've got time and funds. Say, a week or ten days by train and bus, staying in hostels or pensions, and with a list of language schools in hand. Anyway, this is how I'd want to do it!
Best of luck!
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Michael Gaylord



Joined: 09 Oct 2004
Posts: 32
Location: Kalisz, Poland

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:10 pm    Post subject: CZ job prospects- timing Reply with quote

Hey "Spiral78",

Thanks again for the advice. I really appreciate the candidness. I'll consider trying a "tour" of CZ to investigate. Is there an ideal time for approaching schools for Sept/Oct work, though? (I'm assuming ASAP?)
Are you in Prague right now? Brno? (was wondering about your current experience and how it's going).
I'm not bitter about Poland, by any means. Just know I can find a better school/environment/ and city than the one I'm in right now. Poland is a very interesting and, in some ways, attractive, place, and, for me, it's going to be even a little difficult leaving it. If you ever need any info. on the teaching climate here, let me know.
Much obliged,
Mike
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9450
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll be in the CR for four months over the summer - my spouse is Czech, and we have a flat there, but we relocated in 2003. I've still got many contacts in Prague, and am pretty familiar with the current work scene, from working with training courses over the past couple of years on and off. Actually, I expect we will return to the CR for good within the next couple of years, so I keep an eye on the job market for my own benefit.

I think the 'ideal' time to start approaching schools in early/mid August, although you might find that many of the directors are away on holiday early in the month. But they'll be lining up staff for September contracts.

I personally like Ceske Budejovice fairly well - if you actually have time to take your tour, you might add it to the list.
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