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A few questions about working in Paris from a newb....
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riverboat



Joined: 22 May 2009
Posts: 116
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and another word on the apartment thing...as I've been apartment hunting over the last few days (now the job hunt is done)...

While it seems like there are tons of apartments available, what isn't so immediately obvious is that for every apartment advertised, there are tons of people trying to get that apartment. This has become clear to me very quickly. I've looked at three places in the last week, and every time I've been for a viewing, it's apparent that I'm just one of many...all three owners I've dealt with have said that they received about 70 emails from interested people, filtered them down to about 15-20 people who actually came for a viewing/interview (many of whom I have met on the way in/out), and then the owners take up to a week to choose who they want to actually rent it to, based on the interview...

The situation may be different if you deal with a letting agent - I don't know. I'm trying to deal with owners directly because it cuts down on fees/paperwork.

All of this could sound like I'm trying to put you off Paris...which isn't the case! I love it here, and its definitely possible to find a job and find an apartment and make it all work, but I just feel the need to stress that it can be HARD! And since I started my teaching job, and am teaching 20 hours a week, there is just so little time to do anything other than teach and then plan the next lesson and then teach and then plan the next lesson.....
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Hot2GlobeTrot



Joined: 01 Sep 2009
Posts: 82
Location: Calgary, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

riverboat wrote:
Oh, and another word on the apartment thing...as I've been apartment hunting over the last few days (now the job hunt is done)...

While it seems like there are tons of apartments available, what isn't so immediately obvious is that for every apartment advertised, there are tons of people trying to get that apartment. This has become clear to me very quickly. I've looked at three places in the last week, and every time I've been for a viewing, it's apparent that I'm just one of many...all three owners I've dealt with have said that they received about 70 emails from interested people, filtered them down to about 15-20 people who actually came for a viewing/interview (many of whom I have met on the way in/out), and then the owners take up to a week to choose who they want to actually rent it to, based on the interview...

The situation may be different if you deal with a letting agent - I don't know. I'm trying to deal with owners directly because it cuts down on fees/paperwork.

All of this could sound like I'm trying to put you off Paris...which isn't the case! I love it here, and its definitely possible to find a job and find an apartment and make it all work, but I just feel the need to stress that it can be HARD! And since I started my teaching job, and am teaching 20 hours a week, there is just so little time to do anything other than teach and then plan the next lesson and then teach and then plan the next lesson.....


how did you get a job if you dont have a place yet? i thought an address was required?

I plan on using an agency simply because i know of no other way and i wont be there till the end of June as a stopover before Cannes to look at them and i imagine the pickings would be slim, so i'm planning on booking before the end of this year...

was actually getting a job relatively straight forward? As in, plenty of positions available...and is 20 hours about the most one can expect even if one has all business day open?
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riverboat



Joined: 22 May 2009
Posts: 116
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the moment I'm staying in a friend's vacant flat (have been for two months) so I have given that as my address for work. My friend and her family are completely renovating the flat soon though, hence I need to move out and find somewhere more permanent.

Yes, getting a job was very easy. I just printed out a load of CVs and covering letters, made a list (using the Pages Jaunes, info from FUSAC and tips from friends) of all the language schools in Paris, plotted them on a map, then spent two or three days visiting them all and dropping in my CV. I got two instant interviews, one appointment for a future interview, and then in the following days tons of phonecalls asking me to return for an interview. Out of my interviews (I actually only went to three) I got two firm job offers and one potential offer. I accepted one of them three days after beginning the whole process. That was last week, and Im still getting phonecalls now asking me to interviews...

Im a British national, and had just done the CELTA course, so I dont know if that was part of the reason it was so easy for me...but generally I think there is enough work to go around here. Others I did the CELTA with have had similar multiple job offers.

I got one job offer for 30 teaching hours per week, but there is no way I would accept that unless I was more experienced. At this point, the lesson-planning and travelling for 20-25 hours a week is already taking up huge amounts of time. I cant see how I could possibly fit in 30 teaching hours plus all the extra planning and travelling that goes with that. Planning, making materials and travelling around to the various companies inbetween teaching slots (which you will DEFINITELY have to do) takes ages. For 30 teaching hours in a week, you'd have to spend at least another 10 hours doing prep work/travel. Maybe more experienced teachers could cut this down a bit, but I certainly cant at the moment!
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Hot2GlobeTrot



Joined: 01 Sep 2009
Posts: 82
Location: Calgary, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

riverboat wrote:
At the moment I'm staying in a friend's vacant flat (have been for two months) so I have given that as my address for work. My friend and her family are completely renovating the flat soon though, hence I need to move out and find somewhere more permanent.

Yes, getting a job was very easy. I just printed out a load of CVs and covering letters, made a list (using the Pages Jaunes, info from FUSAC and tips from friends) of all the language schools in Paris, plotted them on a map, then spent two or three days visiting them all and dropping in my CV. I got two instant interviews, one appointment for a future interview, and then in the following days tons of phonecalls asking me to return for an interview. Out of my interviews (I actually only went to three) I got two firm job offers and one potential offer. I accepted one of them three days after beginning the whole process. That was last week, and Im still getting phonecalls now asking me to interviews...

Im a British national, and had just done the CELTA course, so I dont know if that was part of the reason it was so easy for me...but generally I think there is enough work to go around here. Others I did the CELTA with have had similar multiple job offers.

I got one job offer for 30 teaching hours per week, but there is no way I would accept that unless I was more experienced. At this point, the lesson-planning and travelling for 20-25 hours a week is already taking up huge amounts of time. I cant see how I could possibly fit in 30 teaching hours plus all the extra planning and travelling that goes with that. Planning, making materials and travelling around to the various companies inbetween teaching slots (which you will DEFINITELY have to do) takes ages. For 30 teaching hours in a week, you'd have to spend at least another 10 hours doing prep work/travel. Maybe more experienced teachers could cut this down a bit, but I certainly cant at the moment!


hmm, i will have just done my CELTA (in Paris, August 2-27) and will be flying under the queen's banner myself (dad's English, getting my passport as we speak), so it sounds very positive...

is it safe to assume that one doesnt get paid for, ie, 30 hours of work a week, which includes travelling time? So you get paid per lesson and travel is your own concern?
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riverboat



Joined: 22 May 2009
Posts: 116
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RE: the whole teaching hours vs planning/travel hours thing...I know of one school in Paris which pays all its teachers a fixed salary every month. This is based on a principal of allocating them 25 teaching hours per week, and allowing for 10 travelling/planning hours. Even if for some reason the school can't allocate them 25 teaching hours, because they dont have enough business, the school will still pay their teachers for the full-time amount of teaching/planning. However, this type of contract severely limits your ability to take time off or build your own schedule.

Every other school that I know of pays the majority of their teachers by the hour, on the understanding that the hours per week may fluctuate depending on how much business the school is getting at any given time. The hourly rate seems to generally be between 17 and 21 euros per hour (maybe more experienced teachers could negotiate a higher rate, I dont know). This fixed hourly rate is supposed to include both planning/travel and teaching time. Its a little weird, but it basically means that if you teach for 25 hours in a week, you will get paid for 25 hours x 18 euros (assuming that the hourly rate quoted is 18 euros). However, your payslip will say that you actually worked 35 hours in the week, in recognition of the time you spent travelling/planning.

This whole teaching hours to planning/travelling hours ratio, and how it equates to pay, is a fixed feature of the type of contract offered by language schools to teachers here. Its called an Intermittent contract (and is different to CDDs and CDIs which are the main two types of contract offered in France to people who aren't language teachers).

As a sidenote, some schools will reimburse the cost of your weekly metro pass, others won't. The school I work for pays for half the costs(which works out to about an extra 9 euros per week).

I'm not an expert in any of this, this is just info I've picked up in the last couple of months from various friends I have here who have been teaching and job hunting, and my own experience. I know that when I was trying to get information about the financial/practical side of TEFL in Paris before I came there wasn't all that much forthcoming (as you migh tbe able to see from some of the topics I posted on this board earlier this year!) so I figure that I'll just share whatever info I have on the basis that some info is better than none...
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riverboat



Joined: 22 May 2009
Posts: 116
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

..and just to say, I notice that in your last post you focused on travelling time as the main extra concern, not planning time...but really, I can't stress this enough, you HAVE to take into account planning time. It takes up way more of your time than travelling. Even the experienced teachers I'm currently working with still spend signficiant amounts of time preparing for lessons. There's just no way to get around it. As a bare minimum you have to figure out what you're going to cover and how you're going to cover it. All of your groups of students will have different needs, and their employers will hold the school/teacher responsible for meeting those needs effectively.

You have to plan out how you will explain grammar points to students (sure you'll know instinctively whats right and whats wrong, but explaining it so that students understand is a whole different matter), you have to do ENDLESS photocopying, to assemble materials, to plan for contingencies like more students or fewer students than expected, or CD players not working, or students being unco-operative... Some schools may provide books and materials to help you plan, others will just say "3 people in company X need an English course, 10 hours per week for 5 weeks" and expect you to plan out the entire thing, from assessing their goals/needs, to choosing the coursebooks, to timetabling...that kind of planning takes a long, long time.

As a new teacher, I'm still in the planning-is-hell-and-takes-up-half-my-life stage, and I know it's going to get a lot easier, but I also know that it's never going to go away completely. Just a warning...
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Hot2GlobeTrot



Joined: 01 Sep 2009
Posts: 82
Location: Calgary, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

okay, good to know, thanks
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Hot2GlobeTrot



Joined: 01 Sep 2009
Posts: 82
Location: Calgary, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as far as coursebooks and materials related to the students, are teachers expected to pay for that?
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