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Dropping in Cold

 
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j6boardman



Joined: 29 Jul 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:04 pm    Post subject: Dropping in Cold Reply with quote

Hello, my name's Josh Boardman. After reading these forums for a month or two I have come to respect the opinions of the posters on this site, so I wanted to ask some advice.

I have a BA in English/Philosophy/Latin and the TESOL/ESL Certification through Oxford Seminars. I have no experience. I will be arriving in Prague on the 25th of August, and I'm wondering if the prospects for a job are good. I've been applying to many, many schools and have been offered two interviews (the vast majority do not reply at all), one from Tutor in Brno for teaching preschool, and one from the Jazykovy Institut Praha (Jipka). Are these reliable institutes?

Once I arrive, I will be staying in the Clown and Bard Hostel. Where should I go after that to find accommodation? Is it realistic that a job offer would include accommodation?

I'm only 21, and this is my first time living on my own. Therefore, I am very stupid about the procedures. Thank you in advance for your comments.
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Deicide



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
Posts: 1005
Location: Caput Imperii Americani

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Dropping in Cold Reply with quote

j6boardman wrote:
Hello, my name's Josh Boardman. After reading these forums for a month or two I have come to respect the opinions of the posters on this site, so I wanted to ask some advice.

I have a BA in English/Philosophy/Latin and the TESOL/ESL Certification through Oxford Seminars. I have no experience. I will be arriving in Prague on the 25th of August, and I'm wondering if the prospects for a job are good. I've been applying to many, many schools and have been offered two interviews (the vast majority do not reply at all), one from Tutor in Brno for teaching preschool, and one from the Jazykovy Institut Praha (Jipka). Are these reliable institutes?

Once I arrive, I will be staying in the Clown and Bard Hostel. Where should I go after that to find accommodation? Is it realistic that a job offer would include accommodation?

I'm only 21, and this is my first time living on my own. Therefore, I am very stupid about the procedures. Thank you in advance for your comments.


I wish I were 21. Crying or Very sad
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Deicide



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
Posts: 1005
Location: Caput Imperii Americani

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Dropping in Cold Reply with quote

Deicide wrote:
j6boardman wrote:
Hello, my name's Josh Boardman. After reading these forums for a month or two I have come to respect the opinions of the posters on this site, so I wanted to ask some advice.

I have a BA in English/Philosophy/Latin and the TESOL/ESL Certification through Oxford Seminars. I have no experience. I will be arriving in Prague on the 25th of August, and I'm wondering if the prospects for a job are good. I've been applying to many, many schools and have been offered two interviews (the vast majority do not reply at all), one from Tutor in Brno for teaching preschool, and one from the Jazykovy Institut Praha (Jipka). Are these reliable institutes?

Once I arrive, I will be staying in the Clown and Bard Hostel. Where should I go after that to find accommodation? Is it realistic that a job offer would include accommodation?

I'm only 21, and this is my first time living on my own. Therefore, I am very stupid about the procedures. Thank you in advance for your comments.


I wish I were 21. Crying or Very sad


In tua iuventate gaudeas...
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ITTP



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 343
Location: Prague/Worldwide

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 4:32 am    Post subject: Re: Dropping in Cold Reply with quote

j6boardman wrote:
Hello, my name's Josh Boardman. After reading these forums for a month or two I have come to respect the opinions of the posters on this site, so I wanted to ask some advice.

I have a BA in English/Philosophy/Latin and the TESOL/ESL Certification through Oxford Seminars. I have no experience. I will be arriving in Prague on the 25th of August, and I'm wondering if the prospects for a job are good. I've been applying to many, many schools and have been offered two interviews (the vast majority do not reply at all), one from Tutor in Brno for teaching preschool, and one from the Jazykovy Institut Praha (Jipka). Are these reliable institutes?

Once I arrive, I will be staying in the Clown and Bard Hostel. Where should I go after that to find accommodation? Is it realistic that a job offer would include accommodation?

I'm only 21, and this is my first time living on my own. Therefore, I am very stupid about the procedures. Thank you in advance for your comments.


Hi there Josh Boardman.

Nice to see you came on here using your real name.
Respekt! Smile

Firstly, the Clown and Bard is a great place to party but not such a great place for getting it together and looking for work. My advice is to definitely stay there for your first few nights (or even a week), because you will get to meet some great people and your social life will probably hit a new high.
It's also a great place to meet up with other potential expats and to find a living space together.
So, as a party place the Clown gets my 10/10 but as a place where you can become focused on your mission it can be a distraction.
Btw, when you are there the restaurant 'U Houdku', a few doors down on the right serves up VERY affordable meals and serves equally affordable drinks. It's clean and expat friendly and in summer they also have a beer garden out back.

Don't worry too much about previous experience as long of course as your online course with Oxford Seminars included teaching experience. If it did, if it was a combined course, then you won't be going into your first paid class completely unprepared.

I can confirm that the school Jazykovy Institut Praha (Jipka) is on our list of reputable schools to teach for in Prague.

Concerning longer term accommodation you might want to take a look through the following site:
http://www.spolubydlici.cz
As a second option you might want to form a small breakaway Clown and Bard group and take the plunge and find an apartment:
http://czech-properties.cz/?lang=en
Teaching jobs in Prague rarely come with accommodation included.

Well, hope it helps Josh.

The Clown was a good choice for a springboard into the city and I hope Prague treats you well. If you find that Prague doesn't agree with you then hell, you have your whole life ahead of you so enjoy those years without responsibility and grab a plane ticket to somewhere exotic and funky like Thailand or Vietnam and go teach there.

All the best!

Neville Smile

ITTP Prague
Narodni 21
Prague 1 - bang in the center of the city
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9317
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that Oxford does not include teaching practice on actual students, but only on peer trainees.

That will put you at a disadvantage in Prague, where most newbie teachers by far have a cert with the teaching practice. Employers do note this difference!

I think you'll need to expect to be quizzed on this subject. The only quick remedy I can think of is for you to try to find some place where you are now that ESL teaching is taking place, and try to volunteer there - and get a letter from someone in authority saying that you did and were good at it - to offset the lack.

Sadly, Oxford's advertising is great, and they do get lots of potential trainees to overlook the lack of any actual classroom experience on their course Sad
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j6boardman



Joined: 29 Jul 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I was very disappointed with the course. I paid a whole bunch of money without realizing that I was paying for not much! I wouldn't recommend it to anybody else, unless they are trying to go South Korea. They REALLY want their graduates there.

The class was 48 hours long and included a single teaching practicum in front of our peers. Their followup teacher placement was not so friendly, as well. Their "contacts" in the countries all boil down to a single name. Should've gone with Cambridge...

Anyway, thank you very much for the words of advice. I'm taking off August 25th at 6:50pm!
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Deicide



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
Posts: 1005
Location: Caput Imperii Americani

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

j6boardman wrote:
Yeah, I was very disappointed with the course. I paid a whole bunch of money without realizing that I was paying for not much! I wouldn't recommend it to anybody else, unless they are trying to go South Korea. They REALLY want their graduates there.

The class was 48 hours long and included a single teaching practicum in front of our peers. Their followup teacher placement was not so friendly, as well. Their "contacts" in the countries all boil down to a single name. Should've gone with Cambridge...

Anyway, thank you very much for the words of advice. I'm taking off August 25th at 6:50pm!


Te fortuna ad triumphum duciat!
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cks



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 144

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Josh, did you come to Prague? How did things work out for you?
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paginatres



Joined: 14 Jun 2009
Posts: 3
Location: TX

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting you should say that about Oxford. This is the same Prague site that is affiliated with Trinity College in London, yes? I am gearing up to become a newbie TEFL teacher in Prague sometime in the Spring of next year and I was at first looking at the school TEFL Worldwide Prague until I remembered a friend did it through Oxford one summer. He said his experience was very good, but he was only there for a few months. Between these two places, what would be a better bet? Is there one school in Prague that is strong in all departments, including credentials? Thanks for all this wonderful information.

- Caitlin
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9317
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Either will be recognised in the region - the training centres in Prague are generally all OK, having to compete against each other in terms of their newly-certified teachers being successful on the local job market (obviously many grads go elsewhere, but a large percentage stay in the city, for a while at least).

Remember that spring isn't the greatest timing, and you'll need to be sure you're secure financially before you come. Most job contracts are September - June, so while you will probably find some work in the 'spring', it's unlikely to be full time and you will most likely find yourself essentially unemployed in July/August. There is really little work in the region for this time period - Europeans take their summer holidays quite seriously.

You'll need to be concerned with finding an employer who will help you through the visa process in the spring, knowing that your 'real' contract is unlikely to start until September -this can be tricky. You only get 90 days inside the entire Schengen zone (google for a list of countries) before you have to leave - border runs no longer suffice to keep one legal. If you are unsuccessful at finding an employer to start the process for you within 45-60 days of your arrival in the zone, you will likely be facing the need to leave for three months over the summer.

A training centre can give you more info about this issue, but remember they can't get work visas for you - you will need an employer for this.

Getting certified, leaving, and returning at the first of September can work well - it's what I did 12+ years ago when I started out in Prague.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9317
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, sorry, on the Oxford issue - the on site course in Prague is fine.

The Oxford Seminars on-line/short course that is heavily marketed in North America is substandard for the European region, as is any course that is not 100+ hours on site.

The names can be confusing.
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paginatres



Joined: 14 Jun 2009
Posts: 3
Location: TX

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral---that is extremely helpful; much appreciated. Yes, I was thinking of heading back to the states after certification and waiting til I secure a job to head back, but this seems rather roundabout, though it could be one of the better options. Are you saying the ideal time to actually get certified there would be in early fall?

Also, that puts my mind at ease about the physical Oxford site Smile thanks again.

- Caitlin
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9317
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Contracts are September - June most often - this can mean early/late Sept - and I hear things are running on the 'later' side just now. So, August is the optimal time to get certification, if you want employment immediately after.
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paginatres



Joined: 14 Jun 2009
Posts: 3
Location: TX

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again spiral this has been a source of uncertainty for me for awhile now. I really appreciate the insight.
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