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Best of the worst

 
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Beechouse



Joined: 31 Dec 2012
Posts: 11
Location: New Orleans, LA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:11 pm    Post subject: Best of the worst Reply with quote

Hello everybody!

I have been hovering around these forums for awhile now, and I have decided to finally post my question. I am wanting to head back to Russia. I studied at the Moscow Art Theatre in 2007, and I think I left my heart in Moscow...

I am taking the CELTA course in April. I have done a lot of research on English schools, programs, etc. in Moscow and St. Petersburg. I have decided that a McSchool is most likely the best way for me to go and get my feet wet before I am comfortable venturing off on my own.

My question is what is the best of the worst in regards to the McSchool? Reading other posts and forums, there are just negative things about each and every one of them.

Now I know each experience is what you make it, and it depends on the other teachers, etc. I'm just looking for an overall answer. If you aren't comfortable posting the names publicly, you can always PM me! Thanks!
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 11724
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ask Sashadroogie. He is our leading cadre.
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RoscoeTX



Joined: 06 Jul 2012
Posts: 56
Location: Moscow, Russia

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Howdy Beech,

I've had the pleasure of working in Moscow for over 4 years now which definitely has had its ups and downs and most TEFLers can attest to.

But I'm not sure if you really have to settle for a McSchool....I personally can't say much about those schools because I've never worked for any of them but I have read some of the same horror stories as you here.

Anyways, you should check out the expat.ru site...there was a school I worked for when I started off which was not too bad at all. It is called Modern English school and their main school is located in Khimki, I think they have 2 or 3 locations now and they teach also incompany now. Anyways, it's a decent outfit, average to above average pay, no excessive hours, no visa dispute issues or lies, the owner is not "evil or soulless" and it tends to have more of a family atmosphere amongst the teachers..atleast when i was there. They have a listing on expat.ru....their actual site is www.meschool.ru.....i believe.

The thing though is I applied for the job while i was already here in Moscow. And at that time I didn't have a CELTA or much of any experience teaching ESL. I know they did hire some teachers that were not in Moscow at the time, so you can give'em a shot...Would be a good place to start out...was for me.

Long story short, don't know if you have to settle, especially if you end up getting screwed to put it bluntly, thus ruining your return and making your life miserable. Plus you will have your CELTA, so definitely I wouldn't settle....Check out expat.ru and possibly redtape.ru....

Good luck on your search and on your eventual return!

Roscoetx
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Beechouse



Joined: 31 Dec 2012
Posts: 11
Location: New Orleans, LA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Roscoetx! I will most definitely look into that. You gave me some good advice. I agree with you about not having to settle. I'm new to this whole TEFL thing, so all the advice I can get is very much appreciated. Plus, when I get to Russia, hopefully I'll have people to talk to already!
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RoscoeTX



Joined: 06 Jul 2012
Posts: 56
Location: Moscow, Russia

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problem! I can also advise to stay away from "General Linguistic School" www.gling.ru. It is a very small school with one location in the center of Moscow. The DOS at that time was quite nice and helpful, but the management was atrocious, manipulative, and clueless. Even though it was mostly a negative experience, I still took away some nuggets of knowledge and made some good contacts for my now current job.

If you have any other questions about the TEFL game here in Moscow PM me or post...and I will try to get back in a timely manner. While I'm not the leading expert or anything, i'll be happy to put in my two cents. Hopefully some other posters can ring in and give you some advice too...

luck!
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8640
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BKC. Slightly less crappy than the other Macs, in that they have some sort of teacher support. You could even do the Celta with them.
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Beechouse



Joined: 31 Dec 2012
Posts: 11
Location: New Orleans, LA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks RoscoeTX! I will keep you in mind if I have other questions and whatnot. I did look at Modern English and I like what I see.

Thanks for the reply Sashadroogie. I've been waiting to hear from you and what your thoughts are. If I didn't want to do a McSchool, do you have any advice on where else I can start?
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8640
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are many little outfits operating in Moscow - seem to be shooting up every week. They seem more geared towards Russian teachers, or expats well-established. They offer better terms and conditions in some ways, especially salary. However, they do not offer much in the way of pastoral support - i. e. providing a flat, or even just help with finding a flat; setting up a own bank account; helping you to find your way about the city, and use public transport without baby-handling; training you how to teach effectively. And whatever else crops up, you'll most likely be on your own to deal with it.

All of which can be done of course, but I wouldn't recommend it. Especially if your Russian language skills are fairly low. That's why I always say go with an introductory McSchool. Safer in the end. Not stress-free, by any means, but at least there's a safety net and a built-in circle of ready-made contacts for future use.

Best of luck to you whichever way you go!

Sasha
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 950
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:33 pm    Post subject: Which way? Reply with quote

I agree with Sasha in principle:if you want to earn good money,your initial outlay will be high to get there and find accom. etc.If all goes well you will earn it back gradually,but be prepared for the worse case scenario when you might not do!The other route is the Mac Schools with more basics provided,but in return for other disadvantages.......you can read plenty about this often vented topic in many postings on this site over the years by myself and others who have been there and done it etc.
Overall remember that you are dealing with Russia where nothing is guaranteed, as a downside-but then everything is often possible there and some people find this part of the allure!
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