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Anybody in Warsaw just now?
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iknowwhatiamtalkingabout



Joined: 02 Sep 2011
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:10 pm    Post subject: Anybody in Warsaw just now? Reply with quote

Was talking to a mate of mine at work today about future plans. We both used to work in Poland and both enjoyed it. We're both in Asia now making better money and saving pretty well and we both fancy the idea of a return to Poland at some point.

It's more pressing for him than me as he's a year ahead of me in terms of finishing the contract here, but I'd appreciate any brand new up to date information on Warsaw. General info on availability of work, rent costs, average pay per 45 etc. Anything to help me do some sums.

As I said above, I'm saving pretty well now so would have plenty of start up cash.

What do the Warsaw people reckon the situation would be for a DELTA qualified teacher with 7 years experience? I've got no kids or anything daft like that.

Like I said, it's not something I'll be doing tomorrow, but would like to know the situation on the ground. I know there are some Warsaw threads, but would like something bang up to date.

Cheers.

EDIT: I should add that I am a British national, so no visa issues etc.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 966
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off, the tefl-ing situation hasn't changed too much in Warsaw in the last couple years, so older posts about Warsaw should still be relevant.

I've heard rumors that this fall has been particularly cutthroat between language schools, but so far this hasn't affected me or anyone I know.

There is still plenty of work in Warsaw. You should be able to fill a 20-30 hour weekly schedule with lessons paying 60zl/60 min. net and up relatively easily. There are schools which pay significantly more than this, but they're likely be stingy with hours until you've proven yourself. Since your experience is in Asia, some schools may be cautious at first. Teaching in Asia is thought to be pretty micky-mouse here.

Private students are still easy to come by.

With your experience and DELTA, most schools will be interested in you. But whether they're willing to shell out and pay you a higher rate is another story!

Apartments in the center are expensive - 1,500 a month and up for anything decent which isn't a shoe box. Further afield prices are more reasonable, for example across the river in Praga where I'm living now.

See this site for more info:

http://www.teachingenglishinpoland.com/qualificationandsexperience.html
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iknowwhatiamtalkingabout



Joined: 02 Sep 2011
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers.

Most of my experience isn't in Asia, most of it is in Poland. I've been in Asia working for the BC for a couple of years, but was in Poland for 5 before that. Lived in a couple of places in Poland and I'm ok at the local excuse for a language, so I don't see returning as much of a risk. Just trying to work out if I can make it work financially.

Sounds ok to me. May well give it a bash next September. Might as well have a go.

Thanks for your contribution. The most recent Warsaw thread seemed to get off topic quite quickly, so just wanted an update.
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 515

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll be inundated with work if you "do" kids. If your worth your salt with the kiddies at one of the private kindergartens or elementary schools it won't be long before parents start asking you to teach the kiddies privately. You can usually pull prices out of the sky for these lessons, get a small group of them together (not too difficult as the parents usually know one another) and really rake it in. I know that teaching kids is daunting though.
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iknowwhatiamtalkingabout



Joined: 02 Sep 2011
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparks wrote:
You'll be inundated with work if you "do" kids. If your worth your salt with the kiddies at one of the private kindergartens or elementary schools it won't be long before parents start asking you to teach the kiddies privately. You can usually pull prices out of the sky for these lessons, get a small group of them together (not too difficult as the parents usually know one another) and really rake it in. I know that teaching kids is daunting though.


That's great news. Teaching kids has been a good chunk of my timetable every year so far. I enjoy it much more than I thought I would before I started and I'm quite good at it.

Thanks for your help.
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delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 543

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparks wrote:
You'll be inundated with work if you "do" kids. If your worth your salt with the kiddies at one of the private kindergartens or elementary schools it won't be long before parents start asking you to teach the kiddies privately. You can usually pull prices out of the sky for these lessons, get a small group of them together (not too difficult as the parents usually know one another) and really rake it in. I know that teaching kids is daunting though.


I can vouch for this - I get enquiries almost every week about classes for kids and their parents.

Teaching kids is really something you can either do or can't do - you can't learn it, I think. The only real issue with them is that if you teach them privately, the parents will often have totally unrealistic expectations as to what you can do for them. But yes - you can certainly name your price - I negotiated once 100zl (for a friend of mine - she gave me 20zl and kept 80zl) an hour to teach a bloody 18 month old.

Worth pointing out however that it is a lot of responsibility - parents are much more demanding when their kids are involved than as students themselves.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 966
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

delphian-domine wrote:
Teaching kids is really something you can either do or can't do - you can't learn it, I think. The only real issue with them is that if you teach them privately, the parents will often have totally unrealistic expectations as to what you can do for them. But yes - you can certainly name your price - I negotiated once 100zl (for a friend of mine - she gave me 20zl and kept 80zl) an hour to teach a bloody 18 month old.

Worth pointing out however that it is a lot of responsibility - parents are much more demanding when their kids are involved than as students themselves.

I don't believe there are some people who simply can't teach kids. Anyone can do it if they really want to and put in the effort to learn how.

As for the responsibility, it really depends on the parents - some are quite happy for you to play games in English for 90 min, others want the moon on a stick.

But sparks is right about being inundated with work if you teach kids. I've been teaching more and more teens and kids over the last few years. They're 80% of my timetable now.
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john123



Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite good at teaching kids - look at his profile username... There is nothing to be good at.

I believe that people who say they like teaching kids are usually naff teachers.
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the_roads_of_poland



Joined: 22 Oct 2012
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

john123 wrote:


I believe that people who say they like teaching kids are usually naff teachers.


Personal experience has taught me the same. But the market is very lucrative, that's for sure.
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iknowwhatiamtalkingabout



Joined: 02 Sep 2011
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

john123 wrote:
Quite good at teaching kids - look at his profile username... There is nothing to be good at.

I believe that people who say they like teaching kids are usually naff teachers.


Oh my, not sure what brought on this completely unwarranted attack on my teaching skills.

Does being good at teaching kids make me a bad teacher? I teach older people as well, you know.

What a strange thing to say to a complete stranger.
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john123



Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With regard to your comment about being 'good at' teaching kids.

From my own personal experience, there is nothing to be 'good at'. How many times can you go through present simple and basic vocabulary and think that you are bad? You may well be a decent teacher, but I have noticed that the overwhelming majority of clowns who prefer to teach kids are naff teachers.

I remember a real bummer who I used to teach with in a northern town. He used to roll up before his kids' classes in his jeans and shout about how much he loves teaching the little ones. This was because teaching advanced and business classes was too intellectually challenging for him.
I made a decision after leaving this place. No more kids, not ever - unless their parents actually pay me for the dissatisfaction and teach them privately for over 70zl an hour.

Also, you know your situation will be quite good with a DELTA and seven years' experience so seeking confirmation on here is a touch boastful.

Regards

John.
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delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 543

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:
I don't believe there are some people who simply can't teach kids. Anyone can do it if they really want to and put in the effort to learn how.


I should qualify the statement more - I'm talking about kids at primary school/younger. I'm convinced that if you don't have "it", then you'll never be good - there's just a certain way of being, a certain personality needed. Sure, anyone can sing songs and press "play" on the CD player, but to be good?

Quote:
As for the responsibility, it really depends on the parents - some are quite happy for you to play games in English for 90 min, others want the moon on a stick.


That's probably one of the most important things - not being afraid to say "no" to them. I heard of one particular horror story where the mother sat and interrupted constantly when she felt that it wasn't 'appropriate' - no amount of money can make that worthwhile.

Quote:
But sparks is right about being inundated with work if you teach kids. I've been teaching more and more teens and kids over the last few years. They're 80% of my timetable now.


He's absolutely spot on. English teaching is becoming like an arms race - parents are seeing that it's no good to learn as adults, so they're throwing money at kids.

There's absolutely no reason why someone in a major city couldn't put together 20+ hours a week of merely teaching kids privately combined with corporate classes in the morning.

[quote=john123]From my own personal experience, there is nothing to be 'good at'. How many times can you go through present simple and basic vocabulary and think that you are bad? You may well be a decent teacher, but I have noticed that the overwhelming majority of clowns who prefer to teach kids are naff teachers. [/quote]

It depends - I have one kid that I teach as a favour to someone, and he started off absolutely terrified of English. After over a year of classes, he's now starting to enjoy it - but he still loathes English in school. That's where the skill comes in - a bad teacher would simply never manage to get through that.

A lot of it is having patience too - many people don't have it.

Quote:
I remember a real bummer who I used to teach with in a northern town. He used to roll up before his kids' classes in his jeans and shout about how much he loves teaching the little ones. This was because teaching advanced and business classes was too intellectually challenging for him.


I'm only talking about me - but I find teaching primary school kids far more interesting and challenging than adults. But then, I don't have a school director breathing down my neck constantly - I have total freedom with curriculum design and implementation within the constraints of the MEN.

One thing that should be pointed out - there are two very distinct groups of parents. One group will demand miracles and will be happy if their child can repeat things like a parrot (even if the child hasn't got a clue what's being said) - and the other group will understand that there are no quick results. Stay away from the first group like the plague - they are nothing but trouble. They're usually the same fools that think that sending their child to constant extra activities as well as school is good for the child's development - I mean, unstructured play? heaven forbid...

Adults - for me - drove me insane. There's only so many sulky IT types that I can handle. I used to teach two IT directors, and even they had the attitude that the people working for them were sulky, irritating people.
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iknowwhatiamtalkingabout



Joined: 02 Sep 2011
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

john123 wrote:
With regard to your comment about being 'good at' teaching kids.

From my own personal experience, there is nothing to be 'good at'. How many times can you go through present simple and basic vocabulary and think that you are bad? You may well be a decent teacher, but I have noticed that the overwhelming majority of clowns who prefer to teach kids are naff teachers.

I remember a real bummer who I used to teach with in a northern town. He used to roll up before his kids' classes in his jeans and shout about how much he loves teaching the little ones. This was because teaching advanced and business classes was too intellectually challenging for him.
I made a decision after leaving this place. No more kids, not ever - unless their parents actually pay me for the dissatisfaction and teach them privately for over 70zl an hour.

Also, you know your situation will be quite good with a DELTA and seven years' experience so seeking confirmation on here is a touch boastful.

Regards

John.


You having a bad day?

I never said I prefer to teach kids. I don't, I prefer to teach adults. However, I also enjoy teaching kids. Many people don't.

I think your assertion that there is nothing to be good at when it comes to teaching kids is complete nonsense.

As for being boastful, if you think coming on an anonymous message board can possibly be 'boastful' then you have a strange understanding of the word.

My original post is quite clear. I'm looking for help to do sums to work out whether Warsaw would be worthwhile for me. My qualifications and experience are obviously relevant to my post since I'm looking for help with likely pay. Am I meant to ask for advice and keep my experience etc a secret?

I really don't see your problem.
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delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 543

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iknowwhatiamtalkingabout wrote:
However, I also enjoy teaching kids. Many people don't.

I think your assertion that there is nothing to be good at when it comes to teaching kids is complete nonsense.


I think you either enjoy it (and it shows) or you don't. If you don't, you'll be found out pretty quickly by the parents - not least because you won't be able to tell them what they need to know/hear.

As for there being nothing to be good at - sure, if the kid is bright and interested. Different story if the kid is scared/etc.
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john123



Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps I am just too serious to be throwing teddy bears around the classroom and smiling to keep bums on seats for the private school profiteers - so forgive me Iknowwhatiamtalkingabout. I see your point.

To continue the debate, I think that deluded parents need to take a long look at themselves before sending their kids to private school. I was lumped with a group of five year old children a few years ago whose parents knew full well that they were crawling around the classroom. Why on earth would I waste my energy and retrieve the horrors from under the table? This is the problem. Parents seeking to give their kids a head-start with English are damaging their wallets and their kids. They come to class to be entertained 'by a native'. This is not teaching, and the sooner us 'natives' realise this - the better. The same with unfocused primary school kids. Send them to do sport. Not to learn English.
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