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How's it going? Jak tam?

 
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stasiu of liberty



Joined: 26 Sep 2010
Posts: 31
Location: Kraków

PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:31 pm    Post subject: How's it going? Jak tam? Reply with quote

Hello Friends! Hopefully 2019 has been good to you. Friday I got a 'maybe' lesson, and 2 confirmed lessons on Saturday. Ending the year tonite at a private 'Sylwester' party with a solo vocal/guitar jazz performance.

Last edited by stasiu of liberty on Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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stasiu of liberty



Joined: 26 Sep 2010
Posts: 31
Location: Kraków

PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HAPPY NEW YEAR! WESOƁEGO NOWEGO ROKU! CHEERS!
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depechemodefan1966



Joined: 31 Jan 2015
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And a jolly Happy New Year to you too and all on here!

Have a great 2020, Guys!
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stasiu of liberty



Joined: 26 Sep 2010
Posts: 31
Location: Kraków

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SIDE PROJECTS!

My band's debut CD has gotten airplay on 4 Polish radio stations. It recently received a "...very good..."(bardzo dobre) review in a national music quarterly. So...It's lookin' pretty darn good for a native-speaker teacher who started from scratch 10 years ago! Wait till my books get published! Lol! Na zdrowie! Cheers Y'all!
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stasiu of liberty



Joined: 26 Sep 2010
Posts: 31
Location: Kraków

PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2020 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schools are closed for at least 2 weeks, or until further notice. Corporate clients are open to on-line lessons. New virus times. How are you holding up?
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1650
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:31 am    Post subject: hmmm Reply with quote

I'm holding up well, precisely because I don't teach in Poland lol! TBH, something like this just highlights how precarious a TEFL teacher's life can be and that goes for anywhere more or less. It's hard enough trying to scratch a living in Poland without all this. I think quite a few people will be living on Goracy Kubeks for a while. I'm wondering how a few of my old mates will cope with staying in. I remember how boring Christmas/All Souls Day used to be there when EVERYTHING was closed, some years back. Then again, Bydgoszcz was closed on Sundays until 6pm when I lived there 24 years ago.

I'll be coming home soon I reckon and I think online teaching is the way to go Corona virus or not. Must say, my wife's looking forward to our return more than me.
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depechemodefan1966



Joined: 31 Jan 2015
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree with Dragonpiwo. For years now, Poland has been tough to make a decent salary and make any savings because of the stagnant salaries, but ever-increasing prices.

I'm just glad I'm not teaching there anymore. I know Poland's coronavirus count is pretty low compared to the Spains and Italys of Europe, but still enough to force the closure of private language schools.

I don't suppose any of these schools are going to have a heart and still pay their teachers. It's going to be a financial disaster for those who are hourly paid, and just coming after the two-week winter break too. I genuinely feel sorry for the ones who are on their own, with rent to pay. It might be a little easier if teachers have a partner's salary coming in to keep on going, but I would be living in a cardboard box if I was there now.

I worked six hours last week, but will still get paid for the 25 I am contracted to do.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1650
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:58 am    Post subject: yup Reply with quote

Even getting paid for the work you've done in Poland can be a hassle unless you work for a uni. Language schools and I mean all of them, are as shady as feck there. Over the years, I've had to do a few months here and a few months there in between contracts in the Middle East. I had to get a lawyer to get paid by Empik Poznan. They hadn't paid me after more than 2 months. Profilingua , threatened to take me to court when I resigned during the winter break and get this, said they would claim compensation for me not completing the second semester's classes for every hour not taught at a rate which was double the hourly rate they were paying me. Obviously, it was an empty threat but it shows the mindset. Going back to Empik, it looks like they've outsourced the whole payroll thing and you work for them via Twoj Start Up, which then sends you a bill!! You're not self-employed if you're being directed by a school what, when and where to teach. I think Empik and Speak Up are owned by the same people but I could be wrong. When I worked for IH Bydgoszcz, they were doing something wholly wrong and abusing the UK and Polish tax systems. Nope, the lot are appalling.
Uni jobs are steady and the hours way lower but the wages are crap.
Privates and online are the way to go but set up costs and initial survival funds are prohibitive for most, especially if single.
I'd write EFL Poland off completely as an utter waste of time if it's your only source of income.
On the other hand, some of my pals who are now translators, are making a decent living.
Others seem to survive by having married well in Poland (free house/Polish wife with well-to-do parents etc) or by the bank of mum and dad.
My house and flat are there but I'd much rather live in Thailand. Alas, the wife would never let it happen.
The economic reality of Poland has seen the culling of a lot of the single teachers in recent years. Just in Poz, I can think of quite a few and I hardly know any there relatively speaking. I'm sure my teacher pals know of way more farewells. However, corona adds a new world of financial pain for the free lancers and hourly paid, so inevitably more will leave.
Having done a lot of travelling and enjoyed amazing places, beaches, nature, hotels, restaurants etc etc, I really can't think of 1 good reason to be starting off as an EFL teacher in Poland in 2020 and by that I mean going there to start teaching as a new or experienced teacher if it's your sole source of income.
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Blackbear



Joined: 20 Jan 2013
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2020 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, dragonpiwo, you are certainly telling everyone about the reality of ESL work in Poland. COVID-19 has certainly complicated life for everyone - and not only in Poland Crying or Very sad
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depechemodefan1966



Joined: 31 Jan 2015
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for what dragonpiwo reported in his most recent post, I have been lucky with schools, even in Bydgoszcz where he previously lived and worked. Apart from short stints in Katowice and Krakow, Bydgoszcz is the city where I spent 7 out of the last 11 years working. I have to admit I never came across any shady school. Sure, I had directors who thought they could take the piss and get me to do a lot of things for nothing, such as free meetings, running all over the place and not getting paid for it, but I soon let them know that I was not going to be treated in the same manner as the Polish teachers. As for my pay, that was always paid on time. I never had to threaten anyone with solicitors.

The only time I didn't get paid was with one of my first schools in Bydgoszcz. I had only been at this particular school for a couple of weeks and when the pay was due, it didn't come. The management told us "a couple of days". After the second "a couple of days", I walked. Despite my colleagues and management trying to convince me otherwise, it wasn't going to happen as it was obvious the school was in trouble and it was only a matter of time before it closed. I cut my losses and wrote it off as a bad experience. It wasn't a disaster as I was already working at Empik and The British School and quickly got a job at a third school.

I didn't bother with solicitors to try and get my pay. It was only two weeks and given Poland's legal system, it would have been such a long drawn-out process that by the time any result came from it, I would have forgotten all about it. There was no guarantee I was going to get my money anyway.

In those days I was working at three schools in Bydgoszcz, all central and fairly close distance to my flat. Back then, the pay was very good by Polish standards and the prices were still fairly cheap. I had money rolling in left and right. The salary from one school paid my rent. My pay from the other two schools was mine. By the time summer 2011 came and we had finished, I was able to give my landlord 4 months rent in advance, and I still had plenty of money left over to have a good summer holiday of travel and taking it easy. Nowadays, I would need to work at three schools just to live, given how salaries have more-or-less stayed the same, but prices certainly haven't.

No, I'm afraid Poland, as much as I love the country, Bydgoszcz and have met some lovely people and made some good friends, is I think, finished for me as far as working there is concerned.

Virus, or no virus, good luck to anyone thinking of working there now.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1650
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:57 am    Post subject: Bydgoszcz Reply with quote

I worked for IH in Bydgoszcz 25 years ago. The money was and still is appalling. However, I had a lot of fun in what can only be described as' one of Poland's less attractive' cities. Of course EU money has spruced it up a bit. I think we went to Mosg just about every night. It was an arty, boho, unique smoky great place to get steadily sloshed in. 10.5 was our other regular drinking den and the open mic night was pretty fun. I had the good fortune of working with some real characters, one of whom I'm still friends with all these years later. I can see why you liked the place but I was glad to move on to Poz at the end of that year. It had gotten to be a bit boring to use an Americanism.
Even out here in the ME, we know several people from Bydgoszcz, Before I taught there, I'd never heard of the place.
There are many things about modern Poland I don't like. Me and the missus like restaurants and travelling. I've stayed in dozens and dozens of hotels in Poland and eaten in literally 100s of restaurants and the quality is mostly lacking and the prices are daft. Hotels cost more in Sopot than Dubai FFS.
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