Teaching English In Poland: A Guide to Different Types of Schools
So you’ve decided to teach English in Poland! Poland has a lot to offer in terms of teaching and finding the best place to fit you and your teaching style is important – after all, it’s where you’ll be spending a lot of time! So let’s take a look at some of the most popular places native teachers find themselves.
Private Language Schools/Learning Centres
Private Language Schools are probably where most teachers will find themselves working for most, if not all, of their time teaching English in Poland. These are privately owned education centers, and usually offer a variety of languages, with English usually leading the way. You can expect hours to begin around 20-25 hours a week for full-time, with additional courses and classes probably popping up throughout the year.
In terms of classes and students, a lot of job postings will state teens and adults, and that tends to mean from around 11/12-year-olds all the way up to the oldest adult student wanting to learn! This will typically include a lot of general English, usually from B1 and above (although this could vary from school to school), possibly some business, and quite often exam preparation classes – the go-to in Poland being Cambridge exams and IELTS.
Remember, this is all speaking quite generally, and of course, all language schools vary in the demographic of students, learning focus, and methodology. Different schools will offer differing levels of flexibility when it comes to the curriculum, so if in doubt, ask! Your school is there to support you, and plenty provide ongoing teacher development as part of their offer.
Pre-Schools and Kindergartens
If you’re a natural with very young children, this could be the place for you! They all differ slightly in terms of hours and duties, but in general, you could be looking at a full-time role, between 6-7 hours a day, a monthly salary, with varying shift patterns. As to be expected, high energy and a super friendly personality is a must, and most kindergartens will want proven previous experience with children.
You’ll most likely be working with a team of other staff and probably be expected to jump into general tasks and care of the children. When it comes to ‘classes,’ expect lots of games, singing and jumping around – after all it is what kids of this age do best! A lot of kindergartens have adopted their own methodology that you should become familiar with, and this is perhaps a good thing to ask about at the interview stage.
Finally, kindergartens and pre-schools tend to run year-round, with possibly a couple of weeks break for summer, so if you are used to 3-month long summer breaks, bear this in mind when applying.
Universities, In-Company Teaching, or International Schools
It is possible for native teachers to secure work at such institutions, and indeed some of our Wizards have secured contracts with universities and international schools across Poland!
However, this is usually in some kind of teacher training capacity, and typically requires significant teaching experience and/or advanced degrees in teaching. It isn’t usually the type of job teachers walk into, so if you are quite early on in your teaching career, one of the previously discussed options is more likely for you. But on the flip side, if you do hold a Master’s Degree plus a few years experience, and are looking for a challenge, this may be an option for you.
In regards to business teaching, being a specialized area of English instruction, it requires specialized knowledge from the teacher. While it is definitely possible to secure in-company classes through your language school, being hired directly by a company is only likely for experienced and business-savvy teachers with proven experience.
What about state schools?
We should also probably point out a place where teachers probably won’t be working. As you can see above, there is definitely a significant choice in where to work, however, it is not the norm for teachers to work in state schools. This is a completely different teaching field, with different qualifications required, and there is not such a demand for native teachers in government-run schools.
The only exception to this could be that teachers might find themselves doing ad-hoc classes at a state school (guest appearances, if you will) arranged through a language school, but it is certainly not typical.
The most flexible for last! Private tutoring is a highly recommendable and practical way to max out your schedule. Convenient, and doable almost anywhere (whether online or in-person), this is a great way to boost your income and vary your teaching experiences. Check back soon for a dedicated blog post on how to market yourself as a private tutor in Poland!
So there you have it, the most popular places to teach English in Poland! Where do you see yourself working next?
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