Teaching English in Poland

Teaching English in Poland is quite popular. Originally it was where many of the less experienced teachers went to teach, but many liked the country and stayed. So now there's the usual mix of new and experienced EFL teachers.

The students are, in general, keen to learn English. Although the pay is generally low, so is the cost of living, and many TEFL jobs in Poland offer free accommodation.

The major locations for teaching English in Poland are Warsaw, Wroclaw and Krakow. However, there are possibilities for finding jobs outside of these cities. In fact it may be easier for newly qualified teachers to find their first TEFL job outside of these cities where there is less competition. 

Teaching English in Poland – Jobs & Salaries

The vast majority of TEFL jobs in Poland are with private language schools, and there is quite a large market for adult classes. A degree and TEFL certificate are usually asked for, but a certificate is not always necessary. However, the standards are quite high in Poland, so you need to learn how to teach, even if you don't have any tefl certification.

If you have state recognized teaching certification, you may be able to get work in public schools, although the pay is not generally so high. There are other advantages to working in the public system though, and you will get to know the local community better than if you only worked in private language schools.

There is also some work teaching private students. This can help to top up your main salary. A few teachers earn most of their money from privates, but it is not a reliable way as students do cancel quite often. To make money teaching freelance you need a good business sense, some knowledge of Polish, and experience. There is also some work teaching in-company classes, but this is difficult to find. Speaking Polish would definitely help here.

A great many private language schools advertise online for TEFL jobs in Poland. However, many more can be found when in the country. The disadvantage is that you would need to take enough money to survive for 2 or 3 months, and you cannot know for certain whether you will find work. Although the chances are high that you will, if you are determined.

Salaries vary from around 4,000PLN to 6,000PLN, although I've seen advertised TEFL jobs in Poland for less. Many schools include accommodation, which improves the situation. It's unlikely you will save very much teaching English in Poland, but you should make enough to have an enjoyable experience. It's worth noting that some teachers, as always, earn much more.

Jobs in Warsaw generally pay more, and schools like the British Council (which require a minimum of 2 years experience and CELTA) pay more – quite a lot more than the lower end of the market.

If you are experienced and qualified to DELTA or MA (TESOL), you will not find many jobs which reward you appropriately. Expect a very minimal pay increase, at the most. But with a masters you might be able to get a (more comfortable) job in a university (and fill up with part-time work) which pays a salary for 12 months of the year, even through the 4 months or so of vacation time. 

Living in Poland

Many teachers recommend teaching English in Poland, despite the relatively low salaries. Finding TEFL jobs here is relatively easy (compared to say Spain or Italy), students are motivated, and there is a larger market for adult English classes than in many other countries. These are some of the reasons why teaching English in Poland is popular. Many of the cities appear drab, but there are beautiful places, both in the cities, and in the countryside. Poland has good possibilities for hiking, and it still has European bison, wolves and moose. Polish is the 3rd most commonly spoken Slavic language, and a hard one to learn. It is not necessary to learn the language if you live in the city, but learning some will make life easier in some ways. If you feel like the challenge there are many institutions offering Polish courses, and also opportunities to find people willing to do a language exchange.

Woods in Poland

teaching english overseas