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Oxford School - 2018-03-04

Native speakers beware! There are many great schools out there to start or continue your career as a native speaker and this is not one of them. Do not let the charm of the owner fool you. He has no problem lying to you (or about you) and manipulating a situation in order to save his reputation. Trust me the owner has a reputation in this town and from my understanding it’s not a great one. The school is massively unorganized. There is one person that tries to keep it all together while the rest fail to do half of their duties. Straightforward communication does not exist. There is a lot of indirect and subtle messages that either you will pick up on or not. If you don’t well then its your problem and your fault. They will claim that they ‘tried to bring up the issue’. There is no such thing as confrontation or a proper meeting at this school. The staff (except for maybe one or two people) are generally not very friendly and there is little to no integration between native speakers and the rest of the staff. The DOS (director of studies) is usually in “la la land”, meaning she does not help you with anything. She is checked out and in her own little world. She ignores vital issues and avoids talking to people. The one thing that the DOS might do is suggest a textbook, but any guidance or training does not exist. If you ask for a meeting with her chances are it will not happen. She will promise in September to meet with you for the first couple months, once a week to help you and maybe one meeting will happen. However, after that one meeting do not expect anymore. Also, she never truly answers your questions. The DOS is supposed to be a people person and helpful, she is far from that, at least from what I have experienced. Many of the students that attend this school are not motivated to learn or to try to participate during classes. So good luck, trying to find methods and materials that will actually excite them. There is a huge problem with cynicism amongst these kids.

Females also beware that if you have male adult students there is a sexism issue that exists in this country. Some of the comments are vastly inappropriate. They will either be ‘in love’ with you (how you look) or they will think that as woman you have no business trying to teach them anything. Not to mention that sometimes the owner makes comments that perhaps could be seen as harassment in countries such as the US, UK or Canada.

Now onto the pay, yes you have a steady salary. However in Poland tax is about 20% so a lot of your paycheck goes towards that. Also, chances are you will have about 30 to 35 hours a week (teaching hours). When you compare that to your salary that means you are under paid and overworked. The owner may tell you that his intention is not to work you to the ground but the truth is some day’s that’s what it feels like. You will find yourself working 12-hour days with maybe an hour or two break in between lessons. Some lessons will be as early as 7am and your day may not finish till about 8:30pm, so its not like the job post says. Also do not count on free polish or Russian lessons, there is nothing like that organized for native speakers. The owner will tell you that he does not know and you have to figure it out on your own. So don’t be naïve in thinking that you will learn the polish language. They do not even show the native speakers around town, meaning if you don’t go out on your own and Google things, chances are you won’t see anything. This town is small and quiet so there is not much to see but they don’t even show you what there is. The native speakers live in all different areas of town so sometimes it’s really lonely and isolating. The school does nothing to help with that either. The point is if you can find a better place to teach, do it because chances are you will regret working for this school.

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