We are looking for enthusiastic teachers interested in developing professionally to join our successful school, which is currently celebrating its 25th birthday. With a strong development program, particularly for recently-qualified teachers, and a cooperative and supportive teaching and administration team, IH Bydgoszcz is a great school to work at. Our school was rated as excellent in many categories (including teaching, systems and procedures and the professional development available) in its last IH inspection, and we aim to maintain these standards for the benefit of both teachers and students.
Teacher development programme
- One-week of paid induction, including a range of workshops
- Weekly collaborative planning meetings (known as 'level meetings') run by senior staff for all teachers working at the same level, particularly focussing on troublesome language areas, and introducing new activities for teachers to try out
- Weekly general workshops covering a range of topics, selected from priority areas identified by the teaching team (obligatory for those new to the school, optional later)
- Weekly professional development group for more experienced teachers, based on self-selected action points, with support from senior staff to develop them
- Free attendance at two full-day Teacher Training Days each academic year, with the chance to present at them too
- At least three formal developmental observations by senior staff a year, plus extra if requested
- Drop-in observations of all classes (10-20 minutes each)
- Opportunities to arrange peer observations
- High levels of support from senior staff and colleagues, particularly for groups/levels and administration requirements you may not be familiar with
- The school is an approved IHCYLT training centre (IH Certificate in Teaching Younger Learners and Teenagers), and teachers returning may be given the chance to do a two-week intensive IHCYLT with us in September. The course is free if the teacher passes and completes their contract of employment, though teachers do need to cover the cost of the certificate itself.
- For more experienced teachers, there may also be the chance to the do the IH Certificate in Advanced Methodology (IH CAM)
- Basic Polish lessons, one hour once a week for the first year
What your timetable might look like
Your timetable will be a mix of classes, covering some or all of the following profiles:
- very young learners (4-6)
- young learners (7-11)
- teens (11-15)
- adults (16+)
- Cambridge First and Advanced exam preparation (14+)
- 121 students and small closed groups (up to 4 students)
- business classes, mostly in company
You will generally teach up to 24 teaching hours (19 clock hours) in any one week, with the possible addition of cover classes if other staff are off, up to a maximum of 28 teaching hours. Basic salary is paid regardless of hours worked, and there is also the possibility of overtime if necessary.
Monday to Thursday: most commonly 3 x 90 minute classes, 15:40-21:00, or one class (generally 121) in the morning and two in the afternoon, 15:40-19:15. Some teachers may start as early as 07:00, but this is rare. Any teacher working outside an 11-hour timeband is paid an increment (e.g. if you start at 08:00 and finish after 19:00). You can expect to attend 2-4 level meetings each week, spread out across the four days as far as possible. Most level meetings happen between 1100 and 1300, and they last one hour each.
Some of these classes are offsite, either in company or in satellite schools. Travel time is paid, and wherever possible you will be driven to offsite classes. The majority of teachers should expect to have some travel in their timetables.
Friday: Most teachers only have one or two classes on a Friday, the majority of these being 121 or conversation classes. Very few of these are off-site. There is a 30-minute administrative meeting for all teachers, and most professional development sessions happen on Fridays. Classes finish by 19:15.
Weekends: There are one or two Saturday classes, which are voluntary and are paid on top of your main salary.
Teacher Training Days are on Saturdays, twice a year. We also require teachers to participate in our social programme for students, which takes up approximately three Friday evenings and three Saturday mornings throughout the year. There is no extra pay for either of these, but they're great fun and students and teachers get a lot out of them!
If you teach a Cambridge exam class, you will also be involved in running mock exams for one weekend, which is paid extra.
Other administration requirements
As with any school, working with us isn't just about what happens in the classroom. We expect a lot of our teachers, including, but not limited to:
- Keeping online registers up-to-date
- Setting and marking homework for every lesson
- Setting and marking continual assessment in all skill and language areas
- Writing reports for all students twice a year
- Alerting senior staff to any problems there may be, informally through discussion, and formally through an online reporting system
At times, you may also be asked to teach additional 25-minute tutorials for students who are struggling. You will be given support for this.
- All teachers returning to IH Bydgoszcz receive a monthly increment of 10% on top of their basic salary.
- All EU citizens are eligible for national healthcare under the Polish health system. However, the school may also cover the cost of private healthcare arrangements at its own discretion. Teachers MUST bring a valid European Health Card with them. The cost of medication and dental care are not covered.
- Holiday dates will be confirmed on your contract. They include approximately two weeks at Christmas, six days at Easter, plus national holidays in October, November, May and June. There is also a two-week Winter Break in February which most teachers take, though we normally ask for one or two volunteers to work during this period to cover 121 and business classes.
- Approximately four weeks pro-rata holiday pay is given at the end of the contract if you work Winter Break. If you don't, you get two weeks holiday pay. Pro-rata is calculated on a ten-month basis: 1 Sept.– 30 June.
- Every year, one or two of our teachers have the opportunity to work on our 10-day summer school in Poland at the end of June, either in the mountains or by the sea.
- Accommodation is provided in addition to the salary and extra payments detailed in this advert. Due to the low cost of living in Poland, it is enough to live on here, and you can even save some money if you are careful. However, we are not a good school to apply for if you have a lot of debts or expect to have high travel costs. Please check Rome2Rio to find out approximate travel costs for your journey to and from the city. We will only cover the equivalent cost of a return flight from London to Bydgoszcz each year. If this will be a problem for you, please do not apply.
Bydgoszcz is in the north of Poland, with excellent transport links to the rest of Europe, including an international airport with direct flights to London Stansted, Birmingham and Frankfurt, making it a good base to explore from. It is also within easy reach of airports in Gdansk, Poznan and Warsaw by bus and train.
The city has about 360,000 people, with nightlife, cinemas and more shopping malls than any town this size really needs. It is well-known for its beautiful parks, including one next door to the school and another to the north of the city, which is the largest city park in Poland. It is especially attractive in the spring.
Few people dream of Poland as the place they want to end up once they've qualified as an EFL teacher. Fewer still have heard of our city, and even fewer can pronounce it (here's some help!), but everyone who lives here comes to appreciate how liveable it is as a city, and how great it is as a base for exploration of the rest of Poland and Europe.
Our school is a demanding place to work, but it is also incredibly rewarding, and we hope it will stand you in good stead for the rest of your teaching career. If you think you meet all of our requirements, why not give us a try? You won't regret it!
To apply, please send a CV and covering email to firstname.lastname@example.org.