Teaching English in Prague, Czech Republic (February 18th, 2012)
I teach private and group business English classes in Prague. I work for two companies. Here is some information on teaching English in Prague that you may find useful if you are interested in doing something similar.
The Czech Republic is not a place to get rich or pay off your student loan. Living costs are relatively low but so is the pay.
My employers divide classes into 45-minute units. A typical class is 1.5 hours, meaning 2 units.
1 unit = approximately 180-250 CZK (depending on your qualifications)
So a 1.5 hour class will pay you 360-500 CZK (= 18-26 USD)
Most teachers teach 20-25 hours per week, depending on their motivation. This could mean 15,600CZK a month (at 180czk for 20 hours) or 27,083 (at 250czk for 25 hours). You can make more by working more or getting your own private students and charging them more.
All the teachers I know get paid on a per class basis. Full-time contracts also exist at some places. When I had just arrived, I had an offer (which I did not take) from a company for a full-time teaching contract (22 hours a week at this place) for roughly 22,000 CZK.
- Most schools have a 24-hour cancellation policy. This is good.
- In my experience, travel time and costs are not included in pay.
- Most business classes are in the morning (7:30-9am’ish) or after work (5-6:30). Czechs like their weekends, so there aren’t classes on weekends generally.
A lot of people come here, take a TEFL course, and then begin teaching.
Certification is important here. Most schools require university education and a certificate (e.g. TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA) to hire you. If you have a degree in something teaching-related, I believe the certificate can by bypassed. I have heard that law-abiding schools need this documentation to prove you are a qualified teacher. With that said, I do not have any teaching certification. However, I do have six years of experience and a master degree (in philosophy). I have been fine so far.
- Beware of summer: many students take the summer off, which means no class (= no pay) for you in July and August. I no longer take on new classes that don’t continue through the summer.
- Don’t suck: if you’ve taught in Japan or Korea, you’ll have met plenty of teachers who got by with no preparation and very little effort. Western students demand more. They don’t want to hear you talk for 80% of the class about your trip to Thailand. Be prepared to prepare and engage the student. You’ll also need a firm grasp of English grammar. I imagine a TEFL course can give you this.
- Rent in Prague: beer and bread are cheap; rent isn’t. Rent in the trendier areas of Prague is typically 9,500-12000kr for a one-bedroom or studio place. This can be HALF your teaching salary! If you want to save money instead of barely breaking even every month, seek cheaper or shared accommodation.
Those are my two cents. For more information on teaching English in Prague or elsewhere in the Czech Republic, this forum on expats.cz has a variety of threads: http://www.expats.cz/prague/f-5.html
– Matthew Barton / Englishcurrent.com