EU passport holders only can be considered for this post due to visa and tax restrictions.
Full mastery of English across all 4 skills to CEFR C2/IELTS band 8 required, with clear evidence of a high level of written and spoken competence, including the ability to write for different internal and external audiences. This applies to both native and non-native applicants.
Does this describe you?
- You have at least three years of teaching experience across a range of ages and levels.
- You are interested in continuing to develop professionally.
- You would like to work at a demanding, but rewarding, school.
- You want to help newly-qualified teachers to build on the skills they have learnt in initial teacher training.
- You enjoy sharing ideas and materials with other teachers and seeing those teachers experiment with them.
- You are approachable, even when you're feeling under pressure.
- You can work with anybody, even the most annoying, frustrating people (which we all know teachers and students can be at times!), and keep your calm in public.
- You are patient, even when explaining the same thing for the tenth time.
- You want to improve your knowledge of how to help teachers develop through workshops, observations and a supportive management structure.
- You are able to listen to others and give feedback on their ideas in a positive manner.
- You can accept feedback and use it to continue to develop professionally.
If so, read on...
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.
You will be working closely with the Director of Studies and at least two senior teachers to provide support for our teaching team of approximately 20 teachers in order to ensure the smooth running of our successful school, which is currently celebrating its 25th birthday. No previous experience of management is required, though we do expect you to have a range of teaching experience covering different levels of young learners, teens, adults and 121s, as well as a proven track record of working on your own professional development, including having presented workshops for other teachers. Prior experience of observing other teachers and giving feedback is useful, but not essential.
Teacher development programme
You will be involved in running parts of this programme for our teachers - see below for details.
- One-week of paid induction, including a range of workshops. You will be fully responsible for coordinating induction week, having previously planned it with the rest of the senior team.
- 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. You will run up to four of these, for levels you teach wherever possible.
- Weekly general workshops covering a range of topics, selected from priority areas identified by the teaching team. The senior team will share the responsibility for presenting these.
- Weekly professional development group for more experienced teachers, based on self-selected action points, with support from senior staff to develop them. This is run by the DoS, and you will be able to participate if you choose to.
- Free attendance at two full-day Teacher Training Days each academic year, which you will be expected to present at. These are on Saturdays.
- At least three formal developmental observations of your own classes.
- Drop-in observations of all classes (10-20 minutes each)
- You should expect to do at least 9-12 drop ins and 4-5 observations in each round of observation.
- Teachers expect high levels of staffroom support from senior staff and colleagues, particularly for groups/levels and administration requirements they may not be familiar with. Together with the senior teachers, you will be their first port of call.
- 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. You are eligible for this if you do not already have it.
- 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 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)
You will generally teach up to 10 teaching hours (7.5 clock hours) in any one week, with the addition of cover classes if other staff are off. This will probably consist of two groups (each 2 x 90 minutes) and one 121 (1 x 90 minutes). Your lessons will generally finish by 19:15, though you may need to be in school until 21:00 for cover or observations. If you work outside an 11-hour timeband you will be paid an increment (e.g. if you start at 08:00 and finish after 19:00).
Basic salary is paid regardless of hours worked, and there is also overtime pay if necessary.
Most classes run 15:40-21:00 Monday to Thursday, and we expect all senior staff to be at school from about 10:00 every day to help teachers with their planning.
Most teachers only have one or two classes on a Friday, the majority of these being 121 or conversation classes. Classes finish by 19:15. This means it is often the busiest day for senior staff, as this is when teachers normally deal with any administrative and progress issues that have built up during the week. There is a 30-minute administrative meeting for all teachers run by the DoS, and most professional development sessions happen on Fridays.
You may occasionally be required to observe offsite. Travel time is paid, and wherever possible you will be driven to offsite classes.
The majority of your job will be outside the classroom. In addition to teacher support, which will make up the bulk of your job, you will be involved in the following:
- Keeping online registers up-to-date
- Setting and marking homework for every lesson
- Setting and marking continual assessment in all skill and language areas
- Attending weekly one-hour senior meetings
- Writing tests for formative and summative assessments for all levels you run the level meetings for
- Advising on and assisting in syllabus design and materials selection
- Advising teachers towards resolution of problems with groups/students, and keeping the DoS informed of serious or persistent problems. Advising teachers may include referring them to the DoS, or the Director when the DoS is not available.
- Assisting the DoS in the coordination of the social programme, currently consisting of two adult socials, two YL socials, one teen social, and one whole-school event. This entails working with other senior staff to mobilise teachers and ensure that ideas are generated and materials are produced, then make sure that the event runs smoothly on the day
- Assisting in the timetabling, coordinating and running of Cambridge English mock exams once a year
- Checking our spreadsheet to approve teacher communication to parents/students and let teachers know about responses to this communication.
- Report writing (mid-year and end-of-year)
- Checking reports written by other teachers to ensure consistency across the school
- Checking teachers fulfil administrative requirements
- Placement testing potential new students
- Advising and working with the DoS on timetabling and recruitment decisions
- Standing in for the DoS when necessary
- 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!