Russia needs people to teach English
Despite most Russians having studied English at school for at least 5 years, and many going on to learn it at university, the majority of Russians struggle to communicate in English. However, English is only getting more and more important for business people and desirable as Russians travel more and interact in the world.
Requirements to teach English in Russia
The official line is a TEFL qualification and a degree, but there is a shortage so there is work for non- qualified teachers who are willing to accept on the job training.
But there is an educational hierarchy of teachers in Russia, and qualified teachers are paid well and treated with respect, where as non-qualified native English speakers are used and abused.
If you have qualifications you can be selective, choose the classes that pay well, choose classes that are conveniently located and the students and styles of English that you like.
Where to find Russian teaching jobs
Moscow and St Petersburg offer European standard living for foreigners, crazy nightlife, frustrating traffic and plenty of jobs. Moscow can be extremely expensive if you don’t know the ropes but for Russians it’s generally cheaper than most of Europe.
Jobs in regional areas are unpredictable and can be uncomfortable. While it’s easy to find great Wi-Fi and central heating in St Petersburg and Moscow and life seems close to the rest of Europe, regional areas of Russia have been left behind to rot. Consider – 30 degree temperature and unreliable electricity and heating before you go.
It’s difficult generalize about Russia for its massive size and much of it is still unknown to Westerners but if you are a pioneer who seeks adventure over money, there are semi-volunteer organizations that will send to the Mongolian border, Siberia and perhaps even Kyrgyzstan and other ethnic regions.
You can find jobs teaching English in Russia on TeacherHit or you can go directly to the recruitment pages of the schools I’ve mentioned below.
When and How to Apply for jobs
It’s best to apply before you go. It’s not impossible to find a job while you are there but you might be looked at with suspicion and also it is hard to navigate the country without Russian help. In addition, they do not generally advertise within the country for teachers.
Google schools in cities where you are interested and contact them directly.
For adventure teaching try ‘Siberian Intercultural Bridges’ or Google similar organizations to look for organization in the region you are interested in.
English Language Schools in Russia
Large international organizations such as BKC International House and EF English First have been established in Russia for years. There is also Language Link, Tom’s House, Denis’ School and Windsor, with more regularly coming on the scene.
You don’t need qualifications for these schools as they offer in-house training but many in-house trained teachers struggle to finish their first 9 month contract, often shuffled around to various schools and locations, and sometimes paid late.
Despite the in-house training many students are often disappointed with the language schools because of the lack of experience and motivation of the overworked and underpaid teachers.
Business School and Agencies
Teaching qualifications for businesses classes require degree, but to be successful you’ll also want a professional approach and to tailor classes specifically to your students job and needs. The teaching is in the student/ client office, and involves early starts and late finishes (to accommodate the students’ work schedules), with long breaks during the day.
An example of such an agency is IPT who are so keen for qualified native speakers that they sometimes offer a finder’s fee for teachers who introduce other teachers to the agency.
A great thing about being a business teacher with a professional approach is the loyalty of the students once you’ve proved yourself. Occasionally popular teachers, who retain students and bring in new students through word of mouth, get to dictate their own fee.
If you have a recognized teaching qualification (elementary school, high school) there are some schools looking to operate bilingually.
From time to time you see the following job advertised.
“English teacher for Russian children. Must like 6 star travel.”
These nanny/ personal English teacher jobs are why the super-rich of Russian are almost bilingual. You might be lucky to find such a job on an international notice board like esl.cafe.
Private English Lessons
Russians are keen to turn away from classroom English and the bad experiences they’ve had with both high school and language schools, so a lot of young professionals and university students will jump at the chance for a private lesson. Private university students are a great option for business teachers during the day who are teaching mornings and evenings. If you are teaching 30 hours a week in a language school, you will probably be in no shape to take on private students.
If you are currently employed by a school or agency make sure that they have no connection to your school so that you cannot be accused of stealing students.
An academic hour is equal to 45 minutes, so the hours quoted here are based on this figure and face time (time in front of a class). Essentially you have 15 minutes for paperwork and errands.
Russia has a lot of public holidays many of which are left over from Soviet days and don’t have much relevancy. It they fall on a weekday, the following Saturday or Sunday is turned from weekend to workday. Thus a Thursday holiday may mean teaching on a Saturday. This can be confusing. Most Russians and foreigners would rather not have the holiday and keep their weekend.
This blog post about English teaching jobs in Russia was originally published on www.TeacherHit.com where you find new teaching jobs in Europe.