Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Employment  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 17.08.2010, 12:24
fl0werstar's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 288
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 50 Times in 44 Posts
fl0werstar is considered knowledgeablefl0werstar is considered knowledgeablefl0werstar is considered knowledgeable
Freelance English Teaching in CH

Hi guys

I'm sorry if anything similar has been posted already, but I could only find scrapes of information and not much on the particularities. I've learned so much here at EF and people have been so helpful that I thought I'd give my question a go.

I've just got a job at a language school, and the fact that salary options are pretty limited plus there are lots of constraints on the hours one might work and the certificates one needs all made me think. Thing is I have a long term B permit, an M.A. in English and 5 ys of experience teaching adults, and in my home country I'd be making big money and feel on top of the world. In Switzerland having even a modest income working for language schools seems a struggle. Having looked at my permit and asking friends about it, I already know that I could go self employed no problem.

But it seems like a huge decision to make and I'd be very very glad if you could provide me with your insights and experience. How do I go about the process? What documents or proof do I need? Would I be able to teach more and earn more offering private classes? What would the drawbacks be? Please feel free to share any of your stories and your opinion with me. Of course it's a subjective decision. But I find drawing information out of the Swiss impossible.
__________________
"Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likely than others."
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 17.08.2010, 12:29
olygirl's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: d' Innerschwiiz
Posts: 7,756
Groaned at 419 Times in 282 Posts
Thanked 18,265 Times in 5,656 Posts
olygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Freelance English Teaching in CH

Honestly? It's hard to make a decent living with freelance teaching. The hours are sporadic, the students come and go and there's a lot of competition from other freelance teachers as well as schools.

I know a woman who makes a good living with freelance teaching but she started 20 years ago and has built up a good reputation with her business.

You might get lucky and find enough students or you might not.

Good luck with your decision.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 17.08.2010, 17:23
fl0werstar's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 288
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 50 Times in 44 Posts
fl0werstar is considered knowledgeablefl0werstar is considered knowledgeablefl0werstar is considered knowledgeable
Re: Freelance English Teaching in CH

Quote:
View Post
Honestly? It's hard to make a decent living with freelance teaching. The hours are sporadic, the students come and go and there's a lot of competition from other freelance teachers as well as schools.

I know a woman who makes a good living with freelance teaching but she started 20 years ago and has built up a good reputation with her business.

You might get lucky and find enough students or you might not.

Good luck with your decision.
Thank you very much for replying. I was shocked to learn how difficult it is to live off teaching at language schools, so I decided to look at alternatives. But apparently going freelance doesn't solve the situation entirely. I'm puzzled, coming from a country where what I've been doing is an over the top job with tons of opportunities...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 17.08.2010, 17:54
Puhutes's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: val Müstair
Posts: 1,017
Groaned at 22 Times in 11 Posts
Thanked 606 Times in 318 Posts
Puhutes has an excellent reputationPuhutes has an excellent reputationPuhutes has an excellent reputationPuhutes has an excellent reputation
Re: Freelance English Teaching in CH

I can honestly say I have no idea how it is here in Switzerland but I believe the poster above is correct. There are many native English speaking people in Switzerland. I only have experience in Germany and I can tell you I had a fanastic time and a lot of oppotunites teaching there. I've heard Austria is also similar. If you live close to either of those countries, you might have better luck.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 17.08.2010, 18:52
fl0werstar's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 288
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 50 Times in 44 Posts
fl0werstar is considered knowledgeablefl0werstar is considered knowledgeablefl0werstar is considered knowledgeable
Re: Freelance English Teaching in CH

Quote:
View Post
I can honestly say I have no idea how it is here in Switzerland but I believe the poster above is correct. There are many native English speaking people in Switzerland. I only have experience in Germany and I can tell you I had a fanastic time and a lot of oppotunites teaching there. I've heard Austria is also similar. If you live close to either of those countries, you might have better luck.
I don't think it's the presence of native speakers, or is it? I mean I don't think that my future employer was simply trying to be polite. They could have hired all the native speakers had that really been what they wanted. But somehow teaching at language schools doesn't seem such a good position to me in Switzerland as it is in Hungary... I don't know if the private sphere is any better...
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 18.08.2010, 18:37
FMX's Avatar
FMX FMX is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: BE
Posts: 704
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 461 Times in 260 Posts
FMX is considered knowledgeableFMX is considered knowledgeableFMX is considered knowledgeable
Re: Freelance English Teaching in CH

Language schools are in general private schools here. They are neither recognised nor financially supported by the local/cantonal or federal authorities. The position/salary can't be compared to the ones in public schools.

If you want a (good) position with a decent salary as (language) teacher here you have to teach (languages) in a public school/gymnasium/etc...
The position and salary are proportional to the school level but need also the appropriate diploma both in pedagogy and in the discipline you want to teach.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 19.08.2010, 13:32
fl0werstar's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 288
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 50 Times in 44 Posts
fl0werstar is considered knowledgeablefl0werstar is considered knowledgeablefl0werstar is considered knowledgeable
Re: Freelance English Teaching in CH

Quote:
View Post
Language schools are in general private schools here. They are neither recognised nor financially supported by the local/cantonal or federal authorities. The position/salary can't be compared to the ones in public schools.

If you want a (good) position with a decent salary as (language) teacher here you have to teach (languages) in a public school/gymnasium/etc...
The position and salary are proportional to the school level but need also the appropriate diploma both in pedagogy and in the discipline you want to teach.
Thank you. I've thought of that but I have more experience teaching adults (adolescents an up) in the language school setting, so I'm looking for employment in that area at the moment. The situation in Switzerland takes a little getting used to, in Hungary it is the language school level that is considered higher and more appreciated (in terms of certificates, etc.). Thank you for your input, I'll consider that option if I am unable to make ends meet in my profession.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 27.08.2010, 14:49
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Wädenswil
Posts: 31
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 20 Times in 11 Posts
Madge has earned some respectMadge has earned some respect
Re: Freelance English Teaching in CH

Have you thought about applying to the International / Bilingual schools in your area ? Might be an option.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 27.08.2010, 15:03
MusicChick's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: La Cote
Posts: 17,488
Groaned at 414 Times in 275 Posts
Thanked 20,435 Times in 10,578 Posts
MusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Freelance English Teaching in CH

Quote:
View Post

If you want a (good) position with a decent salary as (language) teacher here you have to teach (languages) in a public school/gymnasium/etc...
The position and salary are proportional to the school level but need also the appropriate diploma both in pedagogy and in the discipline you want to teach.
Yes, this.

Quote:
View Post
..They could have hired all the native speakers had that really been what they wanted..
Yes, if the those people wanted to work there. The thing is, private (or international, for that matter) does not mean better paid at all, it is the opposite in my experience.

I am sorry to hear you are facing difficulties in Ge and hope it gets better for you quickly. Did you go for your CELTA you were inquiring after? I would if I was in your shoes. You can do it while you are getting your clientele sorted out, simultaneously. 5 years of teaching experiences is actually not such a long time considering the competition you are facing in Ge, nor your masters. Plus, there are anglophone kids in UNIGE that will teach conversation to whomever for 20-30fr an hour as a side job to their studies, there are so many people applying for all sorts of possible and impossible jobs, it is better to equip yourself with whatever degree you can get. Job market in Ge is very competitive, especially for the newcomers. Just my 2cents. Up and at it!
__________________
"L'homme ne peut pas remplacer son coeur avec sa tete, ni sa tete avec ses mains." J.H. Pestalozzi

“The only difference between a rut and a grave is a matter of depth.” S.P. Cadman

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." A. Einstein

Last edited by MusicChick; 28.08.2010 at 07:31.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03.10.2011, 16:22
fl0werstar's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 288
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 50 Times in 44 Posts
fl0werstar is considered knowledgeablefl0werstar is considered knowledgeablefl0werstar is considered knowledgeable
Re: Freelance English Teaching in CH

Hi and thanks for all your very informative and encouraging responses.

I actually decided to go around the problem entirely. You know when you feel kind of stuck in life, friends and professionals alike will advise you to sit down and draw all sorts of charts and lists and what not. A longtime fan of self assertive techniques, I decided to be completely honest about the situation and examine the reasons for my lack of success.

I soon realized that as the job (of language teaching) didn't look as promising in Geneva as it had back home, my motivation to suceed and make a carreer out of it was also diminishing. So I guess what was really lacking was the drive. (As a motivation researcher, you could say that I should have seen this earlier...)

So I went about brainstorming for my ideal job and saw that language teaching, though a crucial aspect of everything I'm interested in, is not that job. I mean I felt that I'd learned as much from it as I could benefit from, and I had just so much more to give. So, around a year ago, I( started hunting down the staff at the University, and I finally managed to get hold of a PhD position. Started this September, and I'm absolutely loving it.

So now I'm teaching almost as much as I have since the beginning. And I'm doign it with all the enthusiasm and joy that I?ve ever done, but I'm a lot less frustrated about the situation. I mean I'm still selling my apples in the same market, but I took my pies where they are more wanted (and better paid for ).

But again, thank you all for your support, and I hope this shows others that problems may not seem what they are. And that there's always a solution, even if it takes loads of effort to get there.
__________________
"Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likely than others."
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
english, freelance, self employed, teacher




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Teaching English Island Monkey Employment 67 03.09.2013 04:38
Freelance English Professionals Kenny C Commercial 0 09.12.2009 21:29
English Freelance Web designer andy2009 Permits/visas/government 1 06.11.2009 12:00
Teaching English? Puhutes Business & entrepreneur 1 03.11.2009 05:32


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 00:18.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0