If you’re a newly arrived English teacher in Prague then it’s an exciting time. This city is a popular destination for teachers from all over the world. With plenty of language schools and people looking to learn privately, combined with the relatively low cost of living, it’s possible to make a nice life for yourself in Prague. If you’ve just set out to teach in Prague then this post will help you get started:
Teaching English with language schools
Before you need to make sure you’ve got a TEFL qualification, or better yet CELTA or Trinity. Long gone are the days when simply being a native speaker would get you a teaching job in Prague. And while it might sound obvious, try and get some teaching practice before you commit to this job, you need to road test yourself for this job and potential employers will appreciate you being proactive.
The day you land you should start getting in contact with language schools (use this list to start). If you can secure contracts with a few schools then you’ll be sure of a steady stream of money. It will also give you options to hop between schools if you find one isn’t treating you well. You can expect pay in the 200 – 320 CZK/hour range, or a starting salary of around 15,000 – 20,000 CZK growing steadily as you get more experience.
Being qualified alone won’t make you a good English teacher and schools know this . You’ll be put through an interview or two and expected to do some sample lessons to prove that you know your stuff. Expect delayed replies, lots of chasing and plenty of rejection as a new teacher, so speak to as many schools as you can.
Teaching English privately
Unless you’ve got another source of income outside of teaching English most teachers find they need to take on private students. There’s lots of upside with privates. They are often more engaged with lessons than groups and you can form a much closer bond with them. The pay is better as well. You can expect between 300 – 400 CZK/hour, the lower end for conversational practice, the higher end for business English and exam preparation.
Finding private students requires a little hustle. You can use a service like Learn English Prague who will match you with people that contact their website looking for a private English teacher. There are also several forums and directory sites that, for a fee, let you post a profile online – the idea being that potential students will find you and get in contact.
Word of mouth is also your friend. Students might approach you outside of group class asking for some private lessons and it can be well worth your time attending some of the free expat and language exchange meetups in the city. A casual conversation over beer could easily turn into a nice earner for you.
And remember, while the money might be good, you can expect plenty of cancellations. Hot lazy summer and bad weather in the winter can easily cost you 20% of your earnings. What’s the solution? Try and be firm about cancelation terms, try and get students to pay for a block of lessons up front and overbook yourself to make up for losses.
Some general tips for English teachers in Prague
Every year new teachers ask me if I have any golden advice for them. Apart from what I’ve mentioned above I always tell them to be aware of burnout. Teaching English is more stressful that it seems, especially for English teachers that come to Prague thinking it will be an ‘part time easy money’ gap year.
Rather than part time, you’ll probably find yourself teaching groups from 7:30 in the morning, spending your early afternoons running all over town to see various private students and then back in the classroom from 5pm until late into the evening. This on the go schedule can be draining. What’s more, if your trying to make more money than just covering you living costs, you’ll have to consider teaching at weekends – another strain.
Overall though you should try and enjoy your time in Prague and work hard to build at least some of a life outside of teaching English. Try hard not to just hang around with other expats. Make local friends and learn a bit of Czech if you can. It will open you up to local culture and give you an experience you can’t recreate anywhere else.
Would you like to teach English in Prague? Do you want to know the legal requirements for teaching English in Prague? Do you want to acquire Czech visa as an English teacher? Read our blog about obtaining long term visa for the Czech Republic, fill in the form on the right or go to Contacts to give us a call and we´ll guide you through the whole process! 🙂
Jan & Daria on behalf of MoveToPrague.com team!