Teaching at International House Bydgoszcz
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 Bydgoszcz, and even fewer can pronounce it (here's some help!), but people who live here come 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.
Teachers say starting their TEFL career at incredible professional development opportunities (workshops, training days, collaborative planning) and a phenomenally supportive DOS and senior teachers.
“The staff are great, there's LOADS of support for new teachers and Grzegorz (the school director) is a lovely boss. Bydgoszcz is a cracking little city too!” Amy (teacher from the UK, has worked in Poland, Japan and UK)
“IH Bydgoszcz is the school I've learnt most at as a teacher” Lotte (teacher from Belgium, has worked in Poland, China, Belgium and Hong Kong)
Having IH Bydgoszcz on your CV is a guarantee of quality, and will stand you in good stead for the rest of your career, so why not join?
About the school
The school is situated in a four-storey art deco building only a few minutes walking distance from the Old Town, with a gym and a cinema next door to the school. Bydgoszcz is well-known for its beautiful parks, including one across the road from school and the largest city park in Poland a 10-minute tram ride away.
Operating since 1992, it is a well-established, quality-focused language school and a Cambridge English Exam Centre. The school enjoys an excellent reputation for its teaching quality and experience, recruiting highly-motivated teachers for whom professional development is a key and life-long priority. The school and its students enjoy free Wi-Fi, an Internet room, a snack bar and multimedia facilities in every classroom. The school also has active social programmes for young learners, teens and adult learners.
The team at the school take great care to help teachers settle in to their new life teaching English in Poland, supporting their health and wellbeing. All teachers are supported by their DOS, the widely respected Sandy Millin. See Sandy’s blog here http://sandymillin.wordpress.com
The school has about 23 teachers and 6 support and administrative staff. Teachers join a multinational staffroom with colleagues from the UK, Poland and other European countries. When they join most are newly qualified in their first or second year of teaching, and some have a little more experience. All teachers help and support each other – the teachers room is always buzzing in between classes! So a lot of teachers stay with IH Bydgoszcz for more than a year, more than two or even more than three years.
“It's a really good school if you're new at teaching. You need to work very hard but you learn a lot more than at any other school. Everyone is really friendly and helpful, including the Director and the administrative staff. If you have to go to a satellite school, you will get driven there - unlike in many other schools.” Patrícia (teacher from Portugal)
There are about 800 students at the school, from young learners to adults, as well as classes with one-to-ones and local companies.
What is the professional environment like?
“Working at IH Bydgoszcz for 25 years, I’d say you've got people who will always find time for you, are willing to talk, advise on things and give you a hand. Additionally, access to various equipment, all possible teaching materials and any other stuff you may need, including stationery – it’s there for you.” Sylwia (teacher from Poland)
All International House schools are regularly inspected to ensure they provide a high standard of learning to their students, and a great working environment for their staff.
When IH Bydgoszcz was last inspected in 2017, the inspector found that it continues to be an excellent school with a wonderful collaborative atmosphere. There are many points of excellence:
- Excellent organisation of staff space and needs
- Excellent class management and disciplinary scheme.
- Excellent communications systems and staff support.
- Excellent systems for continual assessment and checking on student progress and needs.
- Excellent smart, well-equipped functional premises
What is it like living in Bydgoszcz?
“Bydgoszcz is a big city with lots of restaurants, bars (including vegetarian and vegan ones), clubs and pubs. Its architecture is beautiful and eye-catching (magnificent historical buildings), we have a theatre, philharmonic, opera and cinemas. There are shopping centres as well as small, local shops. In the centre of the city, there are three parks (one opposite IH) and there's a great green area, a forest park called Myślęcinek, only a few minutes by tram from the city centre. You will meet a lot of foreigners in Bydgoszcz since there are a few international companies existing in the city. Wyspa Młyńska (Mill Island), in the heart of the city, is a place to relax, rest, entertain, eat and drink. Concerts and other outdoor events are organized there.” Sylwia (teacher from Poland)
Bydgoszcz is a city of approximately 360,000 inhabitants and contains all the bars, restaurants, cinemas and concert halls you would expect from a city of this size. There are nice vegan and vegetarian restaurants, eating out is very affordable, and there is plenty within walking distance.
“I would make an effort to learn some Polish as Polish people really appreciate it.” Dominic (teacher from the UK)
It is situated in the centre of Poland, surrounded by forests and rivers. It has excellent transport links to the rest of Europe, including an international airport with direct flights to London Stansted, London Luton, Birmingham and Frankfurt, making it a good base to explore from. It is also within easy reach of airports in Gdansk, Poznan, Warsaw and Berlin by bus and train.