More Thoughts On Freelance Teaching
A lot of native English teachers like to place ads. How do you know you’re not setting yourself up to be robbed by somebody who answers your ad? First, where did you place ads? In a bar, bus stop, subway, grocery store, newspaper? If you advertise in a bar, bus stop, or subway, you really should stay home or go back to the US as fast as you can, because that is only asking for trouble. Criminal’s hangout at bust stops and subway stations and they do read the notices posted. Most teachers I know here advertise either in newspapers or on the Internet. You word your ad according to the type of clients you want to attract. Plus also if you teach in a school, you use your students to spread the word that you also teach privately, they will if you are a good teacher and serious. Reputation means a lot here in Russia, if you are a good teacher and clients are happy with your teaching, they will recommend you to others. Freelance teaching is where the money is in teaching here in Russia. Most teachers start off teaching with a school, then move on to freelance teaching for a reason, why split your salary with a school when it is you doing all the work. I guess it depends on your personality, some people only feel good when they work for other people and some feel good working for both others and themselves and others only want to work for themselves. But as far as I’m concerned, freelance teaching is the best, especially if your experienced and have your own resources, then you’re all set to do it.
I know several teachers who do this and they make good money teaching privately. They have business visas which are good for a year. I know of one teacher who came here on his own with a business visa and started teaching freelance, skipped over the schools completely.
Coming here to teach in the Land of Mystery is a decision I will never regret making. The Russian people are some of the nicest people I have ever met. Becoming an ESL teacher happened by accident, but it is true; you can see the world as an ESL teacher. Some people who come here have hated it here, but most are like me, loved it here. To be able to see things that I have seen is something else, to do things that I could not normally do. Coming here to Moscow, is what you make out of it, make the trip bad, then it will be bad, make the trip good, then it will be good. Moscow is not the perfect city, nor is Russia the perfect country, but it is an interesting, and fun country. If Moscow is not to your tastes, then there are many other cities looking for teachers, St. Petersburg is another popular teaching destination. Remember the old commercial, “Try it, You’ll like It!”
Excerpted from "The Good And Bad Sides Of Living And Working In Russia: Survival In Russia" in Escape From America Magazine, Issue 64.