By Ken, Teacher in Warsaw


Hello everyone, it’s good to see you again!


One of the many advantages of being a self-employed teacher is being able to make your own schedule. No deliriously drab 9-5 Monday to Friday routines! However one of the downsides is that if you don’t teach then you aren’t paid – no employee benefits and no holiday pay (although theoretically speaking you could have as many holidays as you want!). In this blog post I will describe to you my working schedule and how I keep on top of things even when I am extremely busy.


My schedule

From this year I decided to have a more compressed schedule so I changed to working from Monday to Thursday 8-8 and Friday to Sunday off. Three day weekends, pretty awesome right? It is, but it’s not for the faint of heart as I will now explain!


My typical week is as follows:

schedule of a self employed English teacher in Poland

The boxes shaded in red are the times where I’m teaching/travelling to clients. Yes, a LOT of back-to-back lessons where I only have 5-10 minutes in-between! And this doesn’t involve going to the gym 3-4 times a week. So as you can imagine, it is a really full-on week. Of course, this is just my preference and other schedule patterns are available. Despite the fact that some days I barely have the chance to breathe, I’d much rather do this and have 3 day weekends each weekend. It’s not uncommon for me to eat lunch on my way to another client. I have to be very very organised! Speaking of organisation… is a spreadsheet I have that keeps track of how much I’m paid, the number of students and when I’m teaching and of course my holidays! (students’ names and the amount of pay I receive is blacked out)


Without this, I would really struggle! I would also struggle if I didn’t….


Have a healthy lifestyle

Don’t worry – I’m not going to spend the next few paragraphs lecturing you why you shouldn’t eat McDonalds and why you should go to the gym. I will say however that if you always eat junk food it has a massive effect on your energy levels and if you really want to have a schedule like mine then you definitely need to keep a good diet (and have a good night’s sleep but I still haven’t mastered this!) As I mentioned I also go to the gym 3-4 times a week and this helps me so much not just physically, but mentally too. It’s a great way to de-stress and feel better and more energetic. Which of course means being able to deliver better lessons!


Time and lesson management

It can be extremely exhausting teaching 6 hours back-to-back.

A good thing to do is to give the students something to do themselves instead of always having to lead the lesson. For example, if you are doing a lesson on ordering at a restaurant you might ask the students to do roleplays with each other and/or deliver a short performance at the end of the lesson. They will probably take 5-10 minutes to plan what they want to say and in that time you can take a well-earned breather if needed. After that, all you need to do is to correct any mistakes made during these performances and that also doesn’t take a lot of effort. They’re also a lot of fun if they’re done in groups. Bottom line – include low effort activities in order to save energy for the rest of the day! If you’re anything like me, I am normally exhausted at 8pm after talking for so long! But I know many people who really could talk the hind legs off of a donkey and I envy those people!


Work-life balance

You might look at this schedule and think I’m crazy. Well you’d probably be correct! But it suits my life and my lifestyle, and you have to figure out what suits you. You might prefer working a more traditional Monday to Friday. I went through many different schedule setups in order to get to this schedule which suits me, so it’s trial and error. Whatever you do though, don’t burn yourself out like I did! Life is not just work. Have fun, laugh, live, love, yadda yadda!



I really love being self-employed. For me, the flexibility of making your own schedule really is priceless and I don’t ever see myself going back to a 9-5 job. I mean, have you ever tried to go to the gym at 6pm?!?! It’s impossible as it’s so busy! But jokes aside, if you’re looking for a less rigid structure to your life and the chance to make money on your own time instead of someone else’s then I would highly recommend this line of work. Despite being ludicrously busy I wouldn’t swap my 3 day weekends for anything!


Speaking of which, if you’re interested in what opportunities are currently available, check out our program page!