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IraM
18-11-2007, 22:09
Hello!

Could anyone enlighten me on once a month meetings at a cafe somewhere in the center of Moscow where EFL teachers meet? Or they used to meet? The meetings seemed to be a sound idea...

alterego
18-11-2007, 22:33
Are you an English teacher?

IraM
18-11-2007, 23:09
Yes, a Russian linguist, teaching Russian and English.

Bels
19-11-2007, 23:56
Hello!

Could anyone enlighten me on once a month meetings at a cafe somewhere in the center of Moscow where EFL teachers meet? Or they used to meet? The meetings seemed to be a sound idea...

Yes , a good idea, But no, I as a private teacher have never met other teachers. Do other teachers have a need of this to meet.Yes I think they probably do.

They may well meet together within their schools, but I am sure it would be interesting for teachers to meet together from other schools together.

This is avery good issue, do teachers of all schools or whatever want to meet as a group? What do you say about that?

kira_hagen
20-11-2007, 14:38
Something like late Sunday afternoons at a cafe might be nice. Say, Zen Cafe or Coffee Bean. Everyone knows where Coffee Bean on Tverskaya is. Zen Cafe by Beleruskaya is pretty quiet Sunday afternoons, and there are a couple bars within 100 meters of it for when discussions devolve into "OMG you wouldn't believe what my student/ school/ government/ visa situation is doing now...".

Speaking for myself, I'd really like to meet up with some other teachers. The split shifts of Moscow work during the week really are no good for having a social life, and I've been feeling a bit isolated.

SalTheReturn
20-11-2007, 14:46
Something like late Sunday afternoons at a cafe might be nice. Say, Zen Cafe or Coffee Bean. Everyone knows where Coffee Bean on Tverskaya is. Zen Cafe by Beleruskaya is pretty quiet Sunday afternoons, and there are a couple bars within 100 meters of it for when discussions devolve into "OMG you wouldn't believe what my student/ school/ government/ visa situation is doing now...".

Speaking for myself, I'd really like to meet up with some other teachers. The split shifts of Moscow work during the week really are no good for having a social life, and I've been feeling a bit isolated.

weird...do you work for a school? what about your colleagues?

and what about weekends?

just curious...

kira_hagen
20-11-2007, 15:31
weird...do you work for a school? what about your colleagues?

and what about weekends?

just curious...

Nope, freelance, working mainly with little kids. I usually don't get home until about 9:30 pm weekdays, and though right now I'm looking for a new main governess work (I found it more reliable than teaching businesspeople, though it has its own set of, ahem, unpredictabilities) I often start at 9 or 10 a.m. so we're talking pretty long days.

Most business English schools want their teachers working before and after normal business hours, so I assume that this is pretty typical for teachers here.

Weekends I keep free but, to be honest, I'm usually exhausted and just stay home playing on my computer.

SalTheReturn
20-11-2007, 15:36
Nope, freelance, working mainly with little kids. I usually don't get home until about 9:30 pm weekdays, and though right now I'm looking for a new main governess work (I found it more reliable than teaching businesspeople, though it has its own set of, ahem, unpredictabilities) I often start at 9 or 10 a.m. so we're talking pretty long days.

Most business English schools want their teachers working before and after normal business hours, so I assume that this is pretty typical for teachers here.

Weekends I keep free but, to be honest, I'm usually exhausted and just stay home playing on my computer.

I understand you, in your last line we all find a beautiful definition of why Moscow sucks

recently i have found out people are also too tired to engage medium lenght phone calls

god bless Italy and the 8hrs a day shift from 9to5

kira_hagen
20-11-2007, 16:23
Moscow: a good place to work, a rather lousy place to live...

Well, I'd still rather be here than in the US. I mean, I'd much rather be living in Europe directly but the visa situation for Americans is difficult and my husband got priced out of finishing his Bachelor's degree back in the States. (He was working for the U of MN as senior management and trainer with student security, working 60 hours a week and taking classes part time. The position was technically a student position and therefor "part time", so had no benefits or tuition assistance. The state put all employees on a wage freeze for three years while the U raised tuition 19-25% a year. Student financial assistance evaporated, as did my teaching work. He had 11 credits to go and there was no way we could pay for them, so we left the country. The work situation here is greatly preferable.)

Unfortunately, him having only a 2 year degree limits the places we can work, now, as work permits are often based on having at least a 4 year degree. Also, though we make good money here, there's always... something, you know? Something that makes getting relocation money up not happen. Like him breaking his leg this spring - I was kind of hoping to move in September and instead we blew through all our savings while he couldn't work for 4 months and the landlady raised rent 25%.

Anyway, if I'm going to be here indefinitely, I need more of a social life. There are good things here, too, like 24 hour everything and absinthe. Which, btw, you can get at Zen Cafe.

How about we start a teachers' social gather this Sunday, 4 pm at Zen Cafe Beleruskaya? Get out the circle exit on the Lesnaya St side, then walk around the block till you're facing the big square in front of the train station. It's very easy to find, and if there's any line it tends to move MUCH faster than at Coffee Bean.

AstraTeaching
20-11-2007, 16:54
How about we start a teachers' social gather this Sunday, 4 pm at Zen Cafe Beleruskaya? Get out the circle exit on the Lesnaya St side, then walk around the block till you're facing the big square in front of the train station. It's very easy to find, and if there's any line it tends to move MUCH faster than at Coffee Bean.[/QUOTE]

It's a non-smoking place, which is a major turn-off for me:)

alterego
20-11-2007, 22:27
Non-smoking?

Ok, I will come.

kira_hagen
20-11-2007, 22:46
It's a non-smoking place, which is a major turn-off for me:)

Coffee absorbs cigarette smoke and makes it taste bad. Any cafe that has smoking has lousy coffee. I'm a bit allergic, and hate smelling like an ashtray and having my jacket reek for days after going into a smoking establishment.

Bels
20-11-2007, 22:51
I hope you all get together, and have a good discussion. Unfortunately with me living 25km outside Moscow and being very busy and having a family with an 18 month and 10 year old son I am too busy. However I would be very interested if you inform us of the progress of your meetings in this thread

If it is convenient for some teachers to meet off the Rublievskie shosse area, such as Uspienskie, Gorki 2, Gorki 10, or somewhere near these area, I would be interested in having such a meeting if there is enough response, perhaps five or six teachers I may be interested. But I doubt if there will be enough response.

I don't think there are enough native or English Russian teachers in this area, or if there will be other teachers who will be interested to travel here. But let's give it a go. :)

Anyone for it ??

But whatever, please keep us informed of the results of your meetings.

AstraTeaching
20-11-2007, 22:53
Coffee absorbs cigarette smoke and makes it taste bad. Any cafe that has smoking has lousy coffee. I'm a bit allergic, and hate smelling like an ashtray and having my jacket reek for days after going into a smoking establishment.
We can divide into two groups - smokers and non-smokers. Smokers will sit in the Coffee House opposite and we will be able to comminicate using WiFi:)
Sorry, if I have a choice, I always go to smoking establishments.

kazachka
20-11-2007, 22:57
Kira- haven't had coffee w/ you in too long. We need to do smthg about that:agree:

Bels
20-11-2007, 23:14
Moscow: a good place to work, a rather lousy place to live...

Well, I'd still rather be here than in the US. I mean, I'd much rather be living in Europe directly but the visa situation for Americans is difficult and my husband got priced out of finishing his Bachelor's degree back in the States. (He was working for the U of MN as senior management and trainer with student security, working 60 hours a week and taking classes part time. The position was technically a student position and therefor "part time", so had no benefits or tuition assistance. The state put all employees on a wage freeze for three years while the U raised tuition 19-25% a year. Student financial assistance evaporated, as did my teaching work. He had 11 credits to go and there was no way we could pay for them, so we left the country. The work situation here is greatly preferable.)

Unfortunately, him having only a 2 year degree limits the places we can work, now, as work permits are often based on having at least a 4 year degree. Also, though we make good money here, there's always... something, you know? Something that makes getting relocation money up not happen. Like him breaking his leg this spring - I was kind of hoping to move in September and instead we blew through all our savings while he couldn't work for 4 months and the landlady raised rent 25%.

Anyway, if I'm going to be here indefinitely, I need more of a social life. There are good things here, too, like 24 hour everything and absinthe. Which, btw, you can get at Zen Cafe.

How about we start a teachers' social gather this Sunday, 4 pm at Zen Cafe Beleruskaya? Get out the circle exit on the Lesnaya St side, then walk around the block till you're facing the big square in front of the train station. It's very easy to find, and if there's any line it tends to move MUCH faster than at Coffee Bean.

I know where you are coming from, and WOW! There's going to be a lot of talking about life in Moscow as well as being a teacher :) Believe me, we have similar experiences. It's amazing, Really! I look forward to hearing about this meeting. Wherever it may be. Please keep us all informed.

IraM
21-11-2007, 22:17
Yes , a good idea, But no, I as a private teacher have never met other teachers. Do other teachers have a need of this to meet.Yes I think they probably do.

They may well meet together within their schools, but I am sure it would be interesting for teachers to meet together from other schools together.

This is a very good issue, do teachers of all schools or whatever want to meet as a group? What do you say about that?
Bels, thank you for converting my initial post into such a productive one!

Moscow: a good place to work, a rather lousy place to live...
Kira, Moscow-for-work–not-for-life point of view is very true not only for expats, I’m afraid. I also agree that social life is more or less limited if you are self-employed.

So, if you don't mind meeting with a Russian EFL teacher :o I'm eager to join you at 4pm this Sun at Zen Cafe. Non-smoking area will be a big plus for me!

For those who might be interested in making this Sunday: let's pm and exchange our phone numbers.

kira_hagen
22-11-2007, 12:52
Kira, Moscow-for-work–not-for-life point of view is very true not only for expats, I’m afraid.

Oh, actually I've heard that more from Moscovites than expats! I've got some local friends and adult students, and every time they get back from traveling they're always so glum, and say something like that. And then go straight back to working 12 hour days so they can afford another trip.

On the other hand, though, I like the energy of a great big bustling city like this. I like not needing a car and being able to get around easily anyway. I like how much I've traveled since getting here, and opportunities that's given me in relation to my (very) slowly developing photography side-career.

So, being here hasn't been the easiest thing, and in the middle of winter depression it can be pretty awful, but I'm still very glad we came here. It will be nice to meet some other teachers, anyway, and talk about it!

SalTheReturn
22-11-2007, 14:20
Oh, actually I've heard that more from Moscovites than expats! I've got some local friends and adult students, and every time they get back from traveling they're always so glum, and say something like that. And then go straight back to working 12 hour days so they can afford another trip.

On the other hand, though, I like the energy of a great big bustling city like this. I like not needing a car and being able to get around easily anyway. I like how much I've traveled since getting here, and opportunities that's given me in relation to my (very) slowly developing photography side-career.

So, being here hasn't been the easiest thing, and in the middle of winter depression it can be pretty awful, but I'm still very glad we came here. It will be nice to meet some other teachers, anyway, and talk about it!

I have said it for ages and it makes up the reason why I decided to leave and to engage some more relaxed and less remunerative work.

Outside the long working hours there was another thing which used to annoy me a lot in Moscow: the absence of being a real house. Italians take the house issues very seriously and I suffered for the lack of comfortable accomodation despite i was disposing of a very respectable 75m2 flat all on my own. People (from my salary range of course - of course I cannot compare myself to those living on expat packages in Moscow) were thinking I was the luckiest man on earth whilst all I could do it swearing at the lack of 4 meters ceiling, western doors and expensive hand-made floor from Tuscany.

God bless Italy.

Back on thread. If you are eager to start off this meeting do it straight away, do not wait for other teachers to join in because this may take time or may never happen. Go with your new russian friend and start this way.

My 2 cents.

SalTheReturn
22-11-2007, 14:22
and the problem it is not even working, it is the time you then miss taking care of yourself

I WILL NEVER FORGET PAYDAY WHEN LOTS OF TEACHERS WERE GATHERING TO COLLECT THEIR SLAVE-ALIKE SALARIES FROM A CERTAIN ESTABLISHMENT.
I LOOK AROUND MYSELF ASTONISHED, NOT A SINGLE FACE YOU WOULD HAVE SAID "WELL, THIS GUY/GIRL LOOK HEALTHY".

THATS WHEN I MATURED MY DECISION TO LEAVE.

Bels
22-11-2007, 19:42
and the problem it is not even working, it is the time you then miss taking care of yourself

I WILL NEVER FORGET PAYDAY WHEN LOTS OF TEACHERS WERE GATHERING TO COLLECT THEIR SLAVE-ALIKE SALARIES FROM A CERTAIN ESTABLISHMENT.
I LOOK AROUND MYSELF ASTONISHED, NOT A SINGLE FACE YOU WOULD HAVE SAID "WELL, THIS GUY/GIRL LOOK HEALTHY".

THATS WHEN I MATURED MY DECISION TO LEAVE.

Will you be back? :)

SalTheReturn
22-11-2007, 20:42
Will you be back? :)

Oh yeah for some quiet student time at pushkin, few blasts with some friends of mine, and some random teaching
All my initial intents of setting up in Moscow have disappeared after re-discovering Italy

will you leave?:fridaysign:

anyway I understand that for a Brit going to Russia quality of life he/she finds might be as low as in the UK, nor better nor worst, it seems to me mediterranean europeans are always the ones suffering more when abroad

Bels
22-11-2007, 21:21
Oh yeah for some quiet student time at pushkin, few blasts with some friends of mine, and some random teaching
All my initial intents of setting up in Moscow have disappeared after re-discovering Italy

will you leave?:fridaysign:

anyway I understand that for a Brit going to Russia quality of life he/she finds might be as low as in the UK, nor better nor worst, it seems to me mediterranean europeans are always the ones suffering more when abroad

Don't you mean as high as. For most Brits here, apart from the teachers of course, Brits come attracted by very high packaged salaries. My guees is that they want to go home again after a few years.

With me, no such luck. However I do believe if you are motivated enough you can eventually do very well here doing teaching, but only by doing it yourself. Don't depend on schools, however it's ironic, when you get very good offers from schools when you don't ask and you don't need them.
It's a bit like a bank will try and offer you a loan when you don't need it, and when you need it you can't have one :)

It looks i'm still rationed in giving you a greenie Sal. they tell me to spread my reputations elsewhere :(

Bels
22-11-2007, 21:34
I've given one well deserved greenie to kira instead, for her posts being productive for the future success of teachers in Moscow.:hooray:

IraM
23-11-2007, 00:37
I do believe if you are motivated enough you can eventually do very well here doing teaching, but only by doing it yourself. Don't depend on schools, however it's ironic, when you get very good offers from schools when you don't ask and you don't need them.

100% agree. Personally I don't know a language school here ready to pay decent wages. As a rule, all they give is enough to live from hand to mouth - not more - whoever you are - native or Russian. NO, i'm not whining - I work freelance stuck at home.:coffee:

So, just out of curiosity, what is a 'good offer from schools' for native speakers here? And what about language schools abroad? How do they treat their staff?

It looks like at least three of us are going to meet this Sunday?:shhhhhh:

kira_hagen
23-11-2007, 00:56
I've given one well deserved greenie to kira instead, for her posts being productive for the future success of teachers in Moscow.:hooray:

Thank you. I've helped with and started a couple coffee gather/ discussion groups before and I've found out a couple things about doing them:

1. People can talk endlessly about "such and such might be nice" but nothing will happen until someone actually sets a time and place.
2., That place needs to have counter service, not table service, because people come and go and if you're divvying up a tab after people have left, there are always problems some way or another.
3., Meetings must be either weekly or a set repeating day, like the first Sunday of the month, or 1st and 2nd, but NEVER biweekly because people loose track, no one comes because they don't know if people are meeting, and it loses steam and falls apart. Not immediately relevant but might end up so.

So, hope to see some of you guys Sunday! I know there's some who'd rather have it in a smoking place, but it's easier for smokers to step outside for a minute than for people with allergies, like myself, or runners who need to take care of their lungs like Kazachka, to spend 2 hours choking. Sorry. I only risk asthmatic wheezing for serious booze.

Bels
23-11-2007, 12:35
The number of teachers who pm'd me over the years wanting some form of union or association of teachers in Moscow, well nows your chance to get to get to gether. I hope there will be a lot more than three teachers.

I don't think there will be any problem about non-smokers. I'm a smoker myself, but we have all got used to not smoking in public places. We certainly can't smoke when we are teaching.

Hopefully there will be report here of the meeting for the next meetings to get bigger and bigger.

kazachka
23-11-2007, 15:04
Hope to make it....
PLans for Sunday- sleep,sleep,sleep prob til noon-ish
Coach said we are doing 25-30k-if we leave by 12.30 or 1 ish we won't return til at least 3 ish depending on snow conditions. So will you all still be there about 5 ish?????

kazachka
23-11-2007, 15:18
100% agree. Personally I don't know a language school here ready to pay decent wages. As a rule, all they give is enough to live from hand to mouth - not more - whoever you are - native or Russian. NO, i'm not whining - I work freelance stuck at home.:coffee:

So, just out of curiosity, what is a 'good offer from schools' for native speakers here? And what about language schools abroad? How do they treat their staff?

It looks like at least three of us are going to meet this Sunday?:shhhhhh:

There are a very small few where you can start off making at least a 3 figure starting salary not totally killing yourself. They provide work visas too, but are extremely selective about who they hire (and rightfully so).

Bels
23-11-2007, 18:03
The schools offering the highest incomes generally come from the smaller schools, whom obviously believe that the best come in small packages. They often specialise in children, in which I find strange as adults often come from corporate companies who are prepared to pay for quality and end up with beginners and back-packers of a very young age.

I have also found that good private schools who teach the whole Russian curriculum may contact you, and offer a very good income. I'm afraid that doesn't apply to the three Big Macs. However these are the safest schools for those coming to Moscow for the first time and are only interested in a short contract.

kazachka
24-11-2007, 22:22
I'll try my darnest to be there 5 ish:wavey:

Bels
24-11-2007, 22:44
I'll try my darnest to be there 5 ish:wavey:

Let's hope there will be more, as stated I can't make it, being outside the area and being tied up.

My wife is worried about such visits, but we do work in compromising with each other, that's married life.

My agreement with her is to meet if this meeting gets stronger for the future. And I do believe it will work very well, gradually.

As I have learnt that Russia works slowly, and if you you are persistant it will work, but slowly:) That's my experience of Russia. But keep going, and you will achieve something, slowly :).

I know it's going to work now. Why not try Job Discussion Forums :: View Forum - Russia & C.I.S. (http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewforum.php?f=20) and make the same proposal.

This forum and this particular section specialises on teachers. I have already made my thread to attract the teacherst

This site has in the past given me pm's in the past for teacher's desire for some form of meeting
My name is the same as here, bels. I found this site recommended by expat.ru on recommended sites for teachers, and yes. I do try to recommend this site.

So, please ask for the same meetin on this forum, as they are all teachers on this particular forum. Many are intested

Job Discussion Forums :: View Forum - Russia & C.I.S. (http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewforum.php?f=20)

And promote expat.ru We do of them :)

mountaineer
25-11-2007, 14:36
There are a very small few where you can start off making at least a 3 figure starting salary not totally killing yourself. They provide work visas too, but are extremely selective about who they hire (and rightfully so).
Three figures of what currency per what time period? Surely you can't mean $100+/hour. The only pair that makes any sense is $100+/day, is that what you mean? But there's nothing special about that.

Bels
25-11-2007, 14:50
Three figures of what currency per what time period? Surely you can't mean $100+/hour. The only pair that makes any sense is $100+/day, is that what you mean? But there's nothing special about that.

Nope, it's not much. especially if these schools are competing with the Bigs who are providing a whole package. Freelance work has to be much higher to take into consideration and comparison of safe secure salary packages.

He meant ££££s not dollars :)

kazachka
25-11-2007, 23:15
No, I meant min 3000$/mo. 100$ a day is very little considering the increasing cost of living and inflation.

mountaineer
25-11-2007, 23:40
"Three figures" means from 100 to 999. Similarly, a "six-figure salary" means from 100K to 999K annually.

Sorry to sound pedantic, but we are talking money here. ;)

Bels
26-11-2007, 11:15
"Three figures" means from 100 to 999. Similarly, a "six-figure salary" means from 100K to 999K annually.

Sorry to sound pedantic, but we are talking money here. ;)

Yes 100k in dollars, or in other words £50,000 a year or £500. Not an unreasonable figure to aim for and expect to acheive eventually to live decently in Moscow. For a freelancer or entrepeneur teacher of course.

Bels
29-11-2007, 21:42
I'll try my darnest to be there 5 ish:wavey:

Did you get there? :)

Bels
29-11-2007, 21:44
Thank you. I've helped with and started a couple coffee gather/ discussion groups before and I've found out a couple things about doing them:

1. People can talk endlessly about "such and such might be nice" but nothing will happen until someone actually sets a time and place.
2., That place needs to have counter service, not table service, because people come and go and if you're divvying up a tab after people have left, there are always problems some way or another.
3., Meetings must be either weekly or a set repeating day, like the first Sunday of the month, or 1st and 2nd, but NEVER biweekly because people loose track, no one comes because they don't know if people are meeting, and it loses steam and falls apart. Not immediately relevant but might end up so.

So, hope to see some of you guys Sunday! I know there's some who'd rather have it in a smoking place, but it's easier for smokers to step outside for a minute than for people with allergies, like myself, or runners who need to take care of their lungs like Kazachka, to spend 2 hours choking. Sorry. I only risk asthmatic wheezing for serious booze.

Did you meet? And how did you get on?

kazachka
29-11-2007, 21:51
Did you get there? :)

Sure did and will try again this week. All went well. I can't hang out til 9pm though this time because I need to get home and call my dad by 8pm Moscow time as it's his birthday!

SalTheReturn
29-11-2007, 21:58
Sure did and will try again this week. All went well. I can't hang out til 9pm though this time because I need to get home and call my dad by 8pm Moscow time as it's his birthday!

how many of you? how was it?

Bels
29-11-2007, 22:04
Sal beat me to it, great and welldone. I'm looking forward to hearing more.

Great, Terrific :fireworks:

And happy Birthday to your Dad.

kazachka
29-11-2007, 23:47
There were 5 of us. All teachers are welcome to join us this week as well.:applause:

Bels
29-11-2007, 23:52
Was there anything constructive discussed ? I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't, as I would assume it like a warm -up. I hope it builds and you have more each time.

kazachka
30-11-2007, 00:02
Yes -Kira- you have the notes:) PLease post- I'm off to bed :bedtime:

SalTheReturn
30-11-2007, 00:02
Was there anything constructive discussed ? I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't, as I would assume it like a warm -up. I hope it builds and you have more each time.

bels i hope they did not spend their time talking lesson plans!!!

kazachka
30-11-2007, 14:04
Noooooooooooooooo

Bels
30-11-2007, 18:26
Noooo! But a popular question might be. Are you sufficiently compensated for your time preparing lesson plans?

kazachka
02-12-2007, 15:39
Executive decision after 30K run in the snaux today- I'm staying in and relaxing tonight. BF has made some post run blini and I will soon have food coma:D Maybe I'll see you guys the 16th if I don't race in Korolev.

Bels
05-12-2007, 19:46
What's happened or what is happening?

thva
06-12-2007, 22:57
I'm afraid that doesn't apply to the three Big Macs.
who does this mean?

SalTheReturn
06-12-2007, 23:06
who does this mean?

LL - BKC - EF

Bels
06-12-2007, 23:08
who does this mean?

Read eslcafe.com forum for teacher working in Russia. Large franchise schools. The three major schools employing natives with the right to invite here. BigMac guess! a hamburger and a major franchiser in Moscow and the rest of the world. And paying BIGMAC wages. BKC and LL are two of them, I don't like to mention the other for obvious reasons.

Bels
06-12-2007, 23:09
WOW! You beat me to it Sal!