I’m hopping on the web to post this up before I take a quick nap… We have two curtains hanging in our bedroom and the sun still managed to scare me awake at 3:52AM. Since I just re-started an early morning class today, I spent all night being terrified that I was late.
Anyway kiddos, it’s a lovely warm day in Moscow: absolutely perfect to be lounging around outside and absolutely horrific to be traipsing around it a bus. Yup, this particular poignant post came to me as I suffered through another crowded, stuffy commute. Also, I’ve recently gotten some e-mails asking for advice/general impressions as a Moscow ESL teacher, so I thought I’d start condensing everything into a series of (semi) coherent blog posts.
My first gem of wisdom? Be. prepared. to. travel.
Now my case is pretty extreme because I’m a business English teacher, which by nature is a lot more mobile than if you’re teaching in a school. Business English means I’m fluttering around the city daily to teach at the actual company locations. Add to that a school whose locations are not in Moscow, and you’ve got this blog: A Girl and Her Travels (through Moscow 3-5 times a day inevitably squished next to a heavy, sweating dude). I would say I’m on the pretty extreme end of commuting: if I’m teaching 2-3 (90 minutes each) lessons in a day, I could easily be traveling 1-2 hours between each class. Obviously I chose this schedule for myself for my own benefit: no kids classes (yay!), free time during the day, and I do get paid better than a teacher who only works in the school. If you’re considering teaching business English, you should expect this kind of schedule.
In-school teachers obviously have it a little better since they usually don’t travel between schools. This means the travel factor can be wildly variable, but expect to travel an average of 20-30 minutes a day to get to your school. I figure your school is either in the center (and therefore you can’t afford to live too close to it) or you’re working on the outskirts (and therefore would prefer to be closer to the center). Ain’t nothing wrong with a little bit of public transport, but in Moscow you should always factor in travel as part of your salary, or all of the sudden your hourly rate won’t look so good.
So, fellow Muscovites: how far do you travel in a day? Fellow ESL teachers: where the hell can I a) make some money and b) not suffer in public transport for half my life?