Public Schools in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

Public schools in the Czech Republic and Slovakia are great places to find rewarding teaching positions.

And though they would like to attract teachers who are credentialed and experienced, not all public schools have this luxury. When they need to fill a vacancy quickly, they may hire someone with a lot of enthusiasm, but without much experience or even formal qualifications.

In general, public schools do not pay as well as private schools, although the benefits they provide may help compensate for the differences in salary. Public schools often help their expat teachers locate accommodations, and in some cases they may actually provide room and board free of charge. Another advantage: public schools must operate within the bounds of the law. Consequently, they help you arrange all necessary work visas and residency permits. In addition, public schools deduct all of your social security taxes from your salary so that you will qualify for all public health care benefits.

Salaries in the public schools typically range from US$200 to $280, or roughly 5,000 to 7,000 crowns per month. Yes, these seem like paltry sums, but it’s amazing how little you can live off of in either country, particularly if your accommodations are covered and you avoid trying to set records for successive nights of partying. And remember, there are different ways to supplement your income if you organize your time efficiently.

Teaching positions in public schools may differ significantly from private sector jobs in other ways, too. Because schools contribute to the foundation of a community, you will have the opportunity to get more deeply involved in Czech or Slovak society. Public schools sometimes exist in places where you won’t be able to find a private school for miles. If rural or small-town living appeals to you, you will have a better chance of finding your niche in the public school sector.

An American woman who was director of a local teacher volunteer organization in Bratislava said:

    “In smaller communities, foreigners are more often respected and well liked.”

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