Frontistiria: Teaching in Greece

Old Dec 7th, 2007, 02:24 PM
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Frontistiria: Teaching in Greece

I'm looking for someone with experience teaching English in a Greek frontisteria. I'm considering this job option and would like to know how your experience was. Any wisdom you have on the subject would be greatly appreciated. I'm in love with Crete, but would be open to working on other islands as well.


1) There seem to be several agencies (TeachAbroad, Footprints Recruiting) who hire English speakers to teach at these frontisterias. Is it necessary to go through these agencies or will I have luck simply approaching schools in August?

2) Mostly these agencies are looking for EU citizens: Brits, Scots, etc. I'm an American. Does this limit my employment options?

3) I'm a credentialed English teacher in the United States with 4 years teaching experience so I don't feel I need to take a teacher's exam. I'm trying to avoid taking the TEFL/TESOL. Is this exam necessary or just a way for agencies to make money? How can I get around it?

4) I understand the frontisterias are after school and that students pay a small fee. Is this school the only option Greek kids have to learn English (other than paying big $ for a private tutor)?

5) Did you find the students interested in learning or are frontisterias just a baby-sitting job to keep kids out of trouble?

6) What kind of pay can I expect?

7) I really don't want to work more than 35 hours/week. What kind of a work load can I expect?

8) How many different classes do you teach each day?

Thank you so so much,
zoe1976 is offline  
Old Dec 7th, 2007, 03:05 PM
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It's extremely difficult for Americans to find legal work in Greece, especially without all the documentation that's normally required if you were able to find someone to hire you, assuming a Greek couldn't be found to fill the same position. Your best chance will be to apply through placement agencies, but for that TEFL/TESOL will definitely be needed. Don't expect an established school to take a risk by hiring you "under the table" when they have their own rules to follow and the eyes of the law bearing down on them.

Good luck, I hope you can make it happen.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Old Dec 13th, 2007, 01:19 PM
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Two summers ago, I met the daughter of a family friend in Athens. She had graduated from college in Greece with a degree in English but could not find employment as a teacher. She took a job teaching English in a frontistirio in Athens.

Later we learned she gave up after less than a full school year. She found the pay was low and the work hard. Athens is expensive so she went back to northern Greece to look for other work. Starting salaries in Greece are about €700 month and it is not clear how most graduates can make ends meet without subsidies from parents.

It is essentially impossible to score high enough on the entrance exam to get into college without attending a frontistirio. So the kids motivation is pressure from their parents to get into a Greek college. I suspect some of the students are not motivated.

Take a look at Kat's blog:
Bottom line is that it may be possible for an non-Eu citizen to teach but all the documents seem necessary.
real_goose is offline  
Old Dec 13th, 2007, 09:08 PM
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Out of curiousity, I browsed thru "Kat's Blog" mentioned by real_goose.

What an eye-opener, especially "How to start a new business in Greece" !!!

Much as I like visiting Greece, the lower standards of living and lower overall economic wealth (relative to other EU nations & USA) seems entirely self-inflicted by the Greeks and their self-destructive beauracracy.

And for those Greeks in small businesses, it's hard to blame them for wanting to do as many "cash only" transactions as possible.

tom_h is offline  
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