How To Find English Teaching Jobs In Spain
When I moved to Spain on my third semester as an Erasmus Mundus master's student, I was keen to work part-time to complement my stipend. But I spoke just-okay Spanish and didn't know where to look or what kind of jobs I could take on. Luckily, I had a friend who got in touch via Facebook and offered to pass her students on to me as she prepared to leave Spain after graduation.
Then I realized how attractive and feasible this option is for English-speaking international students. Not only that, many people from English-speaking countries also use the teaching route to experience what it's like living abroad or to work on the side while they learn the beautiful Spanish language. I also know some who consider this as a bridge job as they figure out a way to stay in Spain long-term.
TYPES OF ENGLISH TEACHING JOBS
In Spain, English teachers usually work as:
- employees of private academies and language learning institutions,
- teacher assistants as part of the auxiliar de conversación program for government-subsidized escuela de idiomas or foreign language schools,
- self-employed English teachers, or
- a combination of the above.
If you're taking a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course in your country of origin, you might be eligible for a placement programme where your TEFL training provider helps you find a school in Spain and aids you in the entire process of moving. Check out MyTEFL for their onsite courses in Barcelona where you get 4 weeks of training, housing assistance, and job placement support. They also provide online courses for those of you who prefer to get TEFL certified this way.
If you're new to teaching and you'd like to learn more about classroom management, teaching techniques, advanced grammar, and just being generally more effective at work, then a TEFL certification is something you should definitely consider. These courses are open to native and non-native speakers.
For teacher assistants participating in the auxiliar de conversación program, you would be asked to choose your preferred locations, after which you'll be assigned to a school taking into account your preferences and slot availability.
If you're planning to go to Spain on your own to teach private English classes and you hold a non-EU passport, it's almost impossible that you'll get a work permit on the basis of private English classes. What most people do is enroll in a Spanish language course (program duration ranges from 3 months to a year) and work part-time teaching private English classes on a student visa. To make sure you're doing it right (I know Spanish bureaucracy is a beast!), you might want to read my post on the legal considerations for non-EU students when teaching English in Spain.
Whether you're already in Spain as an English teacher or auxiliar looking to increase your workload, or you're an international student looking for some private classes, read on! Here are some ways you can find English teaching jobs in Spain.
ENGLISH TEACHER FACEBOOK GROUPS
Search for English teacher groups in your city on social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn. In my city, there's a teacher group called "Bilbao English Teachers" and they regularly post jobs, class resources, visa Q&A's, and even flats for rent.
What I like about this medium for finding an English teaching job is that members are usually active and supportive. Aside from sharing information about job posts, they also post class resources, visa Q&A's, and flats for rent. It's perfect if you'd like to scout for jobs even before arriving in Spain.
Check out this list of some English Teacher Facebook groups in some regions in Spain:
- Bilbao English Teachers
- English Teachers in Malaga
- TEFL Teachers in Seville
- English Teachers Galicia
- Auxiliares de Conversación en Madrid (Less Sensitive Version)
- Auxiliares in Madrid (The Original)
- English Teachers in Barcelona
- Auxiliares de Conversación Salamanca
HOW IT WORKED FOR ME
I joined the Bilbao English Teachers Facebook Group, replied to a job posted by someone by sending her a private message, and dropped in her office for an interview. I sent her my CV by email beforehand and also printed it out and brought it with me to the interview. That same day, she told me I could start in 3 days.
UNIVERSITY JOB POSTS
At least where I'm based, parents would often approach the university to look for students who are willing to provide one-on-one conversation classes to their children. They place some adverts around the campus with the parents' contact numbers. As a university student, approaching the international student office is a great way to start looking for English teaching jobs in Spain.
HOW IT WORKED FOR ME
It's not actually me but a friend of mine who found her private classes through university job posts. She called them up, set up an informal interview, and in no time she was providing English classes to kids who lived close to her flat.
REFERRALS FROM YOUR PERSONAL NETWORK
Do you know anybody from your city or college who's currently living in Spain? How about your flatmates, classmates, and even friends of friends? Let them know you're on a job hunt and would appreciate if they can refer you to any family who's looking for an English teacher.
HOW IT WORKED FOR ME
My first students were actually referrals from a friend studying at my university. She got me in touch with her students' parents as she prepared to leave Spain. After a brief interview with the children's mom, we agreed to hold classes for 4 hours (2 hours/session) a week in the afternoons on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7-9pm. The schedule was perfect and allowed me plenty of time to dedicate to my studies.
WORD OF MOUTH
This approach will work only if you have at least one client who can vouch for you and what you can do. If they're happy with your teaching style and their learning progress, they're most likely to refer you to people they know.
I found this quite powerful for finding private English classes for children. Here in Spain, almost all parents are concerned about their children being able to speak good English, so they're quick to exchange information about English teachers they love.
HOW IT WORKED FOR ME
Almost all my private classes were referred by the mom of my very first students, so I'm a firm believer of the importance of making a good impression, doing your job right, and cultivating a good relationship with your clients. It also helped that I knew some Spanish, as it made it easier for them to voice out their concerns about our sessions and the children's progress.
SUBMITTING CVS TO ACADEMIES VIA E-MAIL
Private classes are great, but if you're interested in staying in Spain longer legally, you might want to look into working for academies. Although most of them would rather hire native English teachers with EU passports, some of them would be keen to sponsor you and take care of the paperwork if they like you. This isn't entirely impossible as there's a huge demand for English teachers in Spain and there are not enough qualified teachers to do the job.
Look up the academies in the regions you're interested to work in and send them a quick e-mail with your CV and cover letter. You'll have nothing to lose!
HOW IT WORKED FOR ME
I did some research on which academies operate in my area and sent them an email through their contact page with my CV. I made sure to highlight my TOEFL score and teaching experience as well as my achievements. I also made sure that it was concise and free of grammatical errors.
I was lucky enough to get accepted to one academy and worked weekends for 3 hours. Just with the income from my weekend teaching stint, I was able to pay almost the full amount of a month's rent.
I hope this post has given you some ideas on how and where to find English teaching jobs in Spain. Have you ever taught English in Spain or anywhere else? How was it like for you? I'd love to know all about it in the comments section below.
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