Private classes can be an excellent way of increasing your income but you need to think through some things first so that you maximize your time and money.

Take it seriously

One of the drawbacks of private classes is that they often cancel with little or no notice and then don’t expect to pay.  Make sure that you set out your terms and conditions at the first meeting.  Having a small contract will help with this so there is no misunderstandings with your student.  Things to include could be:

  • Cancellation policy – 24 hours notice is the norm
  • A minimum attendance of 80% of the classes
  • How much the classes cost
  • When you expect to be paid

Be Safe

I have never heard of any horror stories but why take the risk. The following tips will help to keep you safe.

  • Organize the first meeting at a bar or cafe close to the student’s house.  If you don’t get a good feeling, leave.  If you are happy, get them to walk you to their home so you know where to go next time
  • Have a buddy that knows where you are, who you are meeting and arrange to phone them when you arrive and the time you are due to leave.
  • Ensure you get a mobile number from them and full address and give this to your buddy.

Sell yourself

When you are putting up adverts make sure you sell yourself well.

  • Specify what type of classes you teach (general, adult, children, business, exam prep etc)
  • Highlight your skills or experience
  • If you are female point this out.  Women tend to want female teachers so they feel safer
  • Explain how you teach – interactive, dynamic, well prepared etc

Where to advertise

In Madrid and Spain there are some great free places to put up ads on-line


If you live in an apartment block, put ads in the mail boxes as being close to home for late night classes is a real bonus.  Local cafes and bars are normally very happy to let you leave some leaflets.

Think about time as well as hourly rates

It is often seductive to go for the highest hour rate without considering the overall package.  This is an example:

A student contacts you who wants two hours a week on a Monday and Wednesday evening and you quote 20 euros an hour, earning 40 euros a week.

However, if you went back to the student and offered them a discount to have the 2 hours on the same night (17 euros an hour), you would be earning 34 euros a week but you are then able to sell Wednesday night to another student who wants 2 hrs a week at the same price and therefore earning 68 euros a week.

I hope the above tips will help when you get private TEFL jobs in Madrid and Spain