Types of TEFL Teaching Jobs in Spain

Working Hours for English teachers in Madrid

Teaching jobs in Spain

When we tell potential trainees that the normal working week is between 20 and 25 hours and often a four-day week, they think—that sounds easy, sign me up!! It’s important to remember you have to add on travel time and lesson planning to your teaching hours. Even if you only work 4 days a week, you are likely to leave the house at around 7 in the morning and get home in the evening, depending on how clever you are with your timetable. TtMadrid will advise you on how to make the most of your schedule teaching English here in Madrid. If you work in an academy or school, you tend to work 5 days a week but have a more fixed schedule.

The typical schedules vary depending on whether you are teaching in companies, in an academy, in schools or private work. Here are a few options for teaching English in Madrid:

In-Company Classes

In-company classes will generally always take place in the office of your client. Most work with businesses is through agencies, which usually wins a contract to provide all the English classes for a whole host of small and large companies, such as Microsoft and Banco de España. The types of classes tend to be group classes (normally 4-6 per group), one-2-one (normally with senior management and directors), intensive courses (lasting from 1 to 5 days) and telephone or online classes (using Skype from your home). Most teachers have a mix of all these types of classes and levels and teach at 4 to 5 different companies. This type of work is particularly suited to those who want to pursue a professional business career (or have already had one) and use it as a networking opportunity/CV builder as well. It also suits people who don’t want to teach children, although many graduates combine both adults and children. You normally receive an hourly rate and get paid more for any specialization you bring, like finance, law or IT. The variety of interesting people you meet and the freedom to build your own schedule to suit your lifestyle makes this type of teaching very attractive to many teachers.

If you are teaching 22-25 hours per week you should be taking home around 1300-1500 euro per month when you start out. If you want an idea on how much you can earn, or how much to save before making the move to Spain, email Helen for our Finance and Planning guide for moving abroad.

Teach In-Company English classes in Madrid
Teach English classes in Madrid Academy

Academy Classes

Academies are privately owned (often by established English teachers) and tend to be open from 3.30 pm to 10 pm to meet the demand of the private sector. The majority of academies teach both children and adults and include exam preparation courses so you are generally expected to feel confident teaching a little of everything. The rise in this sector has in part been due to the financial crisis in Spain, as more parents want to ensure their children speak English well and companies want employees with a good level of English. The academies are often located outside the center but very well-connected by metro, bus or train. Most teachers don’t mind travelling that little further as you can achieve many hours of classes in a row for block hours in one location. You may get paid an hourly rate or a salary that includes holiday pay–each academy works differently. Academy work suits teachers who like the variety of adults and children and are happy to work in the afternoon to have the morning free.

If you have the standard 25-hour block, you will be taking home around €1,200 and normally supplementing it with a few private classes and/or lunchtime company classes so your final salary will be around €1,350-1,500.

TtMadrid has contacts at over 300 agencies and academies!

School Classes

Most schools are, or intend to be, bilingual (Spanish/English) and the curriculum is taught in both languages, rather than having English as a separate subject. Overall the level is increasing but it is an ambitious project and is being supported by auxiliary teachers (teaching assistants) from native English-speaking countries such as the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Due to varying circumstances, many of the teaching assistants leave the program throughout the year and we have developed an excellent relationship with the team that runs the program. As soon as an opening arises (which is a couple of openings every week), they get in contact with us and we send it out to our grads. You are not expected to ‘teach’ but to reinforce what they do in the classroom through games and activities, so it really puts the grammar you learned on the course and your energy levels to the test. The hours vary school-to-school, but quite a few of our graduates like the stability of the pay, the fact that it is in one location and the fact you get all school holidays off!

The contract is normally for 16 hours per week and pays €1,000 which you will supplement with private and/or company classes in the evenings, bringing it up to around €1,350.

Teach English classes in schools of Madrid
Teach Private English classes in Madrid

Private Classes

Most graduates supplement their income with private classes that normally take place in a bar/café or in the house of the student. Private classes tend to last for 1 hour to 1.5 hours twice a week, depending on what the student can afford. Whilst the market with adults is very strong, there is also a growing market for children as well. With private classes, you can charge more as there is no ‘middle man’ but students tend to cancel more often. Many graduates find they get a lot of word-of-mouth recommendations.

The average rate is between €20-€25 per hour, although if you have a specialty that the student wants, you can charge €35-€40.

And finally…

It is important to remember that when you are a newbie teacher, you can’t be as picky as a seasoned teacher. We always advise our graduates to be selective, but to remember that you need to prove you are a good teacher by being organized, responsible and on-time. Once the agency or school begins to see that you are someone they can rely on and you start to receive positive reports from your students, your schedule will begin to get better and better until you have your golden schedule (working the least amount of time for the most amount of pay, with as many block hours as possible).

Finally, remember whether you are new to teaching or have been doing it for a long time, job satisfaction is the key to being a happy teacher. The TEFL industry can often be seen as a way to earn money until you find a ‘real’ job but for many of us who take it seriously and do well, it can mean a whole new and very satisfying career.

Finally, have a look at Bethan and Steve’s experiences of getting a job and day-to-day life as a teacher.

Finally - TEFL Expectation
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