Posted on December 19, 2019 | By Alexa Randell
16th Apr 2019
If you’re thinking of teaching English abroad in Spain, the chances are that you may end up working at a private academy. We’ve shared some information on what an academy is and what you can expect on the job.
If you’re teaching English abroad in Spain, you’ll find the majority of schools are private academies that provide classes in the afternoons and evenings. These usually cater to young learners that can come after school hours and for adults that can attend classes in the evenings after work. Most schools run their classes onsite in their academy, but some schools also provide an offsite service where the teacher goes to teach at a school’s premises after school hours. Other academies may also have morning classes to cater for adults studying or working different shifts. Most schools have an average of 15 students per class with an age range from 3-years-old to adults.
A typical working week when teaching English abroad in Spain at an academy would be from 4pm to 10pm Monday to Thursday and 4pm to 8pm on Fridays – or if you’re lucky enough, you may have no classes on a Friday! Schools tend to hold meetings or training days on Fridays in the morning due to the working day being shorter. Normally, the classes for young learners are an hour long and lessons for teenagers and adults are one and a half hours.
As you can imagine, having eight different classes each week can be quite daunting for a new teacher with no experience, not to mention the sudden amount of planning. When teaching English abroad in Spain, most schools will give you two or three classes with the same level to reduce your planning time. For example, you may have eight different classes but only five different levels. In addition, if you stay with the same school for a second academic year, you will probably use the same books, meaning you can recycle or adapt your plans from the previous year.
Teaching English abroad in Spain, the typical wage starts at 1,100 to 1600 euros a month depending on the area and your qualifications and experience. Qualification-wise, a TEFL certificate and a degree is preferred in Spain, but a degree is not essential. The contracts are normally around 10 months from mid-September to the third week of June. Wages are paid into a Spanish bank account each month. Typically, you get paid all national holidays, two weeks of Christmas holidays and one week at Easter. Over the summer period, if your school doesn’t have summer intensive courses, you would need to cover your own expenses for two months or consider working elsewhere at summer camps.
A lot of the academies are part of a teaching association which is beneficial for the teachers. For example, in Andalucía a lot of the academies are part of the Association of Centres of Teaching Languages (ACEIA). When a school becomes a member of ACEIA (or a similar association), it must follow a code of conduct which means they have to follow proper regulations in terms of qualified teachers, contracts, health care, wage slips and teacher training.
Most schools have an obligatory training week before the academic year starts. In this training week, you’ll usually cover the running of the school, learn about any administration and classroom management, receive your timetable, levels and books, and look at useful activities to use in your classes. In addition to this, most academies have CPD (Continued Professional Development) sessions delivered throughout the year by more experienced teachers or management.
The teaching hours in Spain fit nicely into the Spanish lifestyle in many respects. As the Spanish eat their lunch around 2pm, you eat just before you start work, seeing you through the day until ten where it is then dinner time. People often go out for dinner around 9pm or 10pm and then go for drinks afterwards. Bars are normally open quite late, and clubs don’t get going in Spain until the early hours in the morning. Fortunately, the afternoon start time at most academies means that you’ll have plenty of time to recover if you choose to go out and about during the week. Teachers in Spain tend to be pretty social and you’ll often find that your colleagues will invite you out for dinner or drinks after work.
If you found this article useful, you may also like Spainwise or Everything you need to know about teaching English in Spain.