Teaching in Spain - Schools in Spain

Spain International Schools
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Spanish Links

British Primay School
El Limonar (espanol)
Newton College
The English School
Xabia Int'l College
English school of Asturias
American School
Benjamin Franklin International School
Blossom International Kindergarten
Col.legi Europa School
American School
British Council School
Hastings School
International College
International School of Madrid
Runnymede College
Aloha College
International School Estepona
Mayfair International Academy
The Music Factory
The Peter Pan Bilingual Nursery Schools
Sunland Int'l School
Baleares Int'l School
El Limonar (espanol)
International School
American School
Caxton College

Language Schools
English Connection, Madrid
Hispania Center, Madrid



Teaching in spain

There are many international schools in Spain, and many language schools that teach English. Spain is very popular as a destination for international teachers. The connection with the rest of Europe along with the wonderful climate makes Spain a very popular choice. There are differing opinions of the experiences that teachers have had whilst they have been there. It seems that the experience depends very much on the school that they have been teaching at. The first thing that teachers in Spain complain about is the pay (don't we all?). As soon as a teacher has a family to support, the salary becomes an issue. Strangely enough, the teachers in International schools in Spain are paid less than their national counterparts in national schools (although their pay rates are still lower than the English counterparts). Tax rate is around 25-30% including social security. The pay in the private international sector seems to hover around 1200-1400 euros take home (summer 2004)- with no pension provision, rent at between 300 and 600 euros a month (depending, obviously) and no job security. Of course the rent depends on the location. For example in Madrid, the rent is higher, but therefore the pay is also. However, the upside of living here is that once you leave the school building your time is your own; marking is the same obviously, but record keeping, planning etc is a minimum time commitment in comparison to the UK. The weather is lovely 80% of the time, the people friendly and the way of life is just generally more relaxing.
As for childcare for your own, most private guarderias (4 months-3 yrs)are 300-350€pm for 8-5.30, meals included. After that, they will go to a normal local school with an "infantil" department.

If you come out to Spain, you should not be naive. Be prepared to ask difficult questions about the conditions etc. If the school is clearly not happy about answering the questions or not convincing, then maybe you should think twice about going there. If they respect the employment laws, and show good respect to the teachers there, they will have nothing to hide.
If you are told by a school at interview that they're offering you a 9-10 month contract and that that's OK because "everyone does it" and you just have to sign on the dole over summer, then this should be a warning sign. The school has a cavalier attitude towards their legal responsibilities as employer and this is likely to be reflected in other aspects.
Most "reputable" international/British schools require 2-3 years of previous experience. I wouldn't recommend working for one of the less reputable ones. The pay will be lousy and they don't always obey the labour laws.

To work in a Spanish state school, you need to pass the "Oposiciones" examinations. These are both ridiculous, in that they require a mass or totally arcane knowledge, and horrendously difficult. I know quite good Spanish teachers who have been trying to pass them for years. And before you can even sit for the exams, you have to get your English degree "convalidated" which is not always as simple as it ought to be given EU regulations. A few years ago, a friend of mine tried to get his degree convalidated and was told that he would have to take extra courses in Arabic and Ancient Greek!
Having said all that, if you can find an decent international school which pays a reasonable salary, then Spain is a great place to live.

The reason why there is such a well qualified body of teachers in Spain in a state schools is because its a very good job. Its very well paid and they do not have as many violent incidents at schools as in other countries according to statistics.

Before any native speaker of English can even begin to think about taking the oposiciones, they must pass the Cervantes test to indicate fluency in spanish. This along with convalidacion will allow one to take the test.

Private schools here are cheap, mainly due to the abundance of catholic schools. International schools can't raise fees too high without losing students. No matter how low the pay, people keep on applying for the jobs because Spain is a good place to live and you don't have to worry about the National Curriculum.

To summarise, Spain can be a great place to work and teach, but you should not go into any situation with rose coloured spectacles. In international teacher needs to be able to rely on their own resourcefulness and ability to really read the situation the way it is. If you keep this in mind, you should not really have any problems.

Teaching in Spain
Read about the experiences of other teachers

Llinks recommended by expats in Spain.

Teach English Overseas
Teach English overseas, obtain a TEFL or TESOL certificate.

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