Have you ever wondered how those Auxiliars in Spain afford to travel so much? Yes, we live in Europe which is big step #1, but an English TA salary isn’t a one-way ticket to a life of luxury. Depending on the region and program, Auxiliars get paid around 700 to 1000 euros a month to teach 12 - 16 hours a week. After rent, groceries and unintentional shopping trips, those funds can magically disappear. Though not required, many of us teach private English classes on the side to fund our weekend escapades. So if you’re looking to have more financial freedom abroad by teaching English and don’t know where to start, I’ve got you covered.
An Auxiliar-favorite, Clases Particulares is a useful site to help teachers and students connect. People of all ages and English levels use this website from parents of 5-year olds to adult business owners. Create a profile with an energetic “About Me,” your availability, teaching experience and/or certifications, pricing, and a cute photo to watch the lesson opportunities roll in. It’s one of the easiest and most efficient ways to find classes.
Spain is a community and family-orientated culture, so word of mouth is everything! Since you’re replacing an Auxiliar from the year before, you can snag their private classes if they taught students from school. Parents and co-workers will often seek you out to set up private lessons for their child or someone they know.
Regional Facebook Groups
Joining the Auxiliar Facebook group for your region is a must. Auxiliares who have moved on from Spain may still be contacted by parents of their former students who are looking for a new teacher. To help out, the Auxiliares post the demographics of the students and the parent’s contact information, with their permission,in the group. From there it’s first-come, first-serve! Make sure to turn on your notifications to snag them quick because they go fast.
Some academy employees are members in the Facebook groups mentioned above and write about job openings. Or, you have to walk around your city for flyers in cafes, libraries, schools, etc. to find them. These positions are nice if you want “set” hours because some Spanish families are too flexible and cancel, meaning you lose money that week. With academies, you sacrifice one-on-one private classes for a larger class size and a reliable income.
Intercambios are an exchange between two people who want to learn the other person’s language for about an hour a week. They are normally free and can be found on flyers, hosted weekly in cafes or organized in a university database. However, there are people interested in both conversation and studying for the Cambridge English Exam to advance in their professional lives. Thus for paid intercambios, you prepare in-depth English lessons and speak in English based on their exam level to test them. These are rare, but do appear on occasion.
With that, you’re all set! Don’t let a stipend hold you back from pursuing your bucket list, shopping or saving while abroad. However, do remember that the cost of living each region differs in price and your classes will too. For example, a private lesson in La Rioja is 15 euros/hour and then 5 euros for each person added while a Madrid TA can start at 20 euros/hour. The money balances itself out and you have enough time as an Auxiliar to make the classes worthwhile. Take advantage of all the opportunities because the hustle never stops, except for during siesta.