Read testimonials from native English speakers who have taught English in Spain as they explain where they studied, what it was they did, and their overall exerpience teaching and livivng in Spain.
Name: Elisa Vazquez
School: CEIP Miguel de Cervantes
City: Valdilecha, Madrid, Spain
My name is Elisa Vazquez. I’m 25 years old and I’m an American from Pennsylvania.
I was placed in CEIP Miguel de Cervantes (a primary school) in Valdilecha, a small town outside of Madrid.
At my school I assisted in English, Natural Science, Social Science and P.E. classes. I had classes with infantil (5 year olds), first grade, second grade, fifth grade and sixth grade.
After the first year I decided to renew as an auxiliar and do my Masters at Universidad de Alcala de Hernares. I was able to be placed in a different school this year (much closer to the center of Madrid) and I’m plann
ing on renewing for another year at my current school.
I have really enjoyed my time here in Madrid and I would recommend it to anyone needing a break from the States or just to take some time to figure out what your next moves are in life.
The one thing I would like to mention is that teaching here is different than in the States. As with anything else, there are pros and cons to the education system here. With that being said, if you’re planning to join the auxiliar program here in Madrid, I’d advise you to come with an open mind and be ready to experience something new!
Name: Jordan Sanders
School: CIEP San Sebastian
City: Meco, Madrid, Spain
My time teaching abroad in Spain was an invaluable life experience that I would repeat in a heartbeat. I lived in Madrid, Spain and helped teach first and second grade in the small town of Meco. My favorite part about living in Spain was the actual teaching itself. These kids benefit greatly from having a native English speaker in the classroom interacting and sharing a different perspective with them.
Bonus perk: when you aren’t teaching your typical 4 day week, you get to live in one of the coolest cities in Spain. Transportation is easy, the bars and food are incredible, and the museums are rich with art and history. If I had to rate my experience on a scale of “never again” to “amazing,” I’d give it an “amazing.” Allow yourself this incredible experience and follow your heart!
City: Coslada, Madrid, Spain
Hi, my name is Kim, I’m from Canada. I originally came to Spain because I had been offered a 8 month teaching job, and I thought it would be a great way to pick up a bit of Spanish. I met me future husband on the 1st day in Spain. That was over 17 years and two kids ago. We have been living in Madrid since we got married.
I stumbled upon the Auxiliar program way back in the early days—I started my first year without ever having to fill out the dreaded Profex application.
The program worked perfect for me at the time as my daughter was just starting school and it allowed me to work the same schedule that she had. Anyone who has lived in Spain quickly learns that working hours are long, part time is almost unheard of it causes a challenge for juggling life with small children.
The first year I worked in Alcobendas. This school was very organized and their bilingual program was well planned and coordinated. I was assigned to work with two teachers who had 4th grade classes. They were both amazing teachers who were passionate about teaching and worked hard to reach each of the children. I was used extensively in the classroom and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
The 2nd year I requested a school change so that I could be in a school near where I lived. I was sad to have to leave the school in Alcobendas as I was very happy there.
I was reassigned to Seneca school in Coslada. I again had a fantastic experience. The coordination was totally different in the this school. Seneca wanted the children to get to know as many of the auxiliaries as possible so I was with different teachers and different grades everyday.
It took me longer to get to know the students. Some teachers used me a lot to help in the classes and I was treated as a fellow teacher. Other teachers didn’t take advantage of having a conversation assistant in class and I struggled to find ways to be more than just part of the furniture in the classroom.
Overall the experience was very positive.
Teaching as an auxiliar has the best part of teaching—the classroom experience without the hours of preparation (the teachers are expected to do that). If any of the children are struggling or misbehaving you have the support of the entire school and teaching staff behind you—not to mention it is again the job for the teacher to deal with, not the Auxiliar.
Other than the nightmare of navigating through the Profex program to fill out the application, coming to Spain to be an Auxiliar de Conversacion is an enriching experience I would strongly recommend to anyone who is considering it.
Now I spend my time wandering around Spain and writing about the fantastic places to visit. If you are wondering what there is to do and see beyond Madrid and Barcelona, check out my blog at Travelling around Spain.
Name: Derek Stache
City: Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Living and working in Spain as an auxiliar was one of the best experiences of my life! I was placed in Madrid which I’m really happy about since it’s an incredible city. I taught english at the secondary level which was fun because I could have more meaningful conversations with my students and there were more activities that they were able to do.
My school was actually in a small town about 40 minutes outside the city, but it was not a bad commute since I could take the train directly there. The job itself was pretty low-key and easy.
There was a lot of time off, so it was great to be living in such a fun city like Madrid. There are a lot of really interesting museums, beautiful parks, and so many good restaurants and bars where I would hang out with friends.
The whole experience was one of the best of my life and if I hadn’t already confirmed my position to go to grad school, I would’ve done it again another year for sure.