After telling people for a year I was moving to Spain to be an English teacher, I can finally say that I am one! It’s pretty exciting news, especially as it’s been a bit of a strange journey.

I had a work situation where I felt like I was being constantly told I wasn’t qualified or able to do anything, just because I’m young. But better things where I get taken more seriously (and paid better!) have come up – I feel like the guy in this silly picture!

One of these better things is that I’m teaching private English classes, which is fabulous! People come to my apartment on my schedule, and it’s a more relaxed, respectful work environment. Sure, there are downsides, the main one being that there is no fixed monthly income. To compensate for this, I’ll be working at at least one English academy. My daily schedule is starting to look a lot more pleasant and flexible. I’ve got my fingers crossed it all works out well for the year!

So how did I end up doing what I want to do on my time schedule? It actually wasn’t too difficult, although it seemed overwhelming at first. Here’s how to get a job as an English teacher in Spain:

1) Put ads up on Tus Clases Particulares (your private classes). I got loads of contacts, although some of them didn’t work out because of things like scheduling or distance. I even got contacted by English language academies for potential work there.

2) Use Loquo, which is like a Spanish Craigslist, to look for job postings by academies. I could also put ads up here, but I liked the site from #1 better.

3) Send out your resumé to every reputable language school in Barcelona using Lingo Bongo (for just €10). They have space to put ads up for private classes too. I can’t say enough good things about this site, especially as the people who run it were incredibly nice when I contacted them. They actually talked themselves out of a sale to help me find more classes!

4) Walk around and pass out copies of your resumé, even at schools who say they have enough English teachers for now. One of these schools contacted me for an interview, and I actually ended up with a placement there!

5) Get a TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA certificate. This is just a qualification that says you can teach English. I got a TEFL, but I’ve actually been told that the CELTA is the best one to get. But mine was just a 4-week intensive course (like, 50 hours a week intensive), and it seems to be doing the job in that it opens doors.

Here I am in action!

Next year, I’m applying for the Auxiliares program again. I’m not sure if I’ll want to stay here a second year, but right now, I’m loving being here so much that I think I will want to. This would be a great opportunity to be able to support myself for another year abroad. I’m currently reading lots of blogs by current and past Auxiliares and it sounds like lots of fun. Let’s see what happens!