Introduction to Teaching English Online

5 Great Reasons to Teach TEFL English in Madrid

1) Working conditions: The best thing about teaching English in Spain, and in Madrid, is that you don’t really have a boss. As long as your students are happy and nobody complains, then you will be pretty much left alone. If you work in a school, then you will probably have contact with your boss. But if you teach classes in companies, then except for the end of the month when paperwork and wages have to be done, you practically never even see your boss!

2) The climate: Although it gets very hot in summer, there are blue skies for more than 250 days per year. If, like me, you’re from Northern Europe, where winters can be depressingly grey, cloudy and wet, then this makes a big pyschological difference. It just feels like a happier place to be. Yes, it rains sometimes – it’s not a desert. And it does get quite chilly in winter, down to a few degrees below zero. But you will rarely have more than 2 or 3 days in a row of grey skies.

3) The people: People in Madrid are really very friendly. If you ask for help on the street, they will take the opportunity to practise their English on you while they help you. If you connect with people in a night-club, don’t be surprised if you get an invitation to have lunch with your new friend and his/her family the next day. People here are genuinely friendly and out-going. And although it’s a city of 5 million people, you’ll be surprised how often you bump into people you know on the street.

4) Food: This applies not just to Madrid, but to all of Spain. The food is fantastic and varied. You should always get a small free “tapa” with your beer. Maybe Spain isn’t the most vegetarian-friendly country in the world, but meat-eaters are spoilt for choice. And the Spaniards have a delicious dish for just about any part of the animal (sometimes it may be best not to ask exactly what is the scrumptious food you’re wolfing down).

5) Lifestyle: Spanish people really know how to enjoy life. It’s not really surprising that two Spanish words which have become internationally understandable are “siesta” and “fiesta”. Now, I won’t tell a lie and say you can have siesta every day as an English teacher in Madrid. Lunchtime is prime time for classes. But it’s perfectly acceptable at the weekend or any day that a lunchtime class is cancelled. As for “fiesta”, even the tiniest village in Spain has one week a year where nobody works and everyone spends seven days drinking, eating very well and going to a few parades. In Valencia, they like to burn things, in Pamplona they run in front of angry bulls and Easter week anywhere in Spain is a wonder to experience.

Written by Owen Baxter for November 2008
Owen Baxter has worked in the Madrid TEFL market for 8 years.

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