A guide to the best way to get English teaching jobs in Madrid or the rest of Spain

A common question we are asked is “What is the best way to get English teaching jobs in Madrid and Spain?”

We have to be honest and state that the best way is to take the EBC TEFL course in Madrid and then let EBC find you a job.

The EBC TEFL course runs for four weeks and we will find work for you within a week or less of graduating.

That aside, not everyone chooses EBC so they are faced with the long and arduous task of finding work on their own.

The classic mistake made is to believe that Spain works like the USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, etc.

WRONG! Spain works like Spain.

The wrong way to get English teaching jobs in Madrid

The Spanish do not like people knocking on their doors uninvited and looking for work. They prefer things to be neat, tidy and scheduled. After living for almost 20 years in Madrid, believe me, I know what I am talking about.

Receptionists love new, prospective paying clients walking through the door. They detest uninvited job applicants and salespeople walking through the door.

If you walk into a school with your CV looking for work, your CV will almost certainly be thrown in the waste basket.

A walk-in will only find a willing receptionist if the school is actively looking for a teacher and the receptionist knows about it. If you plan on hitting the streets, make sure that the schools you want to visit are looking for a teacher the moment you walk in the door. If they are not, you just wasted your time and a few sheets of printed paper.

EBC also runs an English language school, and we get a constant stream of recent TEFL graduates from all the other TEFL training schools in Madrid hawking their CVs. The phrase is “you get what you pay for.” Sad but true. It is a demeaning experience for the prospective teacher, but I suppose you have to swallow your pride.

Unfortunately we always say no because EBC only hires EBC trained teachers. However, it does give us an obvious insight into the “job placement” that the other schools advertise.

Best way to get English teaching jobs in Madrid without demeaning yourself

Spain loves the barrio (neighbourhood) spirit. Barrios are small, and the interpersonal connections are tight. If you do not know someone in the barrio, chances are, one of your friends does. The best way to get English teaching jobs in Madrid and the rest of Spain is to take advantage of this barrio spirit. Get the word out and the barrio will do the rest as long as you do a good job.

Word-of-mouth recommendations in Spain are not gold, they are platinum or even diamond.

What is in all barrios that people walk past every day? Lampposts, and I am not kidding. Look at just about any lamppost in Madrid, and you will see a sticker or a flyer taped to it.

If you need a locksmith, painter, decorator, PC technician, language teacher, apartment, garage space and more, look at a few lampposts and you will find them. Usually, the “advertisements” are stickers or flyers with tear-off phone number strips.

This is how Spanish barrios work.

Instead of pounding the streets, humiliating yourself by knocking on language school doors, take the initiative and place an “advertisement” on your local lampposts.

Sounds dumb? Keep reading

You will get replies. I guarantee it. EBC needs locals to attend our teaching practice classes. We need these people for the teaching practice classes that our four week and hybrid TEFL course attendees give. The most efficient way we have found to attract the locals is to stick flyers on lampposts. After one of our periodic postings, we get a constant stream of calls from people who want to attend. This usually continues over several days.

If you do something similar in your barrio to advertise yourself as a local English teacher, you will get calls. That is unless your asking price is too high.

Best way to get English teaching jobs in Madrid – suggested flyer wording.

  • Men use Profesor and Licenciado. Women use Profesora and Licenciada.
  • Change your teaching hours as you wish but always use the 24-hour clock.
  • For the best results, start at around 20 Euros an hour. No calls = your price is too high.
  • NEVER put your address.
  • ALWAYS meet a prospective client in a public place BEFORE you decide where the classes are taught.
Profesor/Profesora de inglés English teacher
Vivo en el barrio I live locally
Licenciado/Licenciada I have a degree
Titulación acceptada por British Council British Council accepted qualification
Ofrezco clases de inglés I give English classes
Inglés general o de negocios General or business English
Imparto clases desde las 9:00 hasta la 20:00 I teach from 9:00 to 20:00
Clases particulares o en grupo Private or group classes
Precio XX Euros la hora Price XX Euros per hour
Llame al [your phone number] Call [your phone number] DO NOT put the +34 country prefix

Make the flyer with tear off strips for the phone number. Stick them on lampposts.

IMPORTANT: DO NOT stick your flyers on anything but lampposts. Sticking flyers on walls, windows, bus stops or phone booths may get you fined.