There are two main hiring seasons for TEFL teachers: the start of the academic year in September, when academies are setting up the group classes that will run until the summer, and January, when all the people who made a New Year’s resolution to learn English start looking for private classes and signing up at language academies for six month courses. That being said, academies do hire all year round; teachers come and go, new groups are put together at different times of year, and schools run month-long intensive courses at various times throughout the year. So if you graduate in March, what’s the best strategy to put together a full timetable of classes?
Don’t finish your TEFL course with nothing in the bank. Make sure you bring enough money to live on until you build up a full schedule of classes, which might take a couple of months. Check out our guide to the budget you’ll need for life in Barcelona. If you’re not under as much financial pressure, you’ll be able to fill up your timetable in a way that suits you (Fridays off, anyone?!)
Don’t expect your dream teaching job to fall into your lap! Most TEFL teachers in Barcelona teach a mixture of private classes, academy classes and in-company classes, and it takes time to build up a timetable that suits you. Have your CV and cover letter written by the last day of the course, and get your TEFL tutor to check it over. Do some research on academies you’d like to work for, and in areas you’d like to work, and then tailor your cover letter to each academy for a better response. Once you’ve got a list of places, start pounding the pavements! Drop into academies with your CV, and ask to speak to the English class coordinator instead of just dropping it off at reception.
There is a constant demand for online teachers, especially if you have a North American accent, and it’s a good way of fitting some extra hours around the classes you’re already doing. Even if you just do an hour every morning, it still adds up at the end of the month! Check out our guide to online teaching for more tips and tricks.
There are students looking for private classes all year round in Barcelona. Tusclasesparticulares, Lingobongo, and Superprof are all popular in Barcelona and free to post your advert on. Offering a first class for free is a good way to ensure lots of interest in your classes.
Send your CV to agencies such as Sky Languages and English for Business. They’re the middleman between teachers and companies looking for in-company classes, so if business English is something that you’re interested in teaching this is another good option when looking for work. This blog post has some advice for anyone thinking of teaching business English.
Join Facebook groups such as the Barcelona TEFL Teachers Association and Barcelona Teachers, and Teachers who Teach Kids in Barcelona. A lot of academies post job vacancies on these groups, so it’s a good source of work, and there are often teachers who are looking for people to take over their private classes because they’re leaving or changing their schedule. If there are academies that you’re particularly keen to work at, follow them on social media as they often advertise teaching vacancies there.
Picking up cover classes (usually advertised on the above forums) is a great way to get your foot in the door with academies. It’s a chance to show them that you’re professional, flexible and reliable – the holy grail for language academies when it comes to teachers! They will also be far more likely to hire you once they’ve met you and you’ve done a good job on cover classes.