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Tips to Survive your First TEFL Job in Spain

Becoming a TEFL teacher in Spain, a dream of many but fewer could make it till the end. TEFL Madrid Academy has been in the business for years and we know well what works best to survive your first TEFL job and how to make it less stressful and more fun.

So, you have got a TEFL certificate and want to travel for a living? Let us first make some wild guesses. It might be due to your dream of traveling and exploring other cultures or you simply want to teach. Whatever the case is, just be sure that teaching English is one of the most exciting ways to explore the world or the places you crave to see. Your TEFL certificate can become a key to your new, dream life and sooner or later, you’ll find that your time and energy spend to earn this certificate was simply worth it!

Since we’ve already shared some AWESOME tips and tricks on how to survive your TEFL course. This post will help the other party (the teachers) about how they can make their ‘teaching abroad’ experience a memorable one.

No doubt, becoming a TEFL teacher abroad was the best decision you have ever made, but now it’s time to plan ahead for the upcoming challenges. That is why TEFL-Madrid is presenting some practical tips besides wishing good luck to future teachers. Here is how you can get started and become a pro later on. Here are some practical tips and tricks worth considering in order to make your experience memorable while teaching TEFL in Spain.

Select A Country You Can Imagine Yourself Staying at.

This is the very first step to start a new journey abroad. Do some research and find out which country should be the best place to live in, or is there a country you always wanted to visit? How about living in Spain or teaching at TEFL Madrid Academy? Because there are higher chances of getting a job in Spain. This industry is gradually flourishing and is one of the largest job markets in Europe. Therefore, you are more likely to get Job as a TEFL teacher here. Besides, you can also explore the rich culture and learn Spanish. You can find here some more reasons that why Spain is the best destination for TEFL aspirants.

Making the right choice of your preferred destination is specifically important here because a person’s surroundings, as well as his social life, have a significant impact on his happiness and self-satisfaction – an initial step towards becoming a happy and competent TEFL instructor. This positive energy will reflect in your way of dealing the class.

Stay Motivated

Believe me, you need tons of motivation in order to get along this journey. This adventure is thrilling as well as daunting at the same time.  On one hand, you will be excited about what is about to come. While on the other hand, there will also be a fear of not doing at your best and failing your own expectation – which is the worst part. That is why you need to stay motivated and keep your eyes on the reward. If you are feeling a lack of motivation then look for it around you. Befriend with people of your interests, listen to them and share your own plans. Don’t forget that you are going to accomplish something big and you won’t be allowing any kind of negative energy to destroy your dream. This kind of planning and preparation will give a sense of determination and will help to keep moving forward. After all, what’s better than getting paid to work and live abroad!

Practice Public Speaking

There may not be a quite big audience in front of you. But you still need to start getting comfortable in front of the public. This will be equally helpful to boost your confidence level, no matter you are an extrovert or introvert. Imagine giving routine classroom presentations during your college life, this teaching experience might not be 100% similar to that, but can be way better than that with a little preparation. Public speaking is neither scarier nor a rocket science and if you can master it completely, the perks will be endless. Just practice making eye contacts and the right projection of voice. As you already own a TEFL certificate and a certified English teacher. Therefore, never underestimate your abilities and make the best use of what you have got.

Carefully Review Teacher Training Material

You might have been provided with lots of advice as well as resources about how to teach effectively during your training. Now it’s time to recall and revise them to make yourself fully equipped. As languages subjects are not easy to teach and demand more hard work as compared to other subjects. Here you will be teaching a second language to a group of students who are not good at it. Some will even have very limited knowledge. Therefore, you need to teach them by using a very flexible approach keeping in view their individual differences as well.

Apart from language barriers, you will also be dealing with many types of behaviors and situations within a classroom environment. That is why reviewing the teaching manuals and training material can be helpful to tackle such type of situations. Such manuals are created by industry experts and elaborate all kind of solutions to specific problems a teacher has to deal with. Although, there’re very limited chances that you’ll encounter any such issue still it’s better to be prepared.

Prepare an EXCELLENT Lesson Plan

Before your first class, you may need to spend a good amount of time on planning your lesson because it will make or break your personality. Students are very keen observers and extra care is needed to create a good impression of yours. Just trust your training and material you were taught during your own course and revise it until you master it inside and out. This meticulous planning is no doubt non-realistic but good practice as a beginner. Another useful tip given by one of the proficient teachers of TEFL Madrid Academy is over planning some extra activities on a daily basis. These backup activities will help to engage the class in case you finished your lesson early.

Breaking the Ice

It’s normal to be nervous during your first day, but don’t let that nervousness to ruin your first impression. Recall in your mind that it’s a privilege for you to avail this opportunity. There are contradictory views on how should a teacher deal and act during the first class. Some say that being stiff and strict is the right way. But in our opinion, a slight friendly approach is what it takes to get along with the leaners. Some ice breaking activity or a game would be a plus and the students will be enthusiastic to learn this way. Moreover, it is also recommended to come 10 minutes earlier to get everything prepared.


Being a newbie TEFL teacher, you may need to observe other teachers in school and the way they handle their class. Teachers are a tremendous source of knowledge and you can learn from them the things not even books told you. The art of teaching abroad becomes more fascinating when you learn it by watching senior teachers how they deal with student issues and their individuality. Especially in a different country with a whole new setting, nothing can work better then to learn from your fellow teachers who have already been there when you were not.

Don’t hesitate to talk to your colleagues as everyone was once in your shoes. Share with them your strategies and lesson plans by asking recommendations. You can even befriend with them which will help to successfully implement the lesson plans. Such a friendly environment will also make your fears a distant memory.

Be Flexible

Be flexible at learning new classroom management techniques and strategies and also to try them in order to find out what works best. Don’t ever adopt a monotonous approach both in your lesson plans as well as your voice. Try dramatic voice pitches and varying gestures to keep them engaged. It might seem strange especially if you are an introvert but with continuous practice, this flexibility will become your second nature.

Never let your excitement Die

There are plenty of reasons to be excited. After all, not all get a chance to live their dream life. You are now finally successful to land here having a rewarding job. This spark of excitement will act as a catalyst to earn future success.

Have Fun

We have talked enough about how to be a perfect TEFL teacher abroad but how about the life outside the boundaries of school? Isn’t it the place which deserves to be explored? After all, it’s no longer your native country. You are now part of the picture which once seemed to belong to a parallel universe. How exciting it is to explore the beauty and romance of historic cities of Europe, their divine nightlife, luscious cuisines, and monumental culture. And what’s more exciting than to make new friends, learning Spanish and having international work experience at your resume.

Exam Madrid Team
Exam Madrid Team
Articles: 134

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