What It’s like to be an English Assistant in Spain

what an assistant in spain does

There are many reasons to come to Spain and many more to come as an English teaching assistant. However you might be wondering what it’s like and what you’ll have to do at school once you get here.

Let’s assume that you know how to apply for the program to become a teaching assistant in Spain and you have everything ready and are about to take off and come to live in Spain for the first time.

At this point, you probably know where you have been allocated and all you think about is what this year is going to be like inside and outside the school.

Outside the school

Outside the school you might be required by your teacher to prepare something at home (power point, materials, etc). If not you could make some extra money teaching private lessons, explore the city or enroll in any of the activities, hobbies or gyms that a big city provides.

Inside the school

The main role of an English teaching assistant in Spain is to assist the teacher. Ok, that might be obvious so I’ll try to explain it a little bit.

Your work will be about 12 hours, 16 if you are an English teaching assistant in Madrid (you would also get paid more). Most likely you’ll have a day off either Friday or Monday which is great to travel around Europe. The working hours will vary depending on the school.

Your position might be at an Elementary School also known as CEIP (students ages from 3 to 12 years old) or at a High School (from 12 to 18 years old).

Despite the students’ different ages, the job would be similar. It usually depends on the teacher, so it’s difficult to determine what your teacher will want you to do, however here are the most common activities that an English teaching assistant in Spain do.

Common Activities:

  • Support the students inside and outside the classroom. Sometimes there are some students that need some extra help or one-on-one attention.
  • Group withdrawals: usually speaking activities so the students get fluent in English.
  • Class materials and decorations: if you are artsy, the teacher might see in you as an unlimited source of materials, creating displays and posters to help the students learn.
  • Help with the external exams: there are certain grade levels where the students need to take an important exam. A part of this exam is speaking and you know what they say: practice makes perfect.
  • Stories: sometimes you could be reading books to the kids.
  • Bring your culture to the classroom: regardless of the celebration, either for Halloween, Valentine’s Day or St Patrick’s, you might explain how you celebrate it or create a powerpoint for the students to see.
  • Fieldtrips: you might be asked to go out of the school for a day fieldtrip.

There are many more things that you might be required to do. Feel free to leave any comments or questions below.

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