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Offered Teaching Assistant Job Spain

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by Morrisj5, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Hi all, am looking for a bit of advise. I've been offered a teaching assistant post in a primary school in Catalonia region of Spain. I've never worked as a teaching assistant, as I am a fully qualified primary teacher in Ireland. In fact, we don't have teaching assistants in Ireland so I don't really know what the role entails...basically my salary will be around ?1300. My main reason for taking this job would be to immerse myself in Spanish lifestyle and experience teaching in another country.

    The advise I'm looking for is, basically:
    1. What is the main role of a teaching assistant?
    2. Do many primary teachers take up these positions?
    3. Would this be a good salary for Spain and easy enough to live on? It's much less that Ireland...but I take it living expenses are cheaper...

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks ;-)
     
  2. Hi all, am looking for a bit of advise. I've been offered a teaching assistant post in a primary school in Catalonia region of Spain. I've never worked as a teaching assistant, as I am a fully qualified primary teacher in Ireland. In fact, we don't have teaching assistants in Ireland so I don't really know what the role entails...basically my salary will be around ?1300. My main reason for taking this job would be to immerse myself in Spanish lifestyle and experience teaching in another country.

    The advise I'm looking for is, basically:
    1. What is the main role of a teaching assistant?
    2. Do many primary teachers take up these positions?
    3. Would this be a good salary for Spain and easy enough to live on? It's much less that Ireland...but I take it living expenses are cheaper...

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks ;-)
     
  3. They are taking the Mick. They want to get a fully-trained teacher doing what is often an unskilled/semi-skilled job and pay a pittance for it.
    Don't do it. Read up on Spain on here. Even on a teachers' salary many struggle.
     
  4. Thanks for the advise guys...however, it does sounds like a brilliant school and there would be a chance of a teaching position there later in the year too which is making me think would taking a TA post for a while be an interesting change? I am going to have to mull it over a good bit more.

    Any other advise?
     
  5. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    I actually started as a TA while working towards teaching certification (long story, US state desperate for SEN teachers). I enjoyed it and it gave me a great perspective from which to be able work effectively with TA's in my own classes. The role of TA does have some advantages (less responsibility but still able to work closely with students) and some major disadvantages (less pay, at the mercy of having a good teacher in charge of the class, having many less desirable jobs fall to you). You job is basically whatever the lead teacher needs you to do to assist them in teaching the class. This can end up being brilliant, or very, very, frustrating.
    Also, from my experience in public, private and international schools, once an individual school has you pegged as a TA (even a brilliant, valuable TA) it can very difficult for them to envision you as anything else. This often means that you need to go to a different school to get your chance as a teacher.
    In your case, you already have had that experience and so it may not apply to you. Do your research, but if you are ready for a change and an adventure (and have no family that you are risking) you may just need to leap and see how things unfold. As I have told my students on many occasions, "Statistically, it should not prove fatal".
     
  6. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Established commenter

    This is spot on. I have seen it fail miserably and work brilliantly. The key is a talented/ confident class teacher who doesn't feel threatened by a talented/ experienced assistant. The assistant also needs to tread carefully, especially at first.
    It ain't necessarily so. As an idle, feckless HT I would always opt for promoting a proven treasure rather than buying a pig in a poke.
    Spain is only a bit cheaper than UK overall and there are quite large regional variations. Mrs M and I live in an inland/ rural area and have noted some outrageous prices for quite standard supermarket items on our very occasional visits to the costas. Bear in mind that quite a chunk of your €1300 will go on rent. One major plus is the Spanish health service which in our family's experience is vastly superior to the NHS. They even smile at you kindly when you try to speak the lingo.
    You are seeking 'advice', BTW. 'Advise' is the verb.
    ¡Suerte!

     
  7. you are a teacher so this role will have you chaffing at the bit. You should easily be able to pick up a teaching job as there are many on offer and they come up often as the salaries are quite low in all the private schools. This makes t difficult to base a family life and thus tends to appeal often (not always) to young singles who are in the exploring and adventuring phase....

    if its 1300 before or ater tax will make a big difference. Many spaniards live on 1000, but they often live at home or have a partner that works or are supported more or less within an extended community in which they have been raised. If you want to travel around and expand your horizons you will be stretched economically. It may mean sharing a flat etc.


    Teaching in schools in spain is quite mixed and requires a rethink in many ways - a heavy reliance on transmission using text books- a publishing industry which dominates even down to text books for 2/3 year olds (I kid you not). There are however jobs within the MEC language scheme which would allow you to develop a very useful expertise, retain a degreee of professional indpendence and not be quite so much at the vagueries of a private school who usually have little compuction when it comes to giving dodgy contracts, limited rights - no summer holiday pay etc.

    check out as much as you can before hand. There are various routes in to spain and it is worth using the passport of fully qualified teachr to ease your passage where possible.
     
  8. Thanks everyone for all the advice!

    I would fear some of the things that people have noted, such as not being able to live on the salary and also feeling restricted and frustrated in the TA position. I note as well how people have also had some difficulties with International School sector in Spain before and I have to take this into consideration when making my decision as well.

    I'm prepared to go and try something different as I'm at the stage in my life where I've worked a bit at home and would like to go and get some new experiences in the world. I have 3 years full time experience as a teacher and I'm absolutely craving new experience at this stage.

    But overall I am now thinking perhaps it would be better to hold out for a full teaching position if I am to take the leap and go.....Will keep posted what I do...Thanks everyone for words of wisdom!

    Muchos Gracias a todos!
     
  9. Just do it. I'm sure you won't be the lowest paid person in Spain!

    Also, even if you are there for only a year, it will get some international experience on your CV, which will look attractive to other international schools, if you apply for another job.

    Benny
     
  10. Or, they will wonder what's wrong with you for only being able to land a TA's position and for only one year at that.
     
  11. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Despite sidinz having lost all respect for me, I would have to say that she is making a very good point. Schools don't read CVs that analytically. Many will simply see the one year and the TA bit, and be blind to anything else you may say. Or, even worse, they will point blank refuse to believe anything else you might say - without even giving your referees the chance to confirm things.

    As long as the TA post does lead to a proper teaching position, what you want to do sounds great. However, lots of things can go wrong. What if there's a change of Principal? This (in a full-time teaching position) happened to me and, despite the fact that all but a couple of secondary teachers are no longer at the school in question, all that most schools see is that I was only there for six months. I took a short contract at another school, yet despite it being extended, and me going back twice, all anyone notices is how short my time there was.

    Just be aware of what can go wrong.
     
  12. I completely see Sidinz point and I agree with that. I think schools would think a year TA job on a CV for a fully qualified teacher would look bad despite my reasoning for it. Yes thanks David, I've been thinking about this over the weekend and I think there are things that may not go as planned and I don't want to risk it just so I can indulge myself for a year in Spain. I'm going to turn down the offer and keep applying for teaching positions. I'll try to write a lovely rejection letter so that if anything comes up with them they keep me in mind though! Thanks again :)
     
  13. Fair play.

    My inexperience and enthusiasm prevails!
     
  14. missmunchie

    missmunchie New commenter

    I wouldn't do it and I live in Spain! It would be a struggle to live on 1300€ a month and, I agree with David, would look odd on your CV if it didn't lead to a teaching job at the same school.
    I would say that anything can happen over the summer, I've been offered teaching jobs in July and even September in the past!
     
  15. Out of interest Missmunchie what is considered a good or even 'average' salary in an international school as a teacher in Spain now?

    Thanks, hopefully I will find what I'm looking for soon :)
     
  16. to live one needs maybe 1500euros take home - 1800 euros before tax, As a mature individual with a desire to do your job well and that means have a stable home base, social and acitve life (sports/arts/music etc). If you are good at your job you are worth at least that. The school will be amply repaid by the response of parents and students.
     
  17. missmunchie

    missmunchie New commenter

    Yup that's about right for an average school. Better schools will offer more than this, say 2500€ before tax, so just over 2000€ after, but I think this usually applies to schools in Madrid.
    Basically anything above 1500€ after tax = good [​IMG]
    Anything below 1500€ after tax = BAD + AVOID [​IMG]
     
  18. That's a good salary guide, thank you for that!

    Presently no job for next year so holding out for my Spanish dream! Out of interest, does anyone know, in general, how long does it take schools to get back to applicants after the submissions deadline???
     
  19. missmunchie

    missmunchie New commenter

    Have you asked Theo on the Jobseekers forum? He also speaks Spanish!
    If you haven't heard from them 2 weeks after the deadline, look elsewhere. NEXT!
     

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