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Southern Spain

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by lthughes, Sep 4, 2020.

  1. lthughes

    lthughes New commenter

    I've had a search through many of the previous forums and conversations. It does seem there is a lot of negative chat surrounding Spain...

    So I currently work in the UK, with previous international experience - Middle East and Asia.

    I'm not interested in earning or saving lots of money. I would just like to work hard, be good at my job and enjoy life outside of work. We will be travelling as a family of 3.

    I see there is a advert at the moment for a school in Marbella... can anyone give any advice on this please?

    Thank you!!
  2. missmunchie

    missmunchie Occasional commenter

    Schools in this area are returning this week with the added pressure of covid protocols etc. Doesn't it seem odd to you that they are looking for teachers for core subjects in secondary now? In a school of this size you are looking at being the sole person in your subject or year group.
    I applied for a job there while working at another school on the coast. The school contacted me regarding my application. After telling the head the times I was available for interview (preferably after school) I received a very curt reply saying they had lots of high quality applicants and that was that. Although I haven't worked there alarm bells would be ringing for me in terms of how well organised this school is and how well they treat their staff. You will struggle to live in Spain if you are the only earner. Really do more research and look at jobs in February for the following September. Keep an eye on the jobs in Spain on here and you will see several schools posting the same job repeatedly. This is a good indicator of staff turnover.
    lthughes likes this.
  3. lthughes

    lthughes New commenter

    Thanks for your reply.

    I did wonder about the jobs being advertised now,but perhaps wondered if due to COVID previous people had pulled out, maybe I'm being optimistic!!!

    I'm always checking the jobs advertised and like you say, see the same schools being advertised year after year. I just hadn't really come across this particular school before and on paper it looks appealing.

    Are you in Spain? How have you found it there?

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    I worked in Spain for around 16 years. Expect sharp practice in most places. Schools are seen as business ventures and not as places of education -or at least that is not their primary purpose. Posters are quite right to point out the regularity of vacancies and how it links to the practice of habitually shafting the teacher.
    Spain is a fantastic place to live, provided you choose to be away from the English newspaper, Wall's sausage eating brigade but, alas, I did not find schools to be what they are over in the UK.
    lthughes likes this.
  5. lunarita

    lunarita Lead commenter

    Spain can offer a lovely lifestyle, but you won't get rich and may struggle to get by.

    To be fair, this isn't entirely the fault of the schools - the private education market here is very different from elsewhere, the schools in general can't charge anywhere near the fees that are charged elsewhere in the world and so there's nowhere near the same money to pay for resources and salaries.

    Marbella, while not my cup of tea, could be a lovely place to be IF you can manage financially but as a family that won't be easy.
    lthughes likes this.
  6. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    I've been in Spain for 14 years, always in the same school, far away from the Wall's sausages. My wife also teaches. We love the life here. The school is OK, if we've noticed anything changing for the worse it's been an influx of 'British-style' planning overload. Children are wonderful, the lifestyle (pre-covid) is excellent.
    I'd say now is not the best time to be going anywhere 'new'. Covid is going to rock many boats - imagine one or two teachers going sick or having to isolate and the whole house of cards is going to shake.
    I would recommend Spain, but you have to be very clear about what you're expecting. You seem to know about relatively low salaries and some unscrupulous operators. Will your partner be working? Surviving on one salary might be a pinch depending on where you are going to be based and how much you expect to be paid.
    Spain? Yes, but with caution.
  7. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    I know a couple with two children working at this place. (I think)
    They are very happy - school is ok for them, lifestyle is lovely

    On two teaching salaries they are fine
    On one salary with a family things would be tight
  8. missmunchie

    missmunchie Occasional commenter

    I have lived in Spain now for 19 years. It has been a struggle at times even though my husband also works at a school.
    I have finally found a school where I feel valued and supported. It's the seventh school I have worked at in Spain.
    I don't think I could return to work in the UK now and I agree with Jeremy, there certainly has been an increase in UK style planning in some schools.
  9. lthughes

    lthughes New commenter

    That's interesting, thanks for the info.

    Have they worked there for a while? You say school is just ok?
  10. lthughes

    lthughes New commenter

    Thanks, I've sent you a wee conversation!
  11. lthughes

    lthughes New commenter

    Very sound advice there, thank you.

    You're definitely right, covid has and is changing things and it's uncertain times.

    May I ask where in Spain you are based?
  12. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    They are just starting 4th year and they always say they love living there rather than positive stuff about the school specifically, but on the other hand they don’t complain about it either. Simply a gut feeling on my part when I’ve spoken to them.
  13. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    Sorry, I should have said, especially as I'm not actually in 'Southern Spain'. I'm in the Valencian community, north of the city. It's an area that is very uncommercialised - very different to Marbella, I'm sure. I couldn't find Wall's sausages or fish'n'chips around here if I tried. Most of the children in my 'British' school are, in fact, Spanish. One of the reasons I like it is because I've had to learn Spanish - there are very few English speakers in this area. A trip to the bank, health centre or garage will be very difficult if you don't have a reasonable grasp of the language. But, that was part of what my wife and I wanted when we came here - we wanted a 'Spanish' experience and an opportunity to learn Spanish. We would have earned more in the UK, and we would have larger pensions now - but we have no regrets, the last 14 years have been a wonderful experience, especially the 'teaching Spanish primary children their entire curriculum in English' bit. We've learned so much about how children learn languages, and how much better at it they are than us 'oldies'.
    Good luck in your search, Spain is very diverse, make sure you identify exactly what you want before you apply for anything. I would have had a very different experience in Madrid or Barcelona, but that wasn't what we were looking for.
  14. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    I don't mean to sound patronising, but it's something that people often forget - there is a huge difference between "getting by and not saving much" and living paycheck to paycheck not knowing where your next meal's coming from.

    I would imagine that, in Marbella, the salary for a regular teacher would be between 1200 and 1500 a month. How would you afford to live on this as a family of 3 considering you'd have to find your own house?

    Do the maths very carefully and don't listen to anything Heads there have to say on the matter. They will inevitably tell you you'll find cheap accommodation/there's loads of private lessons available/you can carpool and everything else to get you through the door
    rouxx and ACOYEAR8 like this.
  15. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    If you settle anywhere on the concrete coast you will not be far away from the said 'brigade' but joining it isn't compulsory. Why not enjoy the best of both worlds? Mrs M and I have lived for the past sixteen years on an old hill finca in the campo. Our closest friends are Spanish and there are many things we love about our adopted country including solomillo, chorizo and chopitos but we still occasionally make a three hour round trip to buy gammon, bacon and Lincolnshire sausages or visit an Indian restaurant which is the equal of almost any we sampled in Delhi. We have no interest in English newspapers, especially the one published by a sensationalist former Daily Mail hack whose aim in life appears to be to portray Spain as a second Beirut. We call it the Olive Depress.
    lthughes, shakes1616 and ACOYEAR8 like this.
  16. JINTY67

    JINTY67 New commenter

    I am currently teaching in Spain, Catalonia 1 and a half hours south of Barcelona . I have to say I agree with many of the comments above . I can only speak re the experience I have had at my school , I planned to leave last year ...I wish I had ! It depends on what you want . We are in our 50s and moved here because my husband found a job in Barcelona ( he’s not a teacher ) but salaries are low and I am looking at taking 2 years out to make some “ real” money to top up our savings and pensions . If you want to pm me we can chat
  17. JINTY67

    JINTY67 New commenter

    Ps Should have asked , best place to save in current climate ? Thanks

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