By Will Peach
A site editor at Gap Daemon, the gap year community website for backpackers and gap year travellers.
One of the great perks of launching into a TEFL career is the amount of free time that’s on offer. Couple that with the ability to teach private classes, and some teachers are able to take advantage of a very decent income.
To the newly qualified teacher however, finding private students, especially in countries like Spain, can be intimidating to say the least. When things operate mainly on a word-of-mouth basis, as they do in smaller parts of the country, it’s tough to know how to get started.
What follows are a couple tried and tested formulas that I have found success with in gaining private students in my part of Spain, Extremadura. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t work for you!
You’d think that with today’s technology that most private teacher hunting would take place online. Whereas that is true in other parts of the world, here in Spain, the public notice board (or táblon) is king.
Serving as a community hub, you can usually find noticeboards (and posters) in various places around the centre and neighbourhoods of most Spanish cities. It’s free to advertise your services in this way, so draft up a Spanish translation of what you offer and include tab-offs (pieces of paper with your details that can be ripped off).
Costs you nothing while you have everything to gain!
Setting yourself the task of getting to know or introduce yourself to two new people per day will begin to get the ball rolling and start getting your name out there in smaller towns and cities. How does this help with privates? You introduce yourself as a professionally qualified English teacher and give out your number.
Quite rightly this route is tough if, for instance, you struggle with the language. Yet with even basic Spanish it’s quite possible.
Not only will it get you opportunities you wouldn’t expect, but it will improve your confidence and general fluency too!