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If you are thinking of teaching English in Spain as an auxiliar de conversación, you are probably wondering, ‘What will a day in the life of an Auxiliar de Conversación look like?!’
That’s a fair question. After all, you will be moving to a new country and probably want to know what the daily routine in Spain will be for you.
Living in Spain as an auxiliar de conversación means you will only be working between 12-16 hours per week in a public school and potentially teaching private English lessons on the side to make extra money.
So what does the typical day look like for an auxiliar de conversación?
Well, to be honest, it can really differ depending on your school, private lessons, and which region in Spain you are living in. However, most auxiliares typically have the same general daily schedule.
As we are currently living and working in Madrid, we will detail what a day in the life looks like as an auxiliar de conversación in Madrid, Spain.
Time to Wake Up!
We get up around 7:00 am to start our day and have to be on the metro by 8:00, in order to get to school by 9:00. This gives us enough time to eat breakfast, drink some coffee, and take Churro out before heading off to work.
Because we are both working as an auxiliar de conversación in Madrid, we take the metro for most of our transportation needs. it’s incredibly fast and efficient, but if you are in living in most other regions of Spain, you might have to take a bus to work.
Or if you are incredibly lucky and got a placement at a school in a city center, you might just be able to walk to work everyday! This is essentially the dream life for an auxiliar in Spain…Anyways, back to our day in the life.
The Madrid Metro is also fairly cost effective for those living here. If you are living in Madrid and get a personalized Metro card, it will only cost you 54.60€ per month if you are over 26. If you are under 26, then it’s only 20€!
As we live near a metro stop, we only have to walk about 5 minutes to the metro. Then, we ride the metro for about 40 minutes before getting off and walking to our schools, which aren’t too far from a stop.
Honestly, finding an apartment in Madrid near a metro stop is worth potentially paying a little extra if you are going to be taking the metro everyday, especially once the weather gets colder.
Work as an Auxiliar de Conversación
You will generally only work 4 days per week as an auxiliar de conversación. In Madrid, this is true for us too. Typically, you will get either Mondays or Fridays off. We have Mondays off.
However, if you are in a small pueblo and have a long commute, your school might only make your work 3 days per week but more hours per day. This gives you fantastic long weekends to travel and explore Spain!
As we have off Mondays, our school days begin at 9:00 am and finish around 2:00 pm. Some days, we work a little later and other days we’re done earlier, which is why sometimes each day as an auxiliar de conversación in Spain is different.
At school, we usually assist in the classroom. Sometimes it’s in English class, and other times it’s in a content area class, like Social Studies, Science, or Physical Education. This will vary a lot depending on the school and what their class schedule is. If you have a expertise in one area, you should share that information with your school once you get you school placement.
The only time work for an auxiliar in Spain might differ greatly from this is if you are placed at an Escuela Oficial de Idiomas (EOI). These are public language schools for adults, and because they are for adults, classes range from morning to night.
Mike worked at one in Logroño, La Rioja, Spain for 2 years and LOVED it! His daily schedule as an auxiliar de conversación at an EOI was very different and his classes were scattered throughout the day and went until 9:00 pm, but working with adults was a wonderful experience.
Life After Work as an Auxiliar de Conversación
This is the point in the day where the day in the life of an auxiliar de conversación in Madrid, or in Spain, will greatly differ from day to day, or even from person to person.
Technically, after you are done working at your school, the day is yours! You have the freedom to do whatever you want!
Maybe you are just in Spain for one year and want to relax, travel, and eat your way around Spain and Europe. In this case, aprovechar your free time!
However, if you don’t feel as though the auxiliar de conversación salary is enough—between 700-1000€ per month—you might want to look at teaching private English classes on the side. Most auxiliares do this to make extra money.
While you can teach private English classes from your house, most auxiliares go to their students’ homes to teach them or teach them online since COVID. This can involve some major traveling back and forth to home or between classes, so try to schedule your private classes in the same area to maximize your earnings and lower your travel time.
If you have never taught private English classes before, here are some easy activities you can use to teach any level or age!
After work, we go and teach private English lessons to students ranging from 6 to adults with all levels of English. Some of these classes are immediately after school and we go directly there. While other days, we come home, eat lunch, relax for a bit, and then go back out to teach private English lessons.
This can be a bit chaotic and make organizing your daily schedule as an auxiliar de conversación difficult, but making the extra money is really nice for exploring Spain a bit more while you are here.
Sometimes you will be in and out of your apartment in Spain as you go between different private classes.
Other times, you might have to find a little café to relax in while killing time between private classes because your apartment is too far away to go back to. Use this time to talk to the people working, improve your Spanish, and try some new food!
Remember that it might take some time to fully organize your private English class schedule, so don’t freak out if you can’t find classes immediately.
Also, remember your mental health and that if a class just isn’t working out for you because of the commute, student’s behavior, or another reason, just politely explain to the family that you can’t do it anymore. They might be disappointed or try to convince you to stay, but if it’s not enjoyable for you, just tell them sorry and move on.
After Teaching Private Lessons
After we are done teaching private English lessons, we head back home to eat dinner, relax, and then head to bed, before starting all over again the next day.
The typical daily routine in Spain means having dinner around 8:30-10:00 pm, so it’s much later than the US. We even teach some private lessons until 8:45 pm!
Expect to eat dinner much later than you probably would back home, as that’s what Spaniards do.
Dinner is typically smaller, as lunch is the largest meal of the day. We can’t even eat a huge meal that late and go to bed right after, so we generally stick to something small and light, like a salad.
Thoughts on the Auxiliar de Conversación Daily Schedule
We came to Spain after working at schools in the US for quite some time, so the school day for an auxiliar de conversación looks familiar to us, but running around and teaching private lessons can be tiring and leave you feeling exhausted at the end of the day.
We even feel this way after having consistently worked between 2-3 jobs at a time in US. It’s mostly the travel between private lessons and the feeling of having to teach them to earn extra money that makes it exhausting.
In saying that, many of the private lessons can be incredibly fun to get to know students personally and build relationship with them and their families. Many families often open up their homes and lives to you and offer you experiences you wouldn’t otherwise get in Spain.
Read more about What to Bring to Spain as an Auxiliar de Conversación.
Life as an auxiliar de conversación is also generally less stressful too, as you are working as an English Language Assistant for only 12-16 hours per week, depending on your region in Spain.
If you are thinking about living abroad and want to live in Spain and teach English, consider the Auxiliar de Conversación Program as one way to live in Spain as an American. Applications typically open up in January, so learn how to apply for the auxiliares de conversación program in Spain!
There are also other programs to teach English in Spain that have similar daily routines.
Comment below or contact us if you have any questions about what life is like as an auxiliar de conversación in Madrid, Spain.