Teaching in Spain offers me freedom, sun, and a better work/life balance!
Michael Taylor is a maths teacher from the UK. He previously taught in England, and in Bilbao. TIC found Michael his position teaching maths at Laude Newton College in Alicante, Spain. We recently caught up with him to see how he is getting on:
“I came to teaching later on in life; it’s actually my third career. I decided to teach internationally as I wanted the challenge of starting again in a new country, and to learn a new language. I wanted to broaden my teaching experience by teaching students whose second language is English, and who have been taught in a different manner compared to students in England.
More freedom and better working hours
Maths is not a popular subject amongst students. In fact, I struggled with maths when I was at school! I wanted to work in an environment where I had more freedom with my teaching. My experience of training and teaching in the UK has been that the teaching style is fixed, formalised and prescriptive. That’s not the case in Spain. The school has been fantastic; I have more time to teach because I’m not experiencing behaviour management issues like I did in the UK. My students in Spain are, in general, a delight to teach and their parents are very supportive. I also have much more realistic working hours.
Getting involved in the Spanish culture
The quality of life in Spain is far superior than in England. Of course, the weather is much better in Spain! I feel very settled here. Spanish culture is very sociable; it is rare for me to go straight home after school as I have a really busy social life. I am also involved in many groups outside of school. I find the Spanish people warm, friendly, and genuinely caring. The salary is not great but the quality of life and cost of living actually make it a much better standard of living than I experienced in Bilbao and in the UK.
The most challenging aspect of moving to teach overseas is learning the language. I’ve been learning Spanish for nearly two years and it’s difficult, long journey. My advice to those moving overseas is to commit yourself to learning the language in order to make the most of living in a foreign country. It opens up many avenues; the sense of being able to navigate your life by being able to understand and make yourself understood pays huge dividends.
An opportunity to develop as a teacher
I see this experience as a genuine opportunity for development. Teaching in the UK, particularly in the south of the UK, is financially unsustainable for a single person (especially a middle aged one).
I have been given many additional responsibilities at the school, been encouraged to put my ideas into practise, and I’ve been supported in my development. I’m pleased to say that I’ve been offered a position of Head of Maths from September of this year, so will be at the school for another three years, at least!”
TIC helped Michael to find his position at Laude Newton College, Alicante. If you are interested in teaching internationally, register with TIC here for free. It’s quick and easy and gives you access to many international school jobs in reputable, accredited international schools, some that are not advertised anywhere else.