Teach English in Spain: Teaching at Summer Camps

01 March 2021

Teaching at Summer Camps in Spain

Part 5 of 5 articles about teaching English in Spain. Summer camps provide some of the best opportunities for English teachers during the summer months. Here we provide information on the whats, hows and whys of English summer camps for teachers in Spain.

Most teachers will be able to save at least 1000 € per month of camp...

During July and August Spanish parents get eager to spend a week or two without the kids to enjoy a vacation, or just some time with each other alone. Thus, many Spanish kids end up at English summer camp during the summer months. Of course the parents want their kids to improve their English too, providing them with better opportunities in their future careers.

Some children have the opportunity to go to camp in English or Ireland, but most end up at English summer camps in Spain itself. Often times it’s the child’s first time away from home, they’re scared and they don’t want to spend their summer vacation learning more English, but the kids almost always have tons of fun and classes are generally on the easy side.

This is also where you’ll find many English teachers in Spain during the summer, providing both legal and illegally working (without papers) teachers with a month or two of steady employment and meal-covered, rent-free living (you’ll probably want to rent out your place during this time, and with all the tourists flocking to Spain in the summer it’s not too difficult). Most teachers will be able to save at least 1000 € per month of camp, providing them with living money to get them through September while they look for work at the English schools back home.

You can find English summer camp teaching positions on the internet between March - June. Try English language classified sites for your city, for Spain and try searching for the individual summer camp websites, sending your CV/resume to them between the above mentioned months. You’ll likely hear from the camp’s English director in early June at which point you’ll get a telephone interview unless you’re living in the same city as the director. They’ll be asking about your experience teaching and general experience and attitude towards kids. Don’t fake your interest too much or you’ll regret it. If you don’t like kids or have very little experience with kids, then you’ll be the one not enjoying your time at camp.

Summer camps usually pay a salary of between 900 € - 2000 € per month, depending on experience and responsibilities of the teacher, and will cover most of or all of your transportation costs to and from the camp. There are some costs that you’ll find yourself covering, including drinks and dinners in town and some extra supplies you might want, like snacks, given that camp food is often less than spectacular. About 50 € per week should cover these costs. You’ll probably meet some great people: your fellow teachers, camp counselors, and even some adorable kids. You’ll be going into town for the above mentioned dinners and drinks on your days off (camps are usually in the country side or mountains), experience the real Spanish pueblo life, doing beautiful nature excursions and going for a swim on swimming days. You’ll also be encouraged (or obligated) to do camp activities like talent shows, terror nights (think haunted forest), dress up days and sports (think football/soccer). 

If you’re only teaching English classes, you’ll be teaching between 5-7 hours on teaching days which will average 4-5 days per week. If your position is both of a teacher and counselor, expect some amount of rotation, but add probably 30%-50% more “on-time” working. Materials will be provided by the camp (or should be). This doesn’t sound like much but between fitting in lesson plans, excursions, activities and evaluations, it is non-stop and the spare time you do find will be highly cherished. A few teachers don’t make it, causing all kinds of problems for the camp. Injuries happen and teachers get sick. Hopefully you’ll have a great English director who fills in when required. After one month the prospect of doing another month could be daunting. The most important thing is to keep a good positive attitude. You’ll have an unforgettable experience either way. If it gets rough, be tough and adapt; it always gets better.

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