Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How to find private English classes in Madrid

The other week I got an email from a reader asking how I found my private English classes in Madrid (to teach).  I thought I'd share my answer here in case anyone else is wondering the same thing.

How to find private English classes in Madrid

My first year in Madrid I made 65 euros/week teaching private lessons, and this year I made 63 euros/week when I taught all four classes a week.  This extra money really helps out, and if you're working as an auxiliar there is definitely time during the week for evening private lessons.  Below are some different ways to find private English lessons in Madrid.

Tus clases particulares

There is a website you can use (Tus clases particulares), which is how I got three of my four lessons this year. The next couple days after putting up my ad, I kept getting messages from interested people and in the end had to turn down lots of lessons and remove the ad after I had picked the first family. It's nice because you can sift through the messages of interested people and be a bit picky; I decided I only wanted classes within walking distance of my apartment so as not to spend lots of time in transit, and I found them.

Lingo bongo

Another website to occasionally check out is Lingo Bongo.  Along with "private classes," there is also a section of "jobs offered," which includes language academies in the city. If in the spring you're looking for a summer job, this would be one place to look.

Facebook groups

If you are working as an auxiliar de conversación, I would recommend joining the facebook group for Auxiliares in Madrid.  I was in the group for this past year, and people would frequently post private classes that they couldn't take. So that can be another way to get private classes.


Another option is putting up flyers. If there's a local library wherever you end up living, I'd for sure put one there. I put up flyers in the fall as well, but ultimately got my students from tusclasesparticulares. With the flyers too, you can keep it in the neighborhood where you want to give classes. If anyone wants a copy of the flyer I used, just send me an email (rebewithaclause [at] gmail [dot] com).

Also, keep your eye out for flyers posted by people looking for an English teacher.  My first year in Madrid I had a friend who found a play-class with two younger children for 25/hr from a flyer!


Finally, if you're an auxiliar, wherever you're working might also be an option to find private lessons. Let the teachers at your school know you teach private lessons, and it's quite possible that a teacher (of any subject) or students at your school want lessons.

Once you have one class, they seem to accumulate from there. One day I was in the elevator of a student's apartment building and the woman with me in the elevator started asking if I taught private English classes, and told me about her daughter who wanted classes. Also, the mother of one student all year kept asking if I had space for another student, because once her friends found out that her son had a native English teacher, they wanted classes too. I had to turn down all of those classes because I didn't have any extra time in the week, but just so you know once you get a good reputation with some students, it's very possible that more classes will come your way via word of mouth.

One last note: If you've never taught English in Europe before, be aware that you'll most likely be teaching British English!


Wondering how much you should charge? Want some tips to getting paid smoothly and keeping track of multiple students? I tackle those questions, among others, in the Teaching Private English Classes in Spain FAQ post below (click on the image):

FAQ Teaching Private English Classes in Spain

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Small-pueblo Sunday

Ever since Gregorio bought new floor mats in Paris for his Mercedes, he's been itching to take it for a drive.  Today he took the car out of the garage and we drove north out of the city.

Buitrago del Lozoya

Our first stop was Buitrago del Lozoya, a little town 74 km north of Madrid.  According to wikipedia, Buitrago del Lozoya dates back to the first century BC.

The pueblo is surrounded by a Muslim wall that was built in the eleventh century.
Muralla, Buitrago del Lozoya

The little town also has a castle from the fifteenth century, but it was closed when we were there.  We climbed up some stairs and walked around the wall, looking down upon the river below.

There were some people kayaking down the river and others fishing on the shore.  There were definitely fish to catch, because we could see them from where we were up on the wall!

We grabbed a drink and something to eat from a nearby bar.  It was very small-town-esque.  Think Cheers; every time someone new entered, he said hi to everyone else inside and then immediately started up conversation with one of his buddies.  The prices were friendly, as my hamburger only cost 2.50 euros.
Bar in Buitrago del Lozoya

After lunch we made our way back to the car.  We left town, stopping for one last picture on the way out.
Buitrago del Lozoya


Our second and final stop of the day was Sepúlveda, a small town (population 1,300) in the Comunidad de Segovia.  According to  wikipedia again, Sepúlveda dates back to between the fifth and second centuries BC.


I got excited when we saw this sign for a cave, so I headed down the many many stairs to see it.

Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed with the "cave".  This is it:
Cueva de la Virgen de la Peña

Gregorio didn't share in my disappointment because supposedly that statue of the virgin had been "hidden" in this "cave" for four centuries, but I still wasn't impressed.

And then I climbed back up the stairway, with the sun beating down on my panting, sweaty self.

Once back up out of the valley we took a trail out of town, with great views of the rocky valleys and drop-offs.

Sepúlveda, Segovia

While hiking we saw many buitre leonados (Griffon vultures) flying around near the cliffs.  Sepúlveda is known for being a home to this bird.
Buitre leonado (Griffon vulture)

Can you find Gregorio in this picture?
Gregorio in Sepúlveda


After hiking out in the hot sun for over an hour, it was time to go back home (Gregorio had to work tonight).  It was a little over an hour's drive back to Madrid; with only a couple brief traffic jams along the way.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

10K in Madrid: One month from today

Source: http://madridcorrepormadrid.org/

In exactly one month from today, I'll be running in Madrid's "Corre por Madrid" 10K with some ultimate frisbee teammates.

I've never run a 10K before, but I've got this idea in my head that it won't be so bad.  I haven't really been going for runs this year because I had frisbee three times a week.  And that was enough exercise for me.

My plan is to go for a run tomorrow night, then perhaps every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until the race (frisbee practices are Tuesdays and Thursdays).

I'm not trying to get my best time.  I think we're all going to stick together, so I just want to be prepared and able to keep up with everyone.  Though I think after this 10K, I'd like to do another and see what kind of time I can make.  I say that now...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Itchy feet yet? Nope.

I just received the following email from Hostelworld:

It's been 3 months since your last trip! *gasp*

It may be three months since I've booked a hostel, but it has most definitely not been three months since my last trip.  After returning from two weeks in Germany with my sister and grandma, I only had a few days before I was off again.  This time the destination was France; mode of transportation, car.

We left Madrid in the afternoon on Tuesday August 7, arriving in France that evening.  We spent the first few days visiting various castles of the Loire Valley as we slowly made our way north towards Paris.  Castles visited during this chunk of the trip include the following:

  • Chinon
  • Azay-le-Rideau
  • Ussé
  • Amboise
  • Blois
  • Chambord

On the evening of Friday August 10 we arrived in Paris.  During the next 10 days, we stayed with friends of Gregorio's in the city.  Here's the view I had from the room in which I stayed:

I was very lucky to stay in that apartment.

I loved Paris; its buildings are absolutely gorgeous and the weather was friendly to us during our stay.  It will take many separate posts to share all that I saw and did in France.  Most of these will be posted on Rebe With a Clause, the blog I'm slowly transitioning to, so check there if you're interested in hearing France-trip details and stories.

We got back to Madrid from Paris at 3am yesterday morning.  We left Paris on Monday morning, drove for a few hours, then stopped for our final castle visit at Château de Chenonceau.
Château de Chenonceau

We probably spent between 1-2 hours visiting the castle, then kept on driving.  It was super hot in Paris (and the rest of France) this past weekend (38 C in Paris = 100 F), and Monday was no exception.
Driving home from France

That evening we stopped for an hour-long grocery shopping adventure so Gregorio could stock up on French foods before we returned to Spain.
Gregorio's French grocery store purchases

And then back to the car for more driving.  It was a long day in the car, but I was glad we did it all at once rather than staying somewhere in France and driving back on Tuesday.

The summer heat continues here in Madrid; it's currently 6:40pm and 37 degrees (98.6 F).  I'm inside with all of the blinds shut, sitting underneath the ceiling fan in the living room trying not to sweat too much.  My computer is super hot and the fan is loud, so I'll let it rest for now and do some reading.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Since returning from Germany...

Since I got back to Madrid last week (from Germany):

I went to  a hot ultimate practice Thursday night (on a grass field!), 

played some disc golf (street version) on Friday,

went to ultimate pick-up on Saturday, after which we celebrated the team's placing 
at a recent tournament drinking the wine they won at said tourny,

played more disc golf on Sunday after making some amazing burgers at Hannah's,

saw a rainbow while playing disc golf,

And today I've been packing and finishing up loose ends, since tomorrow morning I'm off for two weeks in France!  I'm leaving my computer at home again, but this time will not have the sister's iPad available so it will be pretty quiet around the blog until then.

Looks like temperatures will reach 38 (100 F) this Thursday in Madrid, so we picked a good week to leave.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Family tree Germany trip: Part 4 of 4

I'm back in Madrid after spending two weeks in Germany with my sister and grandma.  I returned last night, and my grandma and sister are currently on a flight back to the states.  Since I now have access to my computer, pictures have been added to the previous Germany posts, so take a look.  And without further ado, here's the final installment of my Family Tree Germany Trip series:

Monday July 30

Today we drove to our new hotel in Düsseldorf, checked in, then spent the rest of the day in Selm. Selm is the town where our great-great-great-great-great grandpa was married in 1779. The following two generations were born in Selm as well.

Highs: Seeing the church where my great-great-great-great grandpa was baptized, the sister finally being able to eat schnitzel (no Italian or kebab for us today!), bringing wine and chocolate treats back to our hotel room for the evening.

Lows: Damaging the rental car in our new hotel's low-ceilinged parking garage, giving Charlene (our GPS) the wrong destination which added well over an hour to our travel time to Selm, learning the German word for "closed" (geschlossen) while looking for a place to eat "lunch".

Tuesday July 31

We spent the day exploring Düsseldorf.

Highs: Taking an elevator 168 meters up the Rheinturm for a 360-view of Düsseldorf, drinking Altbier (a hoppy beer from here), all three of us eating schnitzel for lunch, watching the ducks and swans in Hofgarten.

Lows: Being directly underneath the ceiling fan this morning in our hotel room when (after being on for only two minutes) a flame flashed from the fan's base, the fan stopped running, and the whole room smelled of electrical fire.

The Rheinturm in Düsseldorf, Germany

Düsseldorf, Germany

Wednesday August 1

Since we had to leave for my airport around one in the afternoon, I had the morning to see something more in Düsseldorf.  That something was Südpark.  While searching for things to do in Düsseldorf, I had seen a picture of Zeitfeld (Time Field) in Südpark and immediately wanted to see it.  The sculpture consists of 24 railway clocks, and was made by German artist Klaus Rinke.

Highs: Hotel guy letting us borrow his vacuum cleaner to vacuum out our rental car, a black permanent marker erasing the damage we did to our rental car, viewing Zeitfeld in Südpark, being prepared for my flight by bringing along a donut and pretzel from Düsseldorf,

Lows: Having to drive one hour from the city to get to my airport (that's Ryanair for you...), leaving Germany, returning to Madrid's heat.

Zeitfeld located in Südpark of Düsseldorf, Germany

Südpark in Düsseldorf, Germany