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Teacher Testimonials

Check out what our previous teachers say about working at English Street

Shelley, from Norwich

Worked in Fuentes De Andalucía 2013-14

I applied to work at English Street as I was looking for a teaching experience in a foreign country but I didn’t really feel confident enough to live in a big city. English street was a small school at the time with one other teacher and I felt like it would suit me well being based in a village. Since working at English Street, I moved to another school within a small city to gain further experience and looking back at my time at English Street I gained a lot of invaluable experience. The class sizes were very manageable and I had a lot of support from Maria when there were tougher moments.


In terms of moving forward from English Street, it opened doors to work in bigger schools and cities, but unfortunately I only spent one further year teaching abroad and decided to come back to the UK and follow a different career. My jobs since living in Spain have all used my Spanish language, and it is great to have learnt such a wide vocabulary after having arrived in Spain with A level Spanish. English Street was the perfect starting to point to teaching, as if I had needed the support which I required at English Street in the second school, I would not have received it. 


Living in a village in Andalusia was an experience I shall never forget. I still reminisce about it every so often, whether it be the weekends socialising with the locals, the celebrations and festivals that they have and the hilarious language lost in translation between myself and the students. There is a great sense of community in the village and everybody was so friendly, I have been back to visit a few times.

 

I highly recommend working for Maria at English Street as it was one of the best years of my working life so far.

Faithe, from Los Angeles

Worked in Palma Del Río 2014-15

For me, I accepted the position at English Street because of the owner and operator Maria.  She was very easy to communicate with, her professionalism, openness and friendliness was a good sign of how the school would be run.  The opportunity to work and live in a Spanish town and be part of the community was my primary desire.

I found the position to be really challenging at first. I hadn’t worked so intensely with such young children before and there were a lot of tears, not just from the kids.  However, the ability to grow and develop my skills as a teacher, become part of a child’s learning and developmental years was profoundly rewarding. To this day, every time I return to town for my annual or biannual visit, I get hugs from my students and warm hellos from the parents. The ability to be as creative and interactive with the students was a great plus and a lot of fun.

The Andalusian town Palma del Rio happens to be the best town in the world.  I think my heart and soul will be forever in this town.  I was never bored or had a dull time.  There was always something to do, from horseback riding, painting, sewing, swimming, to the local festivals and holidays.  It is a vibrant town, with the most warm genuine and fabulous people one could ever hope to meet.  They could do with a Mexican restaurant, but no town is perfect.

My teaching skills most definitely improved while working with English Street.  There are teacher meetings and developmental skills that are worked on and enhanced.  There was a powerpoint presentation that I was able to present to my fellow teachers, on basic essay writing. There is a library and internet, which allows for resourcing and refreshing ideas.  My understanding of child development and teaching tactics were refined.  There is always room to grow and develop and each lesson, child and situation is different.  My greatest professional reward was teaching a child how to read.  Watching children develop and utilise the language to try and converse with me was another highlight of my professional development.  

Regarding opening doors for future career, I am uncertain, as I am also a veterinarian.  I returned to worked in Cambodia teaching English, with my previous institution.  Because of English Street, I was able to implement new skills, games and ideas I was introduced to by Maria.  I would say that it is a demanding position, as children have so much energy and one constantly needs to be working either on stimulation, management and interaction, all at the same time.  If this will help me procure a new job in the future, we will see - but I definitely believe that it has given me an opportunity that some other teachers or people in general might not have been fortunate to experience.  I think it has provided me a gift that only working with children can give: understanding and a lot of entertainment.

Chris, from Hull

Worked in Fuentes De Andalucía 2014-15

One thing I liked the most about working at English Street was the fact that from day one I felt as though I was valued and trusted. I also liked the freedom I had within the classroom which allowed me to use my theatre background to encourage and motivate students learning.

 

Living in an Andalusian town was different. It's what made me want to apply for a position with English street. Living in a small town fully immerses you to the Spanish culture and gives you the opportunity to live as the Spanish live.

 

My teaching skills improved a lot whilst working within the school. I started with limited skills but grew as a teacher with the help and support of team meetings and one to one help and guidance. Im grateful for the time that was given to allow me to improve as a teacher and what I learnt from my time with English street allowed me to find another teaching position. 

Anna, from Perth (Australia)

Worked in Fuentes De Andalucía 2014-15

I was searching for an entry level job in teaching English abroad in a smaller size school. The school seemed to be perfect for a beginning teacher like me and I especially wanted the experience of living in Spain.  Maria offered a lot of help and support to her teachers. I liked the small class sizes and the closeness of the team working at the school.

I found the language barrier hard, so I would advise learning some Spanish before and during the stay there. It was a very different cultural experience for me but I enjoyed it. There are definitely upsides and downsides to  it :) 

I definitely gained valuable experience working there. I obtained some skills in classroom management and planning as well as confidence in my job.  I decided to change directions although I am very grateful for my time at the school. The experience was very valuable in many other ways.

Miguel, from Fuentes De Andalucía

Worked in Fuentes De Andalucía 2015-16

and Palma Del Río 2013-15 as a cover teacher

A great pleasure to have had the opportunity of being part of a fantastic team led by a hardworking head teacher, Maria Hardy, who is always committed to both her students and staff.  Her support has highly contributed to my career progression.

Luke, from Bamford

Worked in Fuentes De Andalucía 2015-16

A friend (now my girlfriend) had been living in a nearby town for a year and I had been envious of the lifestyle she'd shown me in pictures etc.  I'd also just spent a year working in a huge city in China, and desperately wanted to go somewhere more relaxed and bucolic.  I looked at some other schools, but English Street looked professional, paid well, and I appreciated Maria's honestly in the interview (I didn't feel I was getting the hard sell).
 

English Street is genuinely the best school I've worked for. In every other job I've had (even with well-respected TEFL institutions) I've found that the employer's claim of 'putting the teachers first' has only proved true as long as it was convenient for them, and ultimately I felt replaceable.  At English Street I felt supported and trusted by my Director, and that my professional development was taken seriously (and done in earnest, rather than as a means to tie me to a longer contract etc).  You have opportunities in the short term (taking and delivering training sessions for example) and in the long term (taking IH specialisation courses) should you wish to stay beyond an initial year.  I couldn't recommend it enough, and Maria has been my standout employer in over 5 years teaching English.

Without a doubt, I enjoyed living in an Andalusian town. Andalucia is beautiful and interesting, and the lifestyle is what Northern English people mean when they say "the lifestyle's great in that Spain".  During the week I usually had breakfast and read on my balcony (or took a walk around town) then, after work, went out for tapas with friends.  When it comes to the weekend, Andalucia has so much variety that you have a number of options. Sometimes we went to a city like Seville or Cordoba, in the spring we went hiking in the mountains near Malaga, in the summer we went to the beach. I even ended up learning to ski in the Sierra Navada mountains (not an ability I expected to leave the south of Spain with).  My initial idea of Andalucia was based on cliches about Torremolinos and sunburned Brits abroad, but that couldn't have been a more misleading image. It's a culturally and naturally rich part of the world with a distinct character that exists only there.  My girlfriend and I liked our time there so much, we're now planning on returning to settle permanently.

I came away with stronger classroom management skills and an appreciation of the importance of teaching phonetics, especially to younger learners.  Upon arriving I was much more confident teaching teens and adults than children, but thanks to the advice I received from my colleagues I feel I'm much improved in that area.  After leaving English Street I worked at a summer school in Britain for the third consecutive year. After observing me, the DOS at the summer school noted that I had improved considerably since the previous summer.

My work experience at English Street has certainly opened doors for me in terms of furthering my career. It added exam experience and experience in delivering training sessions to my CV. I continued working in teacher training at my summer school, where a senior colleague suggested I follow it as a career path. It wasn't a path I took ultimately, but it was an opportunity that arose directly from my experience at English Street.  I also went on to deliver intensive exam courses over the summer, having prepared students for the GESE and ISE Trinity exams in Spain.
 

Siobhán, from Ballymoney

Worked in Palma Del Río 2015-16

I had finished an undergraduate degree in History and Spanish and was keen to pursue a career in working with children while improving my Spanish speaking at the same time. I was also particularly interested in working near Seville and Cordoba as I had spent a lot of time around Malaga and Granada and had studied a lot of Andalusian history, but had never made it to this part of the region. After a Skype interview with Maria, I felt we had a lot of similar values and I knew I would enjoy working at English Street.

Learning English has become hugely popular in Spain in recent years. With so many different academies nationwide, it can be difficult for TEFL teachers and students alike to select one which will deliver a quality service. At English Street, students and teachers can be guaranteed commitment to thorough teaching methods and long-term results. Maria is not one to cut corners, and I always admired English Street’s focus on attention to detail and fostering true excellence in its students. There is a strong culture of inclusion at English Street, where every effort is made to facilitate each individual student’s learning needs, so that nobody is left behind and everyone is afforded the opportunity to reach their full potential.

In addition, I think English Street is unique in terms of its core emphasis on having fun, as opposed to meeting milestones and passing exams. I was very much in agreement with Maria that learning a language is easiest if it is enjoyable for the student, as this provides a great incentive for them to practise at every opportunity. While it may take a little extra lesson planning time, it always pays to see students enjoying classes and being eager to come back each week. I found that students who enjoyed coming to class were also more confident in speaking English and retained more grammar and vocabulary in the long term…and that, at the end of the day, is key to great exam results!

During my time at English Street, I lived in a small village called Fuentes de Andalucia. Living here and working in Palma del Rio was a brilliant opportunity for being immersed in Spanish culture. There were a few drawbacks – public transport was infrequent which made it difficult to get around, for example – but the sense of community and the opportunity to get to know students and their families was really fulfilling. Being so close to the unspoiled Spanish countryside was also a major advantage, as it gave me the opportunity to experience the lesser-known elements of Andalucia.

I most definitely improved my teaching skills during my time at English Street. Maria is like a fountain of endless ideas and is always willing to share. I enjoyed the challenge of putting different strategies in place to augment the learning experience of individual students, and left English Street with an array of lesson activities I had not come across before. Working at English Street also helped me to manage a more active classroom, and to gauge the appropriate levels of stimulation for children of different ages. I really enjoyed getting to know my students and found this pastoral element of teaching extremely rewarding. Weekly training sessions with the other staff also allowed me to gain more insight into the theoretical aspects of teaching and this was extremely useful for helping me to improve my practice from week to week.

My work experience at English Street has definitely opened doors for me in furthering my career. In the end, a career in teaching wasn’t for me in the long term; however, working at English Street solidified my ambition to work with children. After coming home to Ireland, I worked with children with autism and learning disabilities for a year and a half, during which time I found that many of the communication games I had used in the TEFL classroom could be put to great use here also. Still ambitious about a career working with children, I am now completing a Master’s in Child Nursing at the University of Nottingham and am set to qualify in December 2019!

Mirela, from Ramnicu Sarat

Worked in Palma Del Río 2014-16 as a cover teacher

First of all, I'm very thankful to English Street for giving me the opportunity to work since I had studied a lot about teaching English as a foreign language but  I wasn't given the chance to put my knowledge into practice.  At English Street I learned that both teaching and learning should be fun. It definitely helped me to get other similar jobs and I still use most of the things I learned there in my current job as a public school teacher. It's hard to find an employer who cherishes her employees as much as Maria does, and I think that future teachers will find working for and with her very motivating. Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to start. This is the hardest part. Hope you're lucky with your future teachers, Maria, and that they'll value your academy as much as you do.

Amanda, from Surrey

Worked in Fuentes De Andalucía 2016-17

and in Palma Del Río 2017-18 as a cover teacher

I was a relatively experienced teacher when I joined English Street, but I had never worked in Spain before. I decided to apply for the job because the advertisement gave plenty of information about the position and living in Spain, and from this I correctly surmised that the school was well-run and professional. It turned out to be a fantastic experience. I learnt such a lot from working there, not just as a teacher, but also as a woman living in Andalucia. Firstly, the job allows a teacher to experience all levels of teaching English, from very young learners to adults. As a result, even if you are an experienced teacher, or one just starting out, there are many aspects where you can expand your teaching knowledge. It is also nice to have your own classroom where you can adapt the environment to your, and your students’ needs, and showcase examples of students’ work around the walls. There are many resources available for teachers to use, to embellish and adapt lessons, and the chosen coursebooks are well suited to student levels. Furthermore, Maria provides tried-and-tested procedures for long-term and weekly planning that helps enormously, plus weekly meetings to discuss any problems and provide teacher development. This provides new and innovative ideas for teaching.

I had never lived in Spain before, so support for teachers outside of the classroom is essential. In this respect, Maria and Julio became involved in everything from Day One, helping to find suitable accommodation and sorting out residency issues and bank accounts. Without their help, I wouldn’t have been able to get settled so quickly. This allowed me to enjoy the job a lot more since those official tasks were taken care of. Furthermore, their support throughout my time in Spain was on-going. If there was any issue that I wasn’t clear about, whether in a teaching context or personally, they were always at the end of a phone to help.

In terms of working in Andalucia, it was one of the best experiences of my teaching career. Even though much of the local population doesn’t speak English, this is actually a benefit since it provides an insight into the delights of living in real Spain, and forces you to attempt speaking Spanish even if you’ve never spoken it before – which was the situation in my case! The inland towns are relatively small, but have enough going on in terms of sport and entertainment, and the local people are very welcoming. In addition, being close to both Cordoba and Seville facilitates easy access to these wonderful historic cities, without having to pay the high cost that living in a city brings. So, a teacher benefits from living affordably in a safe, welcoming town whilst enjoying Spanish hospitality, history and beauty that are right on your doorstep.

For me, having a solid year’s experience, particularly teaching YLs, was the best part of the job and helped me to further my career. My year in Spain also gave me amazing memories to cherish forever, and the experience I’ve gained has opened doors to other exciting teaching opportunities further afield.  Working at English Street represents a great opportunity for any teacher to further their experience while enjoying the delights of Spanish life.

Aatikah, from Oxford

Worked in Palma Del Río from 2016-18

I was inclined to accept the job at English Street as I'd always wanted to live and work in Spain; however the idea of moving to a big city was quite daunting. English Street was in the perfect location, a small town in the middle of Cordoba and Seville. I loved living in Palma del Rio, the openness of the community and the surprising amount of native speakers coming and going are just a few of its charms. It's also a great place to learn Spanish; I came to Palma de Rio knowing nothing and thanks to Spanish classes from Maria and the friends I made along the way, my level of Spanish has improved tremendously.

In terms of the academy, the management style and student focused learning environment is not something I have come across in any other language academy. The classes were always focused on the learners' needs and we were encouraged to be flexible and creative with our lessons. The support and freedom we were given was amazing and the weekly CPD sessions held by Maria and members of staff helped improve my teaching skills in the two years I worked there.

Thanks to the invaluable experience I gained at English Street I have been accepted to study a Masters in Education and TESOL, with hopes of one day being in a management position and being able to run an academy as efficient as English Street.

Nicola, from Manchester

Worked in Fuentes De Andalucía 2013-14

I applied for the job at English Street School because they asked that candidates have a CELTA qualification.  This demonstrated to me that this would be a professional and supportive environment, which it was.

Maria was very supportive both professionally and in making sure that we settled into life in the Fuentes de Andalucia community.  English Street School also provided professional development by attending several TEFL workshops and seminars in Seville/Andalucia.

 

Living in an Andalusian town was great, the whole culture and lifestyle was fantastic. Everyone was very friendly, laid-back and kind.  Myself and the other teacher who I was working with (and still friends with now, four years later) were always included in community events such as: Carnival, Feria and Ruta de tapas. We were also very fortunate that in our adult classes the students were lovely, and from time to time we would for tapas and a drink all together.

 

I definitely improved my teaching skills in the year that I was working at English Street school.  This was my first year working as a TEFL teacher and with the regular meetings and professional feedback from Maria by the end of the year I was definitely more confident.  

My work experience at English Street School has helped me secure two further TEFL teaching roles, as well as getting on an English Language MA course at The University of Sheffield.