Volunteer Teaching in Belize
- Placement locations: San Pedro
- Types of schools: Primary and secondary schools
- Age of students: 6 - 17
- Class sizes: 20 - 40
- Role: English Teaching Assistant/Teacher
- Extra-curricular roles: Drama, Music, Sports
- Accommodation: Host families
- Price: From
- What’s included? Food, accommodation, transfers to and from our specified airport, transport to and from work where required, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 staff support
- What’s not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
- Length of placement: From 2 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
Volunteering as a teacher in Belize with Projects Abroad is a great way to gain practical work experience while giving back. You do not need to have any formal teaching qualifications or TEFL training or other previous teaching experience to participate. As a volunteer, you will have a positive impact on the lives of the children you teach, whether you are a gap year student, career breaker, or simply looking for a meaningful way to contribute during a vacation.
The educational system in Belize is based on the British system, and education is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 14. Although primary education is free, there are a large percentage of children who are not receiving an education because of the cost of related expenses, such as uniforms and books. Volunteers are needed to help support these children, improve literacy levels, and give them the skills and education they need to build a sustainable future.
The official language in Belize is English, so your main role as an English teacher will be to help children build on their reading, writing, and comprehension abilities. You will also be able to teach a variety of other subjects.
Teaching Placements in Belize with Projects Abroad
Projects Abroad volunteers work in elementary and junior/high schools in San Pedro. The children are aged from about 6 to 17 years old. Your exact role in the classroom will depend on your level of experience and confidence. You may be assisting the local teacher, working with small groups on conversational English, or you could be asked to take the whole lesson.
Other tasks may include helping the children who are struggling with their homework, and running one-on-one sessions with the children who need help with their numeracy and literacy skills.
Local staff will be eager to have you be involved in teaching other subjects and organising extra-curricular activities. Depending on your skills and interests, you could teach subjects such as maths, science, art, drama, music, physical education, and more. Please let us know if you are interested in any particular areas.
As a volunteer on the Teaching project, the impact you have on the lives of the children you work with will reach beyond your time at the placement. You will also be part of a much wider volunteer network, which is making a hugely positive contribution to the communities in which we work.
Whatever talents or skills you have, teaching in Belize will give you the opportunity to put them to good use and make a difference. You can be creative with your teaching to make learning fun. Engaging the children through the use of games and songs will help to make them excited to learn.
As an alternative to classroom-based teaching, volunteers can join our literacy programme on a full-time or part-time basis to gain experience in an informal educational setting. You will work with smaller groups of children between the ages of 8-13, at times on a one-on-one basis. The aim is to help these students to improve their English reading and writing skills to ensure they stay within the school system. When you are not actively working with the children, you will spend time researching teaching materials to support the work you are doing with specific students.
Community outreach work
For those who are interested, there are also other general project activities you can get involved in, which are open to all our volunteers based in San Pedro. These include:
• Walking the animals at the SAGA Humane Society and providing them with care and attention
• Supporting a Girls’ Club that tackles self-esteem issues, bullying, and other topics related to adolescent girls
• Supporting a Boy’s Group that tackles issues of respect, bullying, and other topics related to adolescent boys
• Re-usable bag and straw campaign to reduce the amount of plastic used on the island
• Mural painting in schools
We also arrange Community Days for our volunteers. These may involve:
• Cleaning and revamping parks
• Participating in beach and community clean-ups
• Taking part in community movie nights