Education is the key to a prosperous future, however many schools in developing countries are extremely under funded and find it hard to attract talented, qualified staff meaning that teachers are often overstretched and the quality of teaching is low. As a Teacher you will draw upon your own educational background to fill this gap while mentoring and educating students and supporting fellow staff. At some placements you may be given sole responsibility for a classroom of children and be expected to teach the curriculum to varied age ranges and at others you’ll support the existing classroom teacher. Schools may call on volunteers to teach a wide variety of subjects, so you’ll need to be creative in the use whatever resources are available!
Volunteer Teachers in Fiji work in primary and secondary schools and are usually given real responsibility from their first day. Although many hosts will describe their placements as assistant-style roles, the reality is that you will most likely be given your own class to teach and to plan lessons from the very beginning. This makes volunteering in Fiji a great opportunity to develop your own personality and teaching style while gaining some great presentation and leadership skills.
The precise nature of your duties will vary from host to host, but past volunteers have taught English, maths, cooking, dancing and swimming to name a few. You will also be encouraged to bring your personal skills and interests to extracurricular activities; after-school clubs set up by Lattitude volunteers have proved extremely popular in the past!
Due to the nature of some placements, combined with the welcoming nature of Fijians, these placements enable volunteers to expand their role to include a large aspect of community work too. In some of these placements volunteers live and work on a daily basis with the village community and will soon find themselves part of everything the community does. From playing games and sports to festivals and celebrations!
Many of our host schools are run as private charities to help the local community. Volunteers can teach a variety of age groups and subjects including English, Maths, Science as well as others depending on their skills and the school’s needs. Schools are very under-resourced, but you will find that the students are eager and willing to learn and the more effort you put in the more you will be rewarded. Resourcefulness, initiative and ingenuity are key attributes needed.
Often volunteers set up extra-curricular clubs such as sports coaching, drama or music clubs. These clubs are often very well attended by the local school children and become a great part of the week for the community and also the volunteer to enjoy.
Undertaking one of our teaching placements in Malawi is an extremely rewarding and varied experience. Our volunteers work with primary and secondary school-aged children, and gain experience teaching subjects such as English, maths, history and biology, and any other subjects that the school may need help with.
You are encouraged to take a proactive approach in suggesting how best your time can be utilised, and past volunteers have advised that the more energy and enthusiasm you put into your work, the more you will get out. Within these placements there is plenty of opportunity to get involved with the school and local community as an extension to your teaching duties. Volunteers in the past have set up sports clubs and drama clubs as well as spent a lot of time getting to know and help the community they live with.