- PLACEMENT LOCATION: San Pedro
- TYPES OF SCHOOLS: Primary schools
- AGE OF STUDENTS: 8-13
- CLASS SIZES: 4-16 students
- REQUIREMENTS: Volunteers need to be qualified teachers
- ROLE: To improve literacy and numeracy levels in local schools and contribute to a specialised literacy and numeracy programme
- ACCOMMODATION: Host families
- LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
- START DATES: Flexible
By volunteering with Projects Abroad as a Basic Skills Teacher in Belize, you will help local children by raising literacy and numeracy levels in schools in San Pedro. This is a wonderful way for professional teachers to use their expertise to give back while travelling during a career break or holiday.
In Belize, education is compulsory for all children between the ages of six and 14. Despite this, many children don’t attend school because their families can’t afford important school supplies such as books, stationery and uniforms. Schools in Belize are also frequently understaffed with little access to educational resources, such as remedial classes. This means that children don’t always get the one-on-one attention that they need, especially with regards to literacy and numeracy.
As English is the official language in Belize, children and teenagers need to improve their understanding of the language in order to pass their exams and improve their future prospects. Numeracy skills are also important as they provide a foundation for learning practical maths skills that are useful in daily life. You will play an important role in helping to improve children’s reading, writing and numeracy skills and building their confidence.
How can volunteer teachers help in Belize?
In Belize, we work with a local literacy and numeracy program that has been implemented in two schools. The program targets children of different ages and aptitudes, so you will be involved in anything from teaching basic maths skills to helping children with reading comprehension. Although the classes generally involve four to 16 students, this number can vary according to how many volunteers are available. A full-time volunteer will work with around six children per day. In less than a year, we’ve been able to grow the program from 45 students to 60 students and, with your help, we can expand even more.
There are only six full-time local volunteers working at the literacy program, meaning that volunteer assistance is crucial. This is an opportunity for you to use your professional knowledge and skills to benefit the students at these schools. At the same time, you will also be able to learn about different teaching techniques used by local teachers or other volunteers in Belize. You can expect to get involved with many different tasks, such as:
- Running literacy and numeracy classes for small groups of students
- Working one-on-one with children to identify and target areas where they may be struggling
- Preparing materials to support the work done with specific students
- Assessing the current teaching practices in place and providing suggestions for improvements
You will have the opportunity to work full-time at the literacy and numeracy program. When you’re not working directly with students, you can spend your time planning lessons, researching teaching techniques, exploring the beautiful country and immersing yourself in the local culture. This project runs throughout the school year from September to June. During the school summer holidays from July to August, we also run a two-week literacy and numeracy summer camp.
What will Projects Abroad provide?Projects Abroad staff in Belize will be available to provide you with support and guidance and help you get the most out of your time at the placement. A member of our staff will meet you at the airport when you arrive and will guide you through your induction. We also provide safe accommodation with a local host family and medical and travel insurance.
What skills or qualifications do I need?
If you have a teaching qualification in your home country, then this project is an excellent opportunity to use your skills to make an impact abroad.
If you are interested in this project but don’t have the relevant experience, read more about our General Teaching Project in Belize.