Volunteer Teaching Google search “volunteer

Google search “volunteer teaching” and you will find a host of organizations who will charge a small fortune for the honor of donating a few weeks of your life in the country of your choice. These thinly veiled vacation packages often seem geared towards the volunteer rather than the recipients. Although many are for truly worthy causes, some are resume boosters for those with limited time and lots of money. Either that or they’re a handy way to get a tax-free vacation. However for those who are interested in long- term commitments the opportunities are more interesting than most paid positions.(1)

There are many world famous organizations, some of which offer attractive perks to lure potential applicants. For instance, if you’ve heard of Peace Corps, you will know the benefits of signing up; if you haven’t, you probably don’t qualify for their program anyway. If government work isn’t your thing, Voluntary Service Overseas- VSO is a non-profit independent organization similar to Peace Corps. Volunteers receive a small stipend from the organization or host government and applicants are usually certified teachers in their home country.(2) World Teach offers summer programs as well as long term assignments of up to twelve months. Most major religious organizations have opportunities for volunteers, not all of which require applicants to be members or that religion or denomination. Volunteering with one of these can be an uplifting experience. However some religious organizations require a high standard of conduct and modesty; so be sure that you’ll be willing to conform to dress and behavior codes.(3)

As noble as volunteer teaching sounds, it is often a trial by fire for those who didn’t recognize their own limitations beforehand. There are very few opportunities to volunteer in a hi-tech, state- of-the-art school. ‘Going places you wouldn’t normally go can mean teaching in a one room hut and sleeping under a mosquito net. Some people thrive on self-denial while others want an air conditioner and running water. If you’re considering a position in primitive conditions, take a camping trip under similar circumstances and decide if that’s how you want to live for the next several months.(3)

Like anything in life, you get out what you put in. Preparation is, if possible, even more important for volunteer TEFL teachers than for paid staff. Non-profit schools may not be able to afford good teaching materials or any at all. The plus side of this is that you’ll be able to choose your own curriculum – and pay for it of course. While most paid jobs are in large cities, volunteers often find themselves in remote villages far from the nearest pharmacy or even hospital. A first-aid kit and training are very nice to have when the need arises. Sometimes a volunteer TEFL teacher isn’t just teaching English but math and other subjects as well. Often as a volunteer, you are part of a group or team that is seeking to improve the overall standard of living in the area where you are teaching. Research your host country to find out if there are any other skills you can pass on (i.e. carpentry, hygiene.) If appropriate try learning useful skills before leaving home.(3)

Many teachers declare that the time they volunteered was more rewarding than any paid job. As a student, I’ve noticed that the best teachers volunteered more often than the dull ones who taught with all the enthusiasm of a robot. That is because a really good teacher doesn’t treat education as just another job. It’s an experience, an opportunity that is well worth doing for its own sake. There are indeed many career benefits to volunteer work including resume boosters, tax benefits, scholarships and grants.(4) However, if you don’t have a passion for what you are doing, you will not enjoy yourself and neither will your students. Reference: (1) http://www.google.co.th/search'hl=en&q=volunteer+teaching&meta= (2)

http://tefllogue.com/resources/82.html (3)

http://www.transitionsabroad.com/publications/magazine/0501/volunteer _ teaching_english.html (4) http://esl-programs- lessons.suite101.com/article.cfm/teach_in_esl_schools_and_programs.ht m l