is a common gap year volunteer opportunity in many countries and
Ecuador is no exception. Summer teachers are often in demand
and teaching abroad is a rewarding experience for many volunteers and
Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) is not the only
option - volunteers who speak enough Spanish to teach other subjects
such as mathematics, science or nutrition can make a very
positive impact in Ecuador, and experienced teacher trainers even more
so. Teaching business skills to adults is another option for
older volunteers with more work experience.
rushing off to
teach English overseas, do ask why the
students need to learn it. If it is just in order to emigrate
to the USA,
is this really a positive step for Ecuador?
skills would probably be far more useful for most children in Ecuador,
unless they live in an area visited by many international tourists.
If your volunteer teacher agency cannot give you a good
reason why the students need to learn English, look for more
worthwhile teaching programs. Before volunteering to
teach overseas, do your research to ensure this will genuinely benefit
students with a real need to learn and a continuing support structure
to enable them to do so.
teaching programs with structure,
support and continuity. Even
from the most
enthusiastic of volunteer teachers, in
most cases, a few isolated weeks of random English classes in
a rural primary school will be wasted. For effective
learning, students need continuity and structured lessons.
need to know what the students have already
learnt and to leave notes for the teachers who will follow you.
Short, focused English courses designed for specific needs,
tourism, business or exportation, can be very useful for older students
will almost certainly need to participate in structured
programs with an established curriculum. Be realistic in
your expectations -
teaching overseas will probably involve lesson planning and marking
as well as just having fun teaching music or sports.
Check what support will be available if you have little or no
help by designing or improving a curriculum and leaving
detailed notes and lesson plans for teaching programs.
Teachers with sufficient
experience and Spanish language skills to design and implement a
teacher training program for local teachers could really make a lasting
Although education is now available, in theory, to all
Ecuadorian children, the quality of the teaching in some schools can be
mediocre. Teachers in Ecuador are often working with very
limited resources. Classes may include a wide range of ages,
especially in tiny rural schools, so support and motivation are usually
programs in Ecuador vary as there are two different holiday
systems. Highland schools take a summer break around July and
August, so will probably not need volunteer teachers at this time
unless running holiday classes.
However, schools in the costa (coastal region) usually take
their long holidays in January and February, when the rains are at
their worst and rural students struggle to travel to school.
This means that in the dry, sunny season from June to
December, coastal schools are likely to welcome a volunteer
teacher, especially one with experience and a teaching
teaching programs should ask you for a police records check from your
home country if you will be working with children or vulnerable adults.
There is usually a cost for this which you will probably have
to pay yourself. Apply in good time, as some countries apply
a discount if you don't need the check done urgently.
A letter from a registered charity confirming that you will
be teaching with them may also get you a reduced price, so talk to your
almost certainly have to cover their own costs, unless they have
substantial experience, a teaching certification and are doing
long-term sustainable volunteer
work such as teacher training or curriculum design. A
contribution of around $20 to $35 a day is reasonable. If the
school or teaching agency has the funds to subsidise your volunteer
experience, ask them why they are not using the money to employ and/or
train a local teacher who speaks the local language and could work with
the students longterm, and consider your participation carefully.
certification programs can be
costly, but the good ones can be a worthwhile investment if you intend
to teach abroad long term, either as a volunteer or a professional
teacher. If you just want to teach English abroad for a few
one summer, a teaching certification without experience might not be
worth the cost, especially if you can find teaching programs which
provide good support to volunteer teachers and help you with lesson
plans. If you feel that teaching skills will be useful in
future career, compare teaching certification programs and find the
best one for you.
lessons will not
only help you enjoy your time in Ecuador, but is also a useful
of the learning process your students are
going through on your teaching programs.
Abroad in Ecuador
Teaching programs in schools in Ecuador, tips to teach English
teach abroad summer programs, volunteer teaching overseas and
teacher training opportunities. Teaching certificate programs
worthwhile investment? No responsibility
can be taken for the content of external websites. Assess
potential volunteer teaching opportunities carefully before making your