Volunteer Teaching in Belize
- PLACEMENT LOCATIONS: San Pedro
- TYPES OF SCHOOLS: Elementary and junior/high schools
- AGE OF STUDENTS: 6 to 17 years old
- ROLE: Teaching children various subjects and organizing extra-curricular activities
- Requirements: None
- ACCOMMODATION: Host families
- 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. Tasks could include helping children who are strugling with their homework, or having one-on-one sessions with children struggling with numeracy and literacy.
Did you know? Education in Belize is free and mandatory between the ages of 5 and 15. However, indirect costs (school supplies, food, transportation) can restrict attendance for many children.
Local staff will be eager to have you be involved in teaching other subjects and organizing extra-curricular activities. Depending on your skills and interests, you could teach subjects such as math, 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.
Combine Teaching with a Literacy Program in Belize
During your teaching placement, you can also assist with a literacy program. This is an opportunity for you to combine traditional classroom teaching with a more informal teaching setting. On the literacy program you will work with smaller groups of children, and often get to give one-on-one attention where needed. When you are not working with children on the literacy program, you will do research on teaching materials to support the work done with specific students.
You can join the literacy program full-time, stay at the teaching placement, or combine the two. Please let us know during your application.
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.
You can join the Teaching Project in Belize for two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period.
While you’re in Belize, you might also consider joining a 1 week Conservation & Environment Project. For more information, please visit our Diving & Marine Conservation in Belize Project page. Our Combinations Page explains how you can combine not only projects, but also destinations.