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Essential Preparation Tips for Volunteering in Teaching Projects

Essential Preparation Tips for Volunteering in Teaching Projects

It can be very rewarding to volunteer in teaching projects especially when it comes to areas with pressing educational needs. A unique challenge in these areas is that primary education is conducted in the mother tongue of the country while secondary education shifts to English. This can be an abrupt change and it can create many difficulties for students.

If you are thinking to volunteer in Tanzania as a teacher, you need to first understand the educational landscape in Tanzania. This means becoming familiar with the structure of the school system in the country and the language of instructions. Make sure to research the common challenges faced by the students. For example, in Tanzania, the transition from Swahili to English can be quite difficult so you need to tailor your method of teaching to suit their needs. Depending on which country you are heading off to, you can learn some basic phrases in their language so that you can build a rapport with the students and local teachers. It is important to embrace cultural sensitivity when volunteering abroad. You have to understand the local traditions, customs and social norms so that you are better able to connect with the community. You have to be respectful of their customs and dress modestly as the community is familiar with. You need to be open to learning from people you meet. The culture will be quite new to you so you have to understand how to respect those you meet and this attitude will be a great way to enrich your volunteering experience.

You may not have formal teaching qualifications

But you have to equip yourself with basic tools and techniques in teaching so that you will have an easier time transitioning into your new role. You can research simple methods that are effective for teaching English as a second language or any other subject that you are considering a placement in. Some of the resources you can use are visual aids, flashcards and interactiveactivities. You have to learn how to engage the students through music, singing, drama and storytelling. This will make learning fun for them and they will be able to comprehend new concepts easily as well.

It is important to be adaptable and flexible as a volunteer.

There may be limited resources in the areas you go to and there can be different teaching environments to what you have been used to. The class sizes can be large and teaching materials can be limited. So you need to start looking for ways to adapt your teaching methods according to what resources are available. This will need some creative thinking so that you can improvise and find innovative solutions. This will benefit the students in the end. Think about how you can build strong relationships with the students and your fellow teachers along with the greater community. You need to create a positive learning environment so that the students feel comfortable. This will make them motivated to learn.