TeachingTeaching is one of the best ways that visitors can help young people to get out of the poverty trap. Teaching english is obligatory in the ecuadorean syllabus for secondary education, but in reality is almost non-existent in this parish, due to its remoteness from urban centres. Your help in showing local people that education opens doors is valuable and appreciated by local people. You give them the chance to enter a wider range of professions than just farming, if they wish.
We usually work with four local schools, to give volunteers a variety of climate and teaching style:
Rosario school ( Profesora Blanca) is a friendly, attractive school with about 25 children, where English teaching is top priority for volunteers. San Joaquin school (profesora Veronica), has around 60 children, and is a busy, cheerful, and somewhat chaotic place! San Antonio school (Profe Gustavo, 15 children) is a relaxed, friendly rural school. Magdalena school (profesora Gladys, around 20 children) is also fun, good for self-motivated volunteers, as Gladys tends to throw you in at the deep end! In general, although English teaching is the favourite, because children are so behind in this subject, there are quite a variety of subjects that you can teach. The important thing is your own enthusiasm and willingness to spend time with the children.
Cuellaje village/small town has a primary school (1st to 7th grade), similar to the schools described above - and there is also the High School, where there are around 150 children aged 12 to 18 years. Here the priority is again English teaching, and the emphasis is on english for tourism; and again, other subjects are welcome by arrangement with the head teacher (Marcelo Paez). Unlike the primary schools, the High school has a permanent english teacher (Nancy) who prepares the students for the bachillerato examination of secondary education.
There is also opportunity to work in the school of Cielo Verde parish, further down the Intag valley, in a tropical/sub-tropical climate; in this case, the recommended host family is Mariana and Nelson Quinchiguango.
What is expected of you?
Hours are 7.30 am to 1pm monday to Friday - and it's fine if you choose to limit your time as a teacher in order to do farmwork and/or conservation, by arrangement with the permanent teacher. Usually, you are asked to take your own TESOL classes, and you can read full, independent desscriptions of what this involves on our blog www.ecotouristadventure.wordpress.com. Snacks are served at the school, and lunch is with your chosen host family around 1.30 pm, after which you are free to relax and/or take part in farming activities, excursions etc with your chosen host family. If you have never taught before, don't be put off by the prospect of taking your own class, since the most important thing is your own enthusiasm, willingness to teach and learn, and just being there! - a tremendous thrill and confidence boost for the children of this remote and neglected parish. Songs, games, competitions, excursions, and "flash cards" are just a few of the techniques that work well with rural children. The book 176 ESL games by Shelley Ann Vernon is a wonderful source of ideas and advice in this respect.
A basic knowledge of Spanish is necessary for all teaching placements.
Please note that the long school vacation in this part of Ecuador is from mid february to end of april.
Contact the project coordinator direct at firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone (including national and international codes) ## 593 6 3017543