Teaching in Schools
Update January 2022:
The global Corona pandemic has also affected our cooperation with government schools and completely paralyzed them for almost two years. Currently it is still quite difficult in the state schools with which we have cooperated so far, because they are still 'behind' with the curricula and the exams.
Currently we have started a cooperation with a small private school near Nosara, which works according to the Montessori pedagogy. This school is run by a Costa Rican couple, is accredited by the Costa Rican Ministry of Education and has about 60 students. Although a monthly tuition fee is charged, it is not an 'elite school for rich kids' - the school also awards many scholarships to families without adequate income.
All the following information and task descriptions apply just as much to the private school - only the vacation periods (see there) are a little different and shorter.
In any case, we plan to resume cooperation with the state schools as soon as possible. As a general rule, only volunteers with full immunizations will be accepted to work with the children.
If you are interested in working with children and giving classes en English, sports, arts or other subjects, you're in demand in the local schools. In most of the 'escuelas' in this area the children only have lessons in Spanish, Math, Social Science and Natural Science due to the lack of teachers and financial resources. Your classes will be in the afternoons after the regular classes and they are free for the children.
English especially is getting more and more important for Costaricans to provide better opportunities in the expanding tourism market, wich is the main income sector in this country. Therefor especially the parents are very interested in English classes. Additional subjects that stimulates their creativity and develop their individuality are important for an adequate education and are very popular for the children. Your volunteering in teaching assistance and your efforts in creating new material will be very much appreciated!
You will be living with a family in the village and you will have your own room (maybe shared with another volunteer). You'll enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner with the family based on the tipical Costarican diet, for example rice, beans, vegetables, meat and fruit.
Your work includes
- English, sports, games, art and craft or other subjects
- 2-4 hours of work with the children in the mornings, the afternoon or both
- in some schools: joining and helping the teacher in the morning classes; administrative work in the school
- cleaning the facilities you use in the school and the volunteer office; maintainance of the material collection and preparing new material
- preparing school events like sport activities, presentations, exhibitions, beach cleanings
- help in the recycle project and in community service: beautifying projects, gardening, making playgrounds, painting etc. according to the actual needs of the community
Furthermore we expect from the volunteers to be active and motivated by themselves, to offer language classes for adults and bring their own ideas for the community progress.
Things to bring
- creativity and talent for improvisation as even the most basic resources are often limited and require to use your imagination
- enjoying to work independently and self-motivated
- fun and responsability to work with children (6-12 years)
- if possible, all kind of didactic material (books, games, music...)
- elementary knowledge of spanish; there is the possibility to book spanish classes with first hand
- clothes for a decent dress code (no tank tops and shorts in class)
Holidays in state schools
- middle of December until beginning of February
- Easter week
- 1st of May Labour Day
- first two weeks of July
- 25th of July Día de la Annexión de Guanacaste
- 15th of September Independence Day
Between Christmas and New Year the school is closed.
During the school holidays there will be holiday programs for the children!
Holidays in private school
- Start of school: first week in January
- Vacation - Easter week
- May 1 Labor Day
- Vacations - last week of June and first week of July
- July 25 Guanacaste Annexation Day
- August 15 Mother's Day
- September 15 Independence Day
- Vacation - last week of September
- Exams - middle of October
- November/December: Extra activities 'campamento'.
The schools are located on the northwest pacific coast of Costa Rica in Guanacaste between Sámara and Nosara.