The local government and Educational Supervisor are fully behind our project, giving us access to many schools in the area. This gap year volunteer in Costa rica programme consists of working with students aged between five and 19, teaching language classes – usually English, – although we can cater for French, German or Mandarin Chinese too.
Some of the larger schools have English teachers, but the teachers themselves often struggle. Participants will be free to choose their own way of teaching and may bring their own ideas into class.
It is important to understand that the methods of teaching are less important than the attitude of the participant towards the students. In addition, the subjects to be taught can alter, depending on current activities in the schools which might include, for example, environmental issues or current festivals.
The teaching programme serves a dual purpose; of course it is meant to help children in rural Costa Rica to have a chance to learn another language with a mother tongue speaker, but it also benefits you, giving you an insight into the Costa Rican education system as well as an excellent opportunity to become good friends with students, teachers and even parents, and so take a full role in the community.
You will be organizing and balancing a range of classes for your duration at the school. With some schools your schedule can be flexible and you may also have some say in what classes you prefer to teach. Overall you should be prepared to teach 3-6 hours a day.
You will have lunch at the school and can expect to remain there from 8:00am until just after 4.30pm, depending on your schedule. This gives you plenty of time to immerse yourself in the school and its activities, and to get to know its students and staff.
When confirming your dates please take note of the long holidays (late Dec to early Feb) and the other Public Holidays in the Holidays section which schools may take advantage of. During such times, renovation work continues, with the option to join special classes and English camps when requested by the local community.