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Teach Abroad
in Ecuador

Volunteer teaching programs in Ecuador
Teach abroad summer program: volunteer teacher playing games with children
Craft project with volunteer in Ecuador
Small students in a school in Ecuador
Volunteer teacher in Ecuador
Volunteer teaching business skills in rural Ecuador.

Teaching abroad in Ecuador
is rewarding, especially for volunteer teachers with some experience.  Research your teaching opportunity carefully  to make the most impact, and consider teaching certification programs.


Teach Abroad

Teach abroad: Teaching English abroad is a common gap year volunteer opportunity in many countries and Ecuador is no exception.  Summer teachers are often in demand and teaching abroad is a rewarding experience for many volunteers and their students.  Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) is not the only option - volunteers who speak enough Spanish to teach other subjects such as mathematics, science or nutrition can make a very positive impact in Ecuador, and experienced teacher trainers even more so.  Teaching business skills to adults is another option for older volunteers with more work experience.
Before rushing off to teach English overseas, do ask why the students need to learn it.  If it is just in order to emigrate to the USA, is this really a positive step for Ecuador?  Developing basic numeracy skills would probably be far more useful for most children in Ecuador, unless they live in an area visited by many international tourists.  If your volunteer teacher agency cannot give you a good reason why the students need to learn English, look for more worthwhile teaching programs.  Before volunteering to teach overseas, do your research to ensure this will genuinely benefit students with a real need to learn and a continuing support structure to enable them to do so.  
Seek teaching programs with structure, support and continuity.  Even from the most enthusiastic of volunteer teachers, in most cases, a few isolated weeks of random English classes in a rural primary school will be wasted.  For effective learning, students need continuity and structured lessons.  You need to know what the students have already learnt and to leave notes for the teachers who will follow you.  Short, focused English courses designed for specific needs, e.g. tourism, business or exportation, can be very useful for older students in certain areas.  
Inexperienced volunteers will almost certainly need to participate in structured teaching programs with an established curriculum.  Be realistic in your expectations - teaching overseas will probably involve lesson planning and marking homework as well as just having fun teaching music or sports.  Check what support will be available if you have little or no teaching experience.
Experienced teachers can help by designing or improving a curriculum and leaving detailed notes and lesson plans for teaching programs.  Teachers with sufficient experience and Spanish language skills to design and implement a teacher training program for local teachers could really make a lasting difference.  Although education is now available, in theory, to all Ecuadorian children, the quality of the teaching in some schools can be mediocre.  Teachers in Ecuador are often working with very limited resources.  Classes may include a wide range of ages, especially in tiny rural schools, so support and motivation are usually welcomed.
Teach abroad summer programs in Ecuador vary as there are two different holiday systems.  Highland schools take a summer break around July and August, so will probably not need volunteer teachers at this time unless running holiday classes.  However, schools in the costa (coastal region) usually take their long holidays in January and February, when the rains are at their worst and rural students struggle to travel to school.  This means that in the dry, sunny season from June to December, coastal schools are likely to welcome a volunteer teacher, especially one with experience and a teaching certification. 
Responsible volunteer teaching programs should ask you for a police records check from your home country if you will be working with children or vulnerable adults.  There is usually a cost for this which you will probably have to pay yourself.  Apply in good time, as some countries apply a discount if you don't need the check done urgently.  A letter from a registered charity confirming that you will be teaching with them may also get you a reduced price, so talk to your teaching agency. 
Volunteer teachers will almost certainly have to cover their own costs, unless they have substantial experience, a teaching certification and are doing long-term sustainable volunteer work such as teacher training or curriculum design.  A contribution of around $20 to $35 a day is reasonable.  If the school or teaching agency has the funds to subsidise your volunteer experience, ask them why they are not using the money to employ and/or train a local teacher who speaks the local language and could work with the students longterm, and consider your participation carefully.
Teaching certification programs can be costly, but the good ones can be a worthwhile investment if you intend to teach abroad long term, either as a volunteer or a professional teacher.  If you just want to teach English abroad for a few weeks one summer, a teaching certification without experience might not be worth the cost, especially if you can find teaching programs which provide good support to volunteer teachers and help you with lesson plans.  If you feel that teaching skills will be useful in your future career, compare teaching certification programs and find the best one for you. 
Taking some Spanish lessons will not only help you enjoy your time in Ecuador, but is also a useful reminder of the learning process your students are going through on your teaching programs. 
See some notes on choosing a volunteer placement before checking out current volunteer teaching opportunities in Ecuador, including teaching English, volunteer work for teacher trainers and teaching in community schools.  


Teach Abroad in Ecuador
Teaching programs in schools in Ecuador, tips to teach English abroad, teach abroad summer programs, volunteer teaching overseas and teacher training opportunities.  Teaching certificate programs - a worthwhile investment?  No responsibility can be taken for the content of external websites.  Assess potential volunteer teaching opportunities carefully before making your decision.