Is teaching in Jamaica right for me?
This project is perfect for anyone interested in getting practical classroom experience, while also supporting teachers in a developing country. You’ll work with professional teachers who will guide you, then give you more responsibility as you gain confidence.
This volunteer opportunity will give you plenty of hands-on teaching work experience in Jamaica, which you can use to boost your CV. This is a great way to kick start your career in teaching. You’ll also learn skills like planning and leadership, which you can apply to any career.
No experience? No problem! You'll work with a local teacher in the classroom, and Projects Abroad staff are there to guide you. We also hold regular workshops for all our Teaching and Care volunteers to give you ideas and help you overcome any challenges.
If you have an interest in teaching music or sports, let us know. We can help organise extracurricular activities in these areas at your placement. You can also teach a different language if you’re fluent in French, German, or Spanish.
This project runs throughout the year, and you can join at any time from a minimum of three weeks. Please note that to volunteer as a teacher in Jamaica, you need an intermediate level of English.
What will I do at my volunteer Teaching placement in Jamaica?
You'll work in a primary or secondary school. You can also volunteer in our community literacy programme for adults. You'll get involved in work such as:
- Work with children, teenagers or adults during classes to improve literacy
- Work with teachers to prepare lessons with clear goals
- Assist teachers with extracurricular activities such as music, sport, French, German, and art
- Teach in a special needs school or teach sign language at a centre for deaf children
Your work will focus on the following areas:
Work with children, teenagers, or adults during classes to improve literacy
You will work with smaller groups of students to improve their reading, writing, and comprehension. You’ll do this through creating fun and individualised lessons.
You’ll also have the chance to work with teenagers and adults on our community literacy programme. Illiteracy is a huge problem in Jamaica, and many teenagers and adults can’t read or write. You’ll focus on activities and games to teach reading and writing.
Work with teachers to prepare lessons with clear goals
Your teaching will be most effective with a well planned lesson in place. Make sure there are clear goals and outcomes to each lesson plan. You can sit with your supervising teacher, and plan lessons for different grades and educational levels. Most of your lessons should be planned around improving literacy.
You’ll have support from Projects Abroad staff, example lesson plans, and attend workshops, to help you plan your lessons more effectively.
Assist teachers with extracurricular activities such as music, sport, French, German and art
You can use your skills outside of the classroom by assisting with extracurricular activities. If you can sing, play an instrument, enjoy sports, or have an artistic flair, you can use your skills to teach. You will help with extracurricular activities and give students a chance to explore their talents and interests.
Teach in a special needs school or teach sign language at a center for deaf children
If you have sign language skills, put them to good use in a centre for deaf children. As a volunteer teaching English in Jamaica, you will support the teachers and focus on teaching conversational English. You’ll also teach mathematics. If you have an interest in crafts, sports, and agriculture, you can help plan and create educational lessons with the teachers. Your lessons should motivate students and help build their confidence levels.
Where will I be working in Jamaica?
All of our volunteer teaching placements in Jamaica are in the university town of Mandeville. You’ll live and work in an area known for its friendly people, beautiful surroundings, and warm weather.
Depending on your interests, you will work in a public primary or secondary school, or be based in the community literacy programme. At the schools, students come from varied backgrounds, but a large number are from disadvantaged homes.
There is a high illiteracy rate in rural Jamaica. Classes are oversized and there are no teacher assistants. There is also a gap between the quality of education in underprivileged communities, and slower learning or disadvantaged children are often left behind. Working here will give you direct insight into the challenges people face with education in developing countries.
A typical day on the Teaching Project in Jamaica
At the start of each day, you’ll eat breakfast with your Jamaican host family. Dressed smartly, you will travel to your teaching placement using a shared taxi. On your first day, we’ll show you the easiest way to get to your placement.
Depending on your placement, you will work for between 5 - 7 hours a day, Monday to Friday. You’ll have a lunch break.
As a sign of respect for your students and your placement, punctuality and professionalism are important. We also encourage you to observe or take part in the school’s morning devotion time, but it’s not required.
Depending on your schedule, you will then lesson plan with a supervising teacher, or take part in classes. Extracurricular activities run as part of a set timetable, which you can discuss with your supervisor.
Class sizes vary in schools, and remedial classes have much smaller groups. A big part of your role will be to work with small groups in remedial classes that run parallel to regular classes. These classes focus on improving reading, writing, and comprehension skills. If you’re working with adults, you’ll have more independendence with planning and running classes.
You can explore the beautiful island of Jamaica in your free time and over the weekends.
What are the aims and impact of this Teaching Project?
The aim of this project is to support the education of Jamaican students, with a special focus on raising literacy levels.
In Jamaica, there is a high illiteracy rate, especially in rural areas. Classes are overcrowded, and teacher don’t have enough support in the classroom. There is also a gap between the quality of education in underprivileged communities, and slower learning or disadvantaged children are often left behind.
We need your help to improve literacy in Jamaica. You’ll work with children, teenagers, or adults, and give more people access to education.
We’ve identified three sustainable goals we hope to achieve with our Teaching Project in Jamaica:
- Increase English levels
- Improve classroom support
- Improve literacy levels
Help us achieve these goals by volunteering to teach in Jamaica.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
When you think of the tropical Caribbean, Jamaica is one of the first countries that comes to mind. With its white-sand beaches and vibrant culture, this island nation has a lot to offer. It’s an amazing location to volunteer in, and explore during your free time.
The local cuisine is definitely worth trying, with tasty dishes like Jamaican patties and jerk chicken. You can enjoy these at seaside restaurants and then head down to the sea for a cooling swim in the ocean.
With a rich culture and friendly locals, exploring markets and museums is a must-do. Visiting the famous Bob Marley Museum in Kingston makes for an enlightening weekend trip. While you’re there, you can also tour Fort Charles and the National Heroes Park.
There will be other volunteers working on different projects in Jamaica while you’re there. This means you can choose to explore independently or connect with other volunteers and travel as a group.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Jamaica
Not quite what you’re looking for?
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