My Take On Volunteering In Guatemala: Take Two
Last week Armando Wunsch, our Teach and Volunteer Abroad Scholarship recipient, shared his experience settling in to life as a volunteer in Guatemala. This week he’s back to share Part Two of his journey with some handy tips for those teaching abroad!
It’s my second and final week as a volunteer teacher in Guatemala. After getting to know everyone at the project and settling into Antigua, everything becomes exciting as you start to realize your importance to the project and the students’ lives.
My day starts with a big cup of Guatemalan coffee and breakfast with my host family, usually consisting of a selection of local fruits! As part of my volunteer experience, I opted to join the local Spanish classes, so I usually head to the IVHQ local office and call my family at home before starting my Spanish lesson. After the class I have a quick lunch and then take the 20-minute bus ride to my volunteer teaching placement.
The volunteer project I am working on is an amazing after school program where the kids learn IT, Math, Cooking and English. My role there is to assist the English teacher in planning and adapting classes for the students’ current level of English and providing the students with a different perspective in their learning.
The first part of the teaching process when volunteering is getting to know why the students are there and why they think English is so important to learn. In fact, I found that this is one of the most important parts of the entire volunteer teaching process. As I learned in the TEFL course I completed before traveling to Guatemala, this process will set the tone for the rest of your classes, while you diagnose each student and discover how they learn best to assist you in planing a killer lesson!
The second part of the process is planning. It can be challenging at first because you typically won’t have many teaching resources available, however this is great as you’ll discover that you don’t need many resources to create an educational and interactive class.
The last and most rewarding part of the process is putting everything into action. After you break the ice with your students, everything works like magic! The way the students respond to your activities and become engaged with your lesson is one moment you cannot put into words!
At the end of each day, I typically travel back to my homestay, have dinner with my host family and start planning the classes for the next day. Then I join the other volunteers with an activity in the evening to celebrate another day as a volunteer in Guatemala!
If you’re interested in teaching English abroad and gaining an internationally-recognized TEFL certification like Armando, use the Coupon Code ‘IVHQ’ at the checkout to receive a $75 discount off our online TEFL course. The coupon is valid until the end of August 2015 and the online course can be completed at any time, at your own pace!