A volunteer teaching job is a commitment! If you are not sure that a teaching role is for you, contact the Volunteer Section to join a volunteer teacher and see what this entails before you decide. We could also set you up as an assistant teacher. From the students' perspective, getting a new teacher can raise expectations and an early volunteer dropout is yet another disruption in the children's lives we would like to avoid.

In this transitional phase some learning centres are still using the Longman series complimented with other material and in others they are using different teaching material altogether. For you as a new volunteer teacher it is advisable to ask your head teacher what materials you are expected to use. As we are not able to give you comprehensive guidance at the moment regarding the learning objectives for the three subjects at the different levels, the volunteer team hopes that this website can assist you in your teaching.

Things to consider:

  • Use TRAIN (this site) as a first resource and portal to further resources, attend our teacher training sessions and network with other teachers at your school.
  • You will most likely be going to poorer neighbourhoods – be vigilant of your surroundings and use your common sense!
  • Remember the code of conduct! - Don’t divulge information about the refugees you teach.
  • Try to keep a professional relationship with the refugees you come in contact with. For instance, inviting your students to your home or giving them a lift home in your car is inadvisable.
  • If you want to undertake activities that go outside of your teaching role, kindly discuss it with the Volunteer Section, we are there to guide you.
  • There are established channels of communication between the UNHCR office and the refugees. It is not your role to push individual refugee cases vis-à-vis the UNHCR.
  • Remember that it is often the Refugee Communities themselves who run the schools. Help them to become self-sufficient rather than taking over and creating dependence.

Nobody said it would be easy...

Whether you have a teaching background or not being in a classroom that has a range of English language learners and students of varying ages is not easy. The tips, tools and resources provided on the website will help you. Attending the workshops is another way to learn teaching strategies and gain ideas.

but it will be appreciated...

Your presence on a regular basis with activities in English are incredibly valuable and much appreciated by the students, teachers and their community.

Last, but by no means least...

have reasonable expectations of yourself. We know you are teaching in challenging environments. Every time you turn up in the classroom you make a difference. Your presence alone is extremely valuable to the children!!!