As a Schools Assistant you will become a trusted confidant, mentor, big brother or sister, tutor, and inspiration to many students, particularly boarders living a long way from family. Each school will have specific duties that will become your responsibility. These usually involve a combination of boarding house duties, providing support to teachers in the classroom and undertaking after-school activities such as sports coaching. Additionally, if you have skills or interests in a certain area – be it debating, painting, acting or juggling – use your initiative and find a way to share it with your students!
Our Teaching Assistant volunteers work in a range of welcoming schools throughout Argentina. As an assistant, you will work alongside local teachers, helping students with a number of duties inside the classroom. Assistants work with kindergarten, primary or secondary school children, often helping students to improve their English language skills. By talking to children in English, you will help them put into practice the skills they have already learnt in class, while introducing them to a real-life example of your culture!
As well as helping with the children’s academic progress, you will also become an active member of staff, helping with playground supervision and accompanying students on trips and excursions. These are placements where you will also have the flexibility to bring some of your own personality to your role. The children are often very excited to have a Lattitude volunteer in their school, and any after school clubs or activities you decide to set up are likely to be a big hit!
Most of our Teaching Assistant placements are in boarding schools, so part of your job will involve looking after students in their boarding houses. During school hours your duties can include tutoring pupils on a one-to-one basis, helping with PE lessons and getting involved in extracurricular activities depending on your skills and interests. School life varies week on week, and you may also be asked to accompany groups on school trips and excursions such as swimming, surfing, snorkelling and overnight bushwalks!
We also offer volunteering opportunities in boarding schools that cater for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders. The main difference between these placements and their more traditional counterparts is that for students, English may be their 2nd or even 3rd language.
Your core duties will involve helping permanent staff in the classroom, which can mean helping to cater to different learning abilities or taking lessons when teachers are away. As well as helping with academic tutoring, our host schools aim to make the most of the skills of individual volunteers. So if you enjoy sports or music you will be put to good use in PE lessons or after schools clubs as well as participating in outdoor education activities and field trips.
If you are placed in one of our host boarding schools, you will also play an important role in supervising boarding houses. Given that pupils will often be living far from home, you will become an important presence and role model for children within the school!
You will either be placed in a day or boarding school, and will mainly be responsible for providing classroom assistance to permanent staff. This could mean providing one-on-one learning support to students or helping teachers to prepare and lead lessons. Aside from these teaching duties, you will also help in other areas of school life.
If you are placed in a boarding school, for example, your role will involve helping out in the boarding house during the evenings and, in some cases, at weekends. Students living far from home enjoy activities organised by Lattitude volunteers, and your presence will provide a role model for younger students. In day schools, you will also have the opportunity to take part in activities outside the classroom, such as after-school sports clubs and school trips.
Most placements are in boarding schools. You could be based in a city centre, a country town or a boarding school with extensive grounds in the countryside. Working in a boarding school is not a 9 – 5 existence and you may sometimes have to work in the early morning or in the evening. Your duties may include getting boarders up, supervising going to bed, helping with after school activities and homework and weekend excursions. Other duties could involve helping in the school office as well as supporting pupils in the classroom. Caring schools placements are in establishments for deaf children, children with physical disabilities or children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. Past volunteers have found these placements to be particularly meaningful and rewarding.
In Poland you will be based at a variety of schools from pre-school to high school level. You will officially adopt the position of teaching assistants, but will often be in the position of planning and taking charge of lessons. You will work alongside permanent teachers and help with a range of activities, from English teaching to accompanying children on school trips. There are many activities to get involved with and volunteer support is much needed and appreciated. It is a great opportunity to work with young people on a gap year!