Teach at IOI
We are now hiring teachers for 2012! Please click here for a detailed job description or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IOI promotes conservation through education and strives to engage and empower the island residents through local initiatives and civic projects. Included in these, IOI works with the educational entities to provide technical support in the ‘English as a Foreign Language’ education program.
Recent studies have shown that although the Galapagos Islands have the lowest rate of illiteracy in all of Ecuador, the quality of education on the islands is low and many students do not qualify to attend institutions of higher education in other parts.
Raising the quality of education and offering opportunities for further education to Galapaguenos is fundamental for the long-term conservation of the Galapagos. Education is key in order to empower the local ‘Galapaguenos’ to manage the sustainable development and protection of their unique and fragile homeland in a climate of steeply growing tourism.
In the words of Baba Dioum in his 1968 New Delhi speech: “In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught”
Frequently Asked Questions from incoming English teachers
- What level of training and experience do I need to teach with IOI?
- A university degree and/or certification in teaching (preferably in ESL/EFL or Education)
- Experience in teaching ESL/EFL and/or overseas is desirable
- A minimum level of intermediate Spanish is required
- What kind of visa do I need? How will I acquire it?
You will enter Ecuador as a normal visitor, no pre-entry paperwork is necessary. To acquire your 12-III diplomat visa, you will need to stay in Quito for a minimum of 3 days. However, processing paperwork usually takes 1 to 2 weeks. IOI can help you look for host families, Spanish language immersion programs, or other such accommodations during your stay.
- Do I need health insurance?
You are required to possess a health insurance plan which will cover you while living and volunteering overseas for the entirety of your stay. Medivac insurance is highly recommended.
- How do I get to Ecuador and the Galapagos?
You will first fly into Quito to acquire your visa and residency papers. Once this process is complete, you will fly to Baltra Island of the Galapagos. To get from Baltra to Isabela you can either fly with the local aviation company or cross over to Santa Cruz and take a speedboat from there to Isabela. More detailed directions are available at the time of travel.
- What expenses can I expect to cover in getting to the Galapagos?
You will pay for your own international flight into Ecuador. Your domestic flight to the Galapagos Islands will be reimbursed at the completion of your contracted term with the program.
- What are some ways I can prepare for teaching English in the Galapagos?
You will be sent a Volunteer handbook which will provide more detailed information about your teaching position. In addition, you can practice Spanish, or read the following suggested books and websites:
- Plundering Paradise, Michael D’Orso
- Enchanted Islands, John Hickman
- Curse of the Giant Tortoise, Octavio de la Paz
- Culture Shock! Ecuador, Nicholas Crowder
- What should I pack?
See the recommended packing list.
- What is the weather like?
See Planning Your Trip: General Info section.
Information about the School:
- What school will I be teaching at?
Our volunteers work in local private and public schools (some are Catholic, however, our program has no religious affiliation; teachers of all beliefs are welcome.)
- What is the school system like in Galapagos?
What is the daily school routine?
- Ecuador follows a trimester schedule. The academic year runs from April through January in 3 trimesters of 3-4 months each.
- Throughout the year, there are periodic festivals, field days, and knowledge demonstrations; teachers are expected to participate.
How many classes do I have a day?
- Our teacher have a 20hr in class commitment
- School starts at 6:45 AM every morning with the general assembly;
- On Mondays, teachers dress more formally for a flag raising and national anthem;
- Teachers should plan to arrive every day between 6:45-6:55 since classes are meant to start at 7 AM;
- There is a one hour break from 10:00-11:00 called “Recreo;”
- Flexibility and extensive planning is necessary to accommodate schedule changes and unexpected events.
You will have four to five 45-minute classes per day.
- How big are the classes?
Classes range from 11 to 28 students. Larger classes may be divided into two sections of the same grade.
- What grades will I teach?
The IOI English teaching program works with students from 1st (4 and 5 year olds) to 8th grade (12-14 years old)
- What is the school dress code?
Teachers are expected to wear long pants and a conservative shirt with sleeves.
Information about the English program:
- What is the IOI English teaching program?
As a part of the IOI mission to promote conservation through education, we work with the local elementary and middle schools providing English as a Foreign Language classes to grades 1-8.
- What training will I receive when joining the program?
Incoming teachers will receive an orientation of the island and school prior to beginning classes. During this time you will meet with previous English teachers, IOI staff and the school administration as well as other members of the community. During orientation you will be given the tentative schedule for the school year and introductory information about the school system. However, this job requires individuals who are self-motivated, directed and who possess excellent organizational ability.
- What is the English teaching curriculum like?
The curriculum is designated by the Ecuadorian government and teachers are expected follow these guidelines. Supplementary material is available may be used.
- What am I expected to do for teaching?
- Teachers are expected to prepare their own lesson plans, exams, grading metrics, activities, etc.
- You should be prepared to handle students of different learning levels within the same classroom.
- You will need to communicate with fellow teachers and the school administration for any issues occurring within or affecting your classes.
- Are there teaching materials available?
There is a resource room available for teachers’ use; it includes books, worksheets, and other supplementary teaching materials. Of course, additional materials are always welcome!
- Where will I be teaching?
You will either be teaching in the classroom or in the English lab.
- What technical equipment is available?
Multimedia resources include a projector, CD player and portable speakers.
- What is the current level of the English in the school?
English comprehension and speaking is basic at all respective levels.
- What level of Spanish should I speak?
Intermediate/Advanced: this will help you communicate with students, fellow teachers, the school administration, parents and the community.
- How many hours a week will I dedicate to this position?
This is a full-time teaching position:
- 20 hrs/week in class (four 45min classes/day, five classes/week)
- 20 hrs/week preparation (lesson plans, worksheets, copies, etc)
Information about Living Conditions
- Where will I be living?
What is the food like?
- You will be living in a shared house on the property of the organization. The house is old and has character, but each teacher has a private room and bathroom, and access to a shared office and kitchen with dining area.
- IOI is based on the property of a converted former Franciscan mission, while there will occasionally be gatherings (mass) next door, our organization has no religious affiliation and volunteers of all beliefs are welcome.
- On the property, you will have access to the teachers’ resource room, a library, a gear room and laundry facilities.
- You can also opt to rent your own flat; IOI can help you arrange this.
You can buy local, organic produce but access to processed foods and export items is limited. Restaurants and stores provide traditional Ecuadorian fare and some international cuisine. Particular dietary needs (eg: vegan, kosher) are difficult to fulfill.
- Is the school close to the residence?
The school is just up the road from the house, about 10 minutes walking.
- How do I get to school?
There are several options for getting to school (i.e. walk, bike or take a taxi.)