Two volunteers gain teaching work experience in Jamaica

Volunteer Teaching in Jamaica

Gain practical teaching experience and help raise literacy levels in local schools and through community programmes

At a glance

  • Gain practical classroom experience whilst helping to raise the literacy levels of your students.
  • You’ll work alongside professional teachers in a primary or secondary school.
  • You'll have a chance to teach teenagers and adults how to read and write on our community literacy programme.
  • You can also teach French or special educational needs.

Start Dates: 


See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

Two Weeks


16 or over

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're interested in teaching other subjects, contact our Project Experts. They'll advise you on what subjects you can teach in Jamaica, and whether you can teach those subjects part-time or full time.

This project runs throughout the year and you can join at any time. Please note that to volunteer as a teacher in Jamaica, you need an intermediate level of English.

A Projects Abroad volunteer teaching life skills to a group of boys at his volunteer teaching placement in Jamaica

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.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Jamaica Arrival Procedures page.

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.

Teaching volunteers in Jamaica sing and dance to an English song with their students

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.

Projects Abroad volunteers teaching in Jamaica pose with their students

Management plans

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.

Food and accommodation

You'll stay with a host family in Mandeville. They will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you teach them about your own culture. We believe that this is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of Jamaica and have a truly unique experience.

We will always try to let you live alongside at least one other Projects Abroad volunteer or intern at the same host family. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.

Your programme fee includes three meals a day.

Find out more about our accommodation.

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.

This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector

When you apply you only pay £195, which comes off the total price. Flexible payment options, fundraising advice, and scholarships available.

Looking to do more than one project? Get discounted prices when you combine projects or destinations!

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