All the lessons at the ACODO orphanage are taught solely by volunteer teachers from around the world. We also employ one full time member of staff to co-ordinate and assist the volunteer teachers.
Volunteer teachers are not required to have any formal teaching qualifications or prior experience. The majority of our volunteer teachers have never taught before they arrive at our orphanage.
Every volunteer is an individual and has something different to offer. Just relax, be yourself, and enjoy your time teaching our beautiful children. The children will benefit from this diversity.
The volunteer teachers predominately teach English. You are free to supplement these lessons with other activities such as singing or arts and craft. You are welcome to teach our children other vocational skills such as sewing or car maintenance.
Try to reinforce English whenever you can, including during play and meal times.
Our volunteer teachers are expected to teach every week day (Monday-Friday) from 8am until 11am in the morning and from 2pm until 5pm in the afternoon.
In addition to their daily English language lessons at the orphanage all our children attend a local school for half a day where they receive their formal Khmer education. Consequently, our volunteer teachers teach a different group of children in the morning and afternoon. The morning lessons are often repeated in the afternoon.
During class time at ACODO all our children are split into two groups. Each child attends the group which best suits their knowledge and ability rather than their age.
The size of each class can vary considerably from just a couple of children to up to seventeen children.
Each group does not follow an external curriculum. Work books and other basic teaching materials are provided.
Unfortunately, most of our children have never attended school before arriving at our orphanage and are therefore behind in their schooling. Our English language classes are not taught at an advanced level.
Volunteer teachers are encouraged to follow our lesson plan.
Although not compulsory, many volunteers write their own work sheets or download them from the internet during their spare time. A small amount of preparation ahead of each lesson can make a substantial difference.
At our orphanage each group is taught in a separate dedicated classroom. The classrooms have fairly basic facilities; although each classroom has a television and DVD player these educational aids are used sparingly.
We have computer room for our children and some reading books in our library. Volunteer can also teach them basic computer such as English and Khmer typing for the little children, Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, etc. to the older ones.
You will usually be required to start teaching on your first day. Don’t panic as you will usually pick up tips from the other volunteers, the teaching coordinator and other members of staff.
The lessons are taught in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. We try to instil in our children a love of learning. Discipline however is also vital.
At the start of each lesson, volunteers are expected to complete an attendance register. After every class has finished each teacher is expected to complete a short form indicating what topics were covered. This ensures continuity between volunteers.
During the rest of the day our volunteer teachers have lunch, help out with odd jobs, relax and play games with the children.
Other Volunteer Jobs at the ACODO Orphanage
Most volunteers spend their time working with us as a volunteer teacher. However, as teaching does not appeal to everyone, some volunteers assist our orphanage in other ways.
Volunteers may have specific skills which our charity urgently needs. In the past volunteers have helped with building, tiling and electrical work or painting for example.
Other volunteers assist us with general everyday duties around the orphanage.
Please email us in advance of your visit if you have any particular skills which you think would help us. We will be able send you further information about our current projects and what work needs to be undertaken.