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Shanghai kids need you! Stepping Stones is looking for volunteers

Stepping Stones is looking for people to join its English teaching programme for the spring semester

Photograph: courtesy Stepping Stones
Teaching is not easy. But it’s also a highly rewarding job considering that it’s life-changing work. No matter if you are an English teacher who always wanted to give back or simply an English speaker looking for volunteer opportunities, Stepping Stones is looking for people to join its English teaching programme for the spring semester.

The Shanghai-based NGO organises volunteers to teach English in schools and community centres made up of kids of migrant parents, kids who are left behind by parents (usually to seek work opportunities in other cities) and kids who have limited access to high-quality learning materials and resources. Since 2006, Stepping Stones has recruited, trained and supported hundreds of volunteers.

To volunteer during the spring semester, you'll need to hit a few checkpoints. Are you a native English speaker or do you have a high level of spoken English? Do you enjoy working with kids? Are you aware of the gaps in educational resources in China and want to make a difference? Are you at least 18 years old? (Those 16 years and above apply with a guardian consent note.)


If you ticked all the boxes above, here is what your expected commitment looks like: you’ll be teaching either at a community centre with ten to 30 students per class or a migrant school around Shanghai with 40 to 50 students per class. With the help of at least one assistant teacher, you’ll be expected to teach at least once per week on your preferred day throughout the spring semester from February to June. Each lesson is 35 to 40 minutes at migrant schools and one to 1.5 hours at community centres. Note that the minimum volunteering commitment is once a week for a full school term with a minimum of eight weeks’ teaching.

To ease whatever nerves you may have, be it teaching for the first time or working with children from difficult backgrounds, Stepping Stones provides an online orientation and a training session covering all the essential info. It will also provide lesson plans, teaching tips and classroom management techniques.

Sound like something you're interested in dedicating time to 2020? Apply by filling out the application form here as early as possible as the training for the spring semester takes place starting in mid-February.

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