English teacher volunteer in a Karen tribe villageThere is a number of small Karen tribal villages around Spicy Villa and children in these villages are eager to learn English, but there are not many local teachers with good English skills available. That is why we help local schools by looking for English teachers to volunteer with us.
Before applying to volunteer as an English teacher in a Karen tribe village, please read rules and guidelines below carefully and only apply to volunteer if you agree with everything and if you are genuinely interested in helping us with our projects.
Depending on needs in the villages you will teach preschool children or children in primary school or even both. Children are aged from three years to twelve years and as our volunteer, you have to be able to adapt quickly to different levels and ways of teaching that depend on age of children in your class. The youngest children have almost no knowledge of English and you will teach them mostly through fun games. Older children already have some basic knowledge of English.
You will stay at Spicy Villa and drive to the village in the morning during weekdays.
What we offer to our volunteers and fees
Our volunteers work in exchange for food and accommodation, but we need to charge a daily fee to cover transportation costs and free days. Daily fee for English teachers is 200 THB. The daily fee is paid for one week in advance. In addition to the daily fee, we also charge a one-time fee of 100 THB for compulsory accident insurance. At pickup, you should have a total of 1,500 THB ready to pay to your driver. If you extend your stay after the first week, the fee for next week will be 1,400 THB.
As our volunteer, you will stay in simple but beautiful bamboo bungalows and have three meals per day.
Sundays are free days and your daily fee also covers food, accommodation and activities on your free days. Read more about this under volunteer schedule.
We also offer free accommodation in the city for a night before you start volunteering with us if we have availability.
What kind of volunteers we look for
We prefer English teachers whose first language is English and who have some experience in working with small children (not necessarily teaching experiences). If your first language is not English, we will still consider you as a volunteer, but we will need proof of your English level.
Our English teachers have to adjust to different ways of teaching very young children with no English knowledge and older children with some English knowledge. Being creative and knowing how to capture attention of your students is very important when working with children. You must also work well with local teachers who know the children and their skills.
Chores for volunteers
On weekdays you will teach in one of the local villages and stay in the village as long as you will be needed. Minimum work expectation is 5 – 6 hours per day. If there’s not much work in the school on any given day, you will be expected to help our general volunteers at Spicy Villa as well. On Saturdays you will help us with chores at Spicy Villa.
Rules for volunteers
These are the strict rules:
- Wake up early to prepare for the tasks of the day. Take initiative. There is a lot of work to do, tasks will vary day-to-day.
- Be ready by 7 AM for transportation to your school.
- Don’t take advantage of other volunteers – we all share the work.
- You are here to work and learn something new – so listen first. Be observant and then you can share your opinions and ideas.
- Respect the guests who are with us for their holiday. Guests always come first.
- Respect the local village people and staff members. This is their home and/or place of employment.
- Drinking – You are welcome to drink but are expected to be able to work the next day. Loud & inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated.
Schedule for volunteers
Work expectations are a minimum of 5-6 hours a day. Projects and needs can change on a daily basis.
Sundays are free.
There are several activities that you can do for free on your days off, as your daily fee covers these activities as well.
We can take you for a trek in the jungle, visit a local waterfall and teach you how to prepare a jungle style lunch, we can also take you cycling, river tubing, canoeing, bamboo rafting, or teach you Karen weaving. Activities we do will depend on general wishes of all volunteers staying with us at the time. We cannot organise separate activities for each volunteer.
Volunteers can also visit a local elephant camp and feed and bathe the elephants at a reduced price.
Duration of stay
We can initially accept volunteers for seven days. We cannot offer shorter volunteering terms. After a week, we can extend your stay on weekly basis if you would like to stay longer and if we are happy with your work.
What to bring with you
You will need to bring your own drinking water – we can suggest where to buy and stop to pick up if needed.
Other items you may need: bug spray, flash light, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, raincoat, shoes and clothes that are suitable for work in the garden, swimming suit, warm clothes for cold season, toilet paper, toiletries and snacks. We do provide linen and pillows – but (depending on the time of year) temperatures can drop at night. A jacket and socks are also suggested during colder season.
WiFi and cellphone reception
There is no WiFi or any other kind of internet connection at Spicy Villa. If you need to stay in tourch with your family and friends while you volunteer with us, buy a Thai SIM card. We recommend Dtac or AIS SIM cards as they have reception in some areas around Spicy Villa.
To send a message or place a call to a foreign country type + or 00 followed by a country code, then omit the first zero in the phone number you are calling and type the rest of the phone number.
Please inform your family and friends of your plans before you leave for Spicy Villa. Even with a proper Thai SIM card you might be out of reception in the mountains. Let your close ones know this so they don’t worry if you are not in touch.
Arrival and transportation to Spicy Villa
Let us know where you will be staying in Chiang Mai the night before you start volunteering with us and we will either pick you up from your accommodation or set up a convenient pickup location and time for transportation to Spicy Villa. We expect our volunteers to be ready for pickup in the morning. We cannot guarantee pickup in the afternoon.
If you’re still looking for accommodation in Chiang Mai, may we suggest Doi Doo Dao Hostel? It’s a nice small hostel in the centre with wonderful reviews. We work with the owners who are lovely local Chiang Maians and will be there to help you during your stay.
When you meet your driver, you will first pay your volunteering fee for the duration of your stay, so make sure you have the exact amount in THB with you. The fee is not refundable if you decide to leave early. We will then arrange for transportation to Spicy Villa. You will either go with one of our drivers all the way, or we will take you with local transportation part of the way and have someone pick you up in Mae Wang. Either way, you will stop at a local market on the way where you will have a chance to buy water and anything else you might need for your stay.
Important – please include in the application
- Your age, nationality, education, background, experience (in a curriculum vitae file).
- Recent photo of yourself.
- Tell us why you would like to join our project.
- If you have a friend(s) coming, make sure they all know our rules and expectations. Please include the above information for each volunteer interested in our project.
- Arrival date; we cannot accept volunteers who don’t know their arrival date. Write to us when you know your schedule, not before.
For those that abide by the rules, work hard on our projects, and contribute to the teaching/learning the stay at Spicy Villas can be an incredible experience. Not only will you learn about local culture in a beautiful mountain setting, but you will also leave with new skills and new friends.
If you would like to help us with work at the bungalows and on our farm, fill out the enquiry form below and we will get back to you right away!
Apply to volunteer as an English teacher