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Many people who are qualified teachers want to use their skills to provide education to children and young people living through humanitarian crises, or experiencing extreme poverty. There are many jobs for teachers across the NGO sector. Here we’ve broken down some of the most common NGO roles for teachers, as well as the likely qualifications and experience you will need to apply…
A first job that teachers often take with NGOs is the role of Education Officer. NGOs that run education programmes have the role of Education Officer to oversee the day-to-day implementation of the projects. The Education Officer is stationed at the field base, and usually reports to the Education Programme Manager, or Deputy Education Coordinator.
Education Officers within the NGO sector usually will oversee a number of different schools. They will either line-manage the teaching staff, or if these are hired by the local authority, will be responsible for paying their incentives and providing trainings.
How to Apply
Anyone applying for the position of Education Officer with an NGO should have a background in education. Being a formally qualified teacher, with some experience, is definitely an asset. However, some understanding of project management and NGO operations will also likely be required.
Education Programme Manager
A second NGO job that teachers can take is that of Education Programme Manager. In the NGO sector, the responsibilities of the Education Programme Manager are to oversee an NGO’s education projects. This includes line managing a team of Education Officers, as well as feeding into proposal development and project design.
The Education Programme Manager is usually based at an NGO’s country office in the capital or major city. However, they will regularly travel to field bases to provide support to ongoing education projects. The Education Programme Manager either reports to the Education Coordinator or Head of Programmes.
How to Apply
If you are a qualified teacher, consider applying for Education Programme Manager jobs with NGOs. As a mid-level position, you will also need some experience in the NGO sector overseeing similar projects.
A third NGO job that teachers can apply for is the role of Education Advisor. This is a senior management position that is responsible for providing technical guidance for an NGO’s education projects. The Education Advisor is usually based at an NGOs country office, or at HQ-level.
Usually, the NGO Education Advisor does not directly line manage the NGO’s education team, but feeds into project design, ensures programme quality, and leads on writing funding proposals. They also liaise with other departments, such as grants and project monitoring, in order to ensure the smooth running of the NGO’s education programme.
How to Apply
You will need a significant amount of experience working on NGO education projects in order to get a job as an Education Advisor with an NGO. Being a qualified teacher will definitely be an asset, but you will also need experience in designing, and running, NGO education projects.
Its important to remember that NGOs do often recruit actual teachers to work on their education projects. Teachers hired by NGOs almost always come from the community the NGO is serving. NGOs do not deploy staff internationally as teachers, but only in more senior roles.
Teachers for NGO projects can either be hired directly by the NGO as staff, or can be staff of the local authority and the NGO pays incentives and provides trainings. Teachers working on NGO projects cover mostly the same responsibilities as teachers in the public sector, however often NGO teachers work in tough settings such as communities living in poverty or refugee camps.
How to Apply
If you want a job as a teacher for an NGO, you will need to be fully qualified to work as a teacher in that country. As NGO teachers often work in difficult contexts, some years already working as a teacher would benefit your application.
NGO Teaching Online Courses
If are interested in working for an NGO as a teacher, we highly recommend the online course Classroom Management – Fundamentals of Teaching and Education. Schools supported by NGOs often operate in difficult contexts. Children who attend NGO supported schools can have experienced violence, conflict, and trauma. Showing in your NGO teacher application that you understand classroom management will significantly help your chances of landing a NGO teaching role. Follow the link to the course’s page for more information.
Another online short course we really recommend for people wanting to be an NGO teacher is Get Organized: How to be a Together Teacher. Humanitarian teaching jobs are challenging. Showing in your application that you understand how to plan and organise your teaching will be highly valuable. Click the link to the course’s page for more information.
Schools supported by NGOs often operate in disaster or conflict zones. Normal teaching methods do not always work in these contexts. We think the online course Uncommon Sense Teaching includes many fantastic techniques that NGO teachers can use to engage their students. We also think it would be a great addition to the CV of anyone applying for NGO teaching jobs. The link is to the course’s page.
Child Protection Officer
Another job that NGOs often recruit qualified teachers for is the role of Child Protection Officer. When areas are hit by humanitarian crises, or in communities living in poverty, children are often especially vulnerable. Many NGOs run projects to protect children from harm, exploitation or abuse. Teachers are often well-placed to apply for jobs on these projects.
The role of Child Protection Officer is a field-based position within an NGO. They are responsible for ensuring the quality implementation of the NGO’s child protection projects. They likely oversee a team of Councillors and Social Workers. The Child Protection Officer usually either reports to the Child Protection Programme Manager or the Field Coordinator.
How to Apply
If you are a teacher, especially one qualified in child protection, consider applying for Child Protection Officer roles with NGOs. Your previous experience working with children will be a benefit, however you will also need to demonstrate an understanding of humanitarian child protection, as well as NGO project management.
Project Manager – Education
A commonly recruited job that NGOs hire teachers for is Education Project Manager. This position is similar to the Education Programme Manager role, but is often less technically focused. The Project Manager – Education’s job is to focus more on the implementation of the NGOs education work. They focus less on project design and grant management.
The Education Project Manager is usually based at field level. They can either report to the Education Coordinator, or the Field Coordinator. They usually oversee a team of Project Officers. The Education Project Officer splits their time between working directly on the NGOs frontline programmes, and coordinating with other NGO functions from the field office.
How to Apply
Being a qualified teacher makes you a strong candidate to apply for Education Project Manager roles with NGOs. However, you will need to have some experience in project management as well, ideally in the NGO sector.
A final job that NGOs often hire teachers for is Training Officer. NGOs often run trainings to build the capacity of local actors. They also often train their own staff to build their technical knowledge. Large NGOs will hire a dedicated Training Officer to plan, deliver and monitor these trainings.
The Training Officer will either be part of a technical department, such as health, livelihoods or shelter, or will be cross-cutting and assist with trainings across all functions within the NGO. The Training Officer will usually report to a Programme Manager or Field Coordinator.
How to Apply
Being a teacher makes you well placed to become a Training Officer for an NGO. However, you will likely also need some technical knowledge of the areas the NGO works in, in order to effectively be able to design and deliver the trainings.
If you want to know more about how to get a job with an NGO, explore our page on the top NGO online courses here.