Come teach with us in Tanzania!


Learn more about the work and life...

We are a strategic learning center in a small town in northern Tanzania. Our SIL team is comprised of about 15 units (families, couples, and singles) working in a cluster project to translate the Bible into eight local languages.

In the learning center, we teach students from kindergarten through 8th grade (approximately ages 5-13). Teaching here is an exciting challenge, working with multiple cultures and grade levels, often at the same time! There are currently two teachers, and we need a third teacher in order to cover all the different levels. We combine ages when possible (often for history and science, for example), but we teach math and language arts by level - and therefore sometimes individually, as there are always students without age-mates.

Currently there are seven families with school-age children. Of these, four families use the learning center as their children’s primary education. The other three families currently homeschool, but they appreciate taking advantage of weekly group activities at the learning center. Thus, we now have eight children for all subjects, and six more who join us for classes like Art.

We have had as many as twelve full-time students, and we anticipate our number rising again soon as younger siblings reach school age. New families are also a distinct possibility in the near future.

There's a lot you will want to know about this teaching mission. The most common questions are listed here. You can click them to jump down the page to the information... 

What are you looking for in a new teacher?

We would like a new teacher at our learning center to be someone who enjoys the challenges and freedoms of our non-traditional setting, someone ready to adapt teaching for classes of multiple ages and students from multiple countries. Teachers here need to be willing to teach any of the core subjects at any grade level (K-8th). We expect teachers to have their preferences, of course, and we value the specialties each person brings to our team. Still, we can all expect to teach all levels and all subjects at some point.

Teachers are expected to take ownership of their classes and to plan for each semester as a whole as well as day-by-day. Formal lesson plans do not need to be submitted, but teachers must be well prepared. Most of all, we want a new teacher who has a heart for missionary kids and who will strive to be an example of following God in the midst of an international life full of transition.

What curriculum materials are you using?

We use a variety of homeschool materials, adapting as fits our situation. We use Singapore Math curriculum, Apologia Science, and many elements of Sonlight materials for Language Arts and History. As a relatively new learning center, we’re pleased with the long-range scope and sequence we’ve formulated, and we’re working on developing each segment in its turn.

What is your philosophy for multi-level instruction?

We like to group different ages together for subjects like science, history, and art. This gives students an opportunity to experience group learning, developing the appropriate social skills. Younger students benefit from seeing the example of older peers who in turn develop leadership skills. However, we teach subjects such as math and writing in separate levels. Sometimes we have two or three students of the same age who can study together, but often this goal means that students receive individual instruction.

How do you evaluate a child's grade level?

Our organization strongly encourages all families to use national achievement tests to evaluate their children’s progress. Each year we administer the California Achievement Tests online with all full-time learning center students from grade 2 upwards. (This is also open to part-time students.) Families can alternatively attend a “home school week” that includes achievement testing at an MK boarding school in nearby Kenya.

Does LVLC have learning disabled students?

None of our students require special training in learning disabilities. Because we are such a small operation, we cannot commit to serving families with learning disability concerns.

How do parents help with teaching during the day?

The parents understand that they may be needed to assist in the classroom or even teach certain subjects, if we don’t have enough regular teachers. Each semester we look ahead to the coming semester and assess our needs - how many students, of what ages, requiring how many classes, etc. We inform the parents of what type of assistance will be needed for the semester, and they decide how best to meet the needs.

This has meant anything from someone cutting back their work at the translation office in order to teach for a semester, to someone arranging childcare for their toddler so they can help in the classroom once or twice a week. We work with some great parents who enjoy being involved and are willing to do what it takes to make a good learning environment for their children.

What teaching experience do the parents have?

Our parents range in teaching experience from those who homeschooled for years before the learning center existed to those who came to Tanzania with babies, not knowing what their options would eventually be. Some degree of willingness to teach is a must for any parents who move here. With our learning center becoming more established, parents are less likely to be required to teach their children, but nothing is guaranteed.

What might I find to do when we're not teaching?

We live in a fairly small town, so “going out” usually means visiting friends! In that sense, we make our own fun, watching movies and playing games together. The team is a real asset for us singles, because there are a good number of people who are all pretty social.

There are a few restaurants in town and some pretty spots where you can enjoy lunch or drinks on the shores of Lake Victoria. We live in a beautiful place with a nice year-round climate (close to the equator). You don’t have to go far to find nice places to walk, and although the novelty of your presence may bring some attention, you don’t need to be concerned about safety. Also, the Serengeti national park is only a couple hours’ drive from our town! Simpler get-aways are also available, including a peaceful island just off shore--great for a day trip or longer.

What will my housing and home life be like?

We all rent houses around town. Singles sometimes share a house if they so choose. We help look for housing options when new teammates arrive, and often it’s possible to house-sit for someone on furlough when you first get here. That can help you get an idea of what you want to look for in your own place.

It’s very normal (and culturally expected) to have house help, which can be whatever you set up - from weekly cleaning to daily help with shopping, cooking, and cleaning. This can be very helpful and even essential, living in a place without dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, or easy meals. We can get many foods here, and the produce is excellent, but what we eat is all made from scratch. Everyone is responsible for their own food, from purchasing to preparation, so devoting some time to training a house helper is invaluable in the long run.

How will I get around?

Transport is a matter of personal choice. It is certainly possible for a single to live here without a vehicle of any kind. The town is not large, and cheap taxis (car and motorcycle) are available. Carpooling to group events (or out-of-town destinations) is normal. Some people like to use bicycles. Everyone makes their own decision based on their needs. Teammates have purchased both cars and motorcycles through local venues, so you don’t have to make a final decision before you come.

Is the area safe? Can I drink the water?

Our town feels very safe. As in any place, there are areas or situations of higher risk than others, but avoiding them does not take too much effort. To give an example, we feel safe as single women walking in town on our own, but would not go out unaccompanied after dark. The country as a whole is developing, but not unstable.

Tap water is not safe for drinking, so we all filter our water. Bottled water is available for purchase when needed.

Will I need to raise financial support? How much will I need to raise?

The learning center is a support activity of SIL International, Uganda-Tanzania Branch (UTB). UTB missionaries (seconded staff) are members of SIL. All SIL missionaries raise their own support. A single in this location would need something in the range of $2,500 USD per month.

Thank you for your interest in teaching with us! If you'd like to ask more questions, or start a conversation with us about your plans to teach missionary kids, please get in touch...

Your first contact should be:

Toby Mak - recruitment_utb@sil.org

Human Resources Department
SIL Uganda-Tanzania Branch