Support English Teachers in Their Professional Development

Activity/project background

Partner: English Teachers Association of Georgia (ETAG) (Local NGO)

The English Teachers Association in Georgia (ETAG) is on a mission to raise the level of English teaching by providing opportunities for teacher development and to assist members to network and share experiences with colleagues both within, and outside of, Georgia.

Since its establishment, ETAG has played a significant role in professional development and knowledge building for passing the mandatory professional skills’ exam in Georgia. ETAG has provided several important training courses such as Developing Writing Skills, More Learning - Less Teaching, Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT), and others. The Telavi city branch of ETAG has also collaborated with organizations such as the British Council, National Center for Teachers’ Professional Development (TPDC), PH-International, and Peace Corps Volunteers on teachers’ workshops and conferences. Additionally, ETAG has offered regular meetings for experience and best practice sharing among its members. Due to COVID-19, meetings and workshops moved to an online platform and ETAG has been offering webinars to its members on a regular basis.

ETAG requests the support of a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to collaborate and support ETAG Telavi trainers in developing and planning a series of sessions for English teachers of Kakheti region. The ETAG trainers will focus on developing professional skills and enriching the teaching methodology of the attendees. The course will enable the attendees to learn about the Task-Focus-Practice approach by offering practical activities, ways to implement activities, and methods on how to share findings with each other and receive feedback.

ETAG’s Telavi branch has not previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer or a VSPP. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

• Co-plan the course curriculum based on the needs analyses done by the counterparts (5 hours per week during the first three weeks of engagement before the start of sessions, synchronous and asynchronous)
• Explore, identify, and share relevant and tailored resources (2 hours per week starting from March, asynchronous)
• Co-deliver teacher training sessions using Task-Focus-Practice approach (1 hour per week, starting from March, synchronous)
• Provide feedback on assignments and facilitate exchange of feedback among the participants (1 hour per week, starting from March, synchronous)
• Participate in the between-session meetings to modify the curriculum if necessary (1 hour per week, starting from March, as necessary)

This engagement is expected to be approximately 17 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours, 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Georgia time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree in education or related field

• 2 years of teaching experience
• Experience in teacher training

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: Master’s degree in education, teaching, or teacher training certificate

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Experience: Experience with resource and/or training design

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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