Support Intermediate English Classes for School District Leadership

Activity/project background

Partner: General Department of Education Ialoveni Region (Government)

The laloveni District General Department of Education in Moldova seeks to implement national education strategies and ensure schools are compliant with national education policies. The Department manages 33 school directors in the region. To address contemporary challenges and to effectively accomplish its educational mission, the Department set two priorities: 1) the implementation of a qualitative management system, and 2) modernization of education technologies in the district’s schools.

The key to addressing these priorities is having highly skilled district leadership and school staff who can work effectively in English to take advantage of the many modern educational technologies such as Google Classroom, Kahoot, etc.

The Department is requesting the services of a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to support online training and English language teaching for the educational directors, deputy directors, and members from General Department of Education to develop intermediate English skills. This support will enhance their own professional development, their staff’s professional development, as well as enabling them to use new technologies in online education. In collaboration with their counterpart, the VSPP will support an initial English language assessment followed by the development of a course curriculum and co-teaching of English classes each week during the engagement.

The organization has previously collaborated with the Peace Corps. The district collaborated with a VSPP from October 2022 – February 2023 who worked with 11 school directors and three Department members to acquire elementary English skills. The district understands 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-develop a learning assessment tool to determine the learning needs of District staff
• Co-develop an English course curriculum
• Co-plan virtual sessions and activities with the counterpart
• Co-facilitate two online English classes per week
• Mentor the beneficiaries through observation and feedback on their English language use

VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week. This engagement is estimated to be 8 hours per week (3-4 hours online each week).

Online collaboration will generally occur between 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Moldova time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom and WhatsApp 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 any field

Experience:
• 2 years of experience in TEFL/English teaching to university students or adults
• Experience working with teachers to enhance their professional development

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: Bachelor's degree in any field and relevant certification: TEFL, TESOL, Cambridge, or similar

Language: Intermediate Romanian

Experience:
• Experience with virtual engagement and communication
• 5 years of experience in TEFL/English teaching to university students or adults

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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