Train Teachers of Students with Developmental and Behavioral Disorders

Activity/project background

Partner: Shortwood Teachers’ College (Government)

Shortwood Teachers’ College (STC) is a major public teacher training institution of higher education founded on September 28, 1885, in Kingston, Jamaica. The mission of STC is to be a multi-disciplinary institution, committed to facilitating the holistic development of the college community through strategic collaboration, visionary leadership, and research validated best practices.

STC is a government of Jamaica institution that offers training for the four-year degree program in teaching. There are three levels of teacher preparation: early childhood, primary, and secondary. To improve its teacher training program, STC would like to provide training on the special needs of students with developmental and behavioral disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). STC is requesting a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to support the development of training materials and provide training to 100-120 school lecturers, classroom teachers, and teachers-in-training, catering to learners at various levels in the school.

STC has not previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer or a Virtual Service Pilot Participant. 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-assess current screening resources and materials for developmental and behavioral disorders (e.g., ASD, Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), etc.)
• Co-establish training priorities and needs
• Co-develop a training manual or supporting resources to sensitize teachers and students about developmental and behavioral disorders
• Prepare and co-deliver weekly 2-hour training sessions about developmental and behavioral disorders
• Co-facilitate online interactive demonstration sessions on how to adapt teaching methods to support a student with special needs

This engagement is expected to be approximately 27 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, 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays Jamaica standard time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Google Meets, 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: Graduate degree in education, special education, or related field AND/OR Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

Experience: Two years of post-degree clinical experience

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: BCBA-D Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) – Doctoral Degree

Technical Skills:
• Knowledge of differentiated instruction methodologies
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

• Experience in conducting functional behavior assessments
• Experience training teachers in low-resource environments

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.

Does this sound like the virtual engagement for you?
Get started on your journey.

Submit interest