English Education Teacher

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Peace Corps domestically and internationally.

The information provided for each assignment is subject to change, including the tentative departure date.

Project Description

At the request of the Ministry of Education (MoE), the Targeting English Education for Change (TEECh) project was developed in response to a shortage of English teachers capable of speaking English at an advanced level or with prior experience teaching English. The MoE has also prioritized incorporating gender equitable practices into teaching pedagogy within public school to remove the barriers that are preventing girls from continuing their education at the middle school level and beyond.

The goal of the TEECh project is for girls and boys to strengthen their communication skills in English and have equitable access to academic and/or professional opportunities.

The TEECh project's objectives are to:

STUDENTS:
• Increase achievement of students in English

TEACHERS:
• Increase teachers' capacity to teach English more effectively
• Increase teachers' capacity to use gender-equitable practices in the classroom
• Increase teachers' English language proficiency

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNITY:
• Increase community member involvement in student learning and school improvement

Based on the above listed objectives, the following are TEECh core Logical Project Framework (LPF) activities which all English Education Teacher Volunteers are expected to implement under normal operation.

• Teach or co-teach English to students in a school setting (e.g., direct classroom teaching, pull-out groups, individual tutoring)
• Facilitate informal or formal communities of practice to share strategies and tips for effective English teaching or general teaching skills
• Model teach and/or engage in peer observation of general and English teaching skills with teachers.
• Plan and co-train teachers in workshops on strategies for English teaching
• Facilitate informal or formal trainings for teachers on techniques for promoting gender equity in the classroom
• Organize activities that involve the community in student learning
• Facilitate informal or formal trainings for community members on gender equitable techniques that enable access to learning

Note: Due to COVID-19, to ensure the safety and security of all English Teacher Volunteers while working in communities, the above activities have been revised to align with COVID-19 measures. All Volunteers must adhere to COVID-19 policies prescribed by Peace Corps Togo and Peace Corps headquarters See these COVID Specific activities bellow:

• Collaborate with the Education Inspectors, School Directors and Community Leaders to build the capacity of English Teachers on Togo’s new education curriculum
• Conduct one-on-one engagement with teachers, and students on COVID-19 mitigation measures
• Conduct small scale youth development activities to promote life skills at student friendly school (5 to 6 participants per group)
• Facilitate informal and/or formal communities of practice to share strategies and tips for effective English teaching or general teaching skills
• Plan and (co-)train teachers in workshops on strategies for general and/or English teaching (online forums: audio, short demonstration videos)
• Engage in informal English learning and conversation practice with teachers (online - videos and resources)
• Guide teachers in the use of techniques for promoting gender equity in the classroom (Reading assignments and online discussions)

Gender awareness and empowerment is a cross-sectorial activity for all Peace Corps Togo Volunteers, who look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms. Volunteers will receive training on gender challenges in their community and will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually and culturally appropriate once they are adequately integrated into their community, usually during their second year of service.

COVID-19 Volunteer Activities

In the past year, the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.

Required Skills

• Competitive candidates will have a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline and a strong desire to teach English

Desired Skills

The strongest candidates will have one or more of the following qualifications
• Degree in elementary or secondary education or another field of education
• Classroom teaching experience and/or teacher training experience
• Three months of 10 hours/month or 30 hours total of English, foreign language, or literacy tutoring experience with middle or high school students.
• Experience in utilizing gender equitable practices in an educational setting

Required Language Skills

Candidates must meet one or more of the language requirements below in order to be considered for this position.

A. Completed 4 years of high school coursework within the past 8 years in a Romance language
B. Completed a minimum of 2 semesters of college level coursework within the past 6 years in a Romance language
C. Native/Fluent Romance language speaker

Candidates should have either a willingness to take a French course or commitment to self‐study and a subsequent placement test (score of 50 on the French College Level Examination Program CLEP exam or a score of Novice‐High on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL OPI).

Although Volunteers teach in English, the official language of all Togolese schools is French. Teachers are centrally trained and are posted by the MoE to communities where they may not speak the local language. As a result, French is the common language for all professional interactions. Teachers in rural communities are usually amongst the most educated and thus place a high emphasis on proper French grammar and usage. To integrate and garner the respect of colleagues within the educational system, Volunteers are requested to have a foundation in basic French when they arrive in country.

Togo has dedicated Language and Cross Culture Facilitators to teach French and local languages during pre-service training. Volunteers are expected to learn French and achieve an intermediate-high level by the conclusion of pre-service training. An intermediate-high proficiency in French must be attained before learning a local language. If a Volunteer commences pre-service training with the required French proficiency at the intermediate-high level, local language learning will begin immediately.

Learning basic greetings in the local language(s) spoken in your community is essential for successful integration. Having an interest in a deeper study of local language, which most often will occur at site in the form of self-study, is a way for Volunteers to work more directly with community members when not teaching at the local school, particularly women who may not have finished school and therefore do not speak French.

Peace Corps Togo identifies a language tutor at each Volunteer site. All identified language tutors receive training during pre-service training. In addition, Peace Corps Togo employs a full-time Language Coordinator who monitors Volunteer progress in French and local language throughout the Volunteer’s service. Peace Corps Togo expects that Volunteers in every sector will take advantage of all language acquisition opportunities in order to achieve an advanced-low level of French as well as a novice-mid level of local language by the end of the first year of service.

Living Conditions

Most Volunteers live in two-to-three-room houses within a family compound. Living within a shared compound affords Volunteers a valuable opportunity to truly observe and be a part of the culture, enjoy the benefits and security of communal living, and learn the language of their host community. Many Volunteers do not have electricity in their homes. Access to cooking gas is usually consistent, but there may be times when it is necessary to cook on a charcoal stove. Water sources in communities could be traditional wells, a pump, and/or cisterns. Volunteers will be given a water filter and training on how to properly treat drinking water.

Diet will consist of locally grown foods or a combination of local and (usually imported) preserved foods. A typical Togolese meal is corn ‘pâte’ (paste), with a spicy/hot sauce. There is far less variety in meals which many Americans are accustomed to having. Meat is available throughout Togo, as is dried fish, but fresh fish is only available in larger towns. Fruits and vegetables are seasonal, limiting the diversity of a vegetarian diet at times of the year. However, tofu (soy) is available throughout the country.

Distance between communities and regional capitals vary, but can be as far as 60 kilometers. Some Volunteers bike the shorter distances. Volunteers will be provided funds to purchase a bicycle to facilitate work and enable them to have greater access to nearby communities. Per Peace Corps COVID-19 transportation policy, Volunteers are prohibited to ride as a passenger on the back of a motorcycle taxi or use local public transportation (bush taxi). The COVID-19 transportation policy will remain in effect until further notice. Volunteers will be notified when changes to the policy occurs.

Volunteers are encouraged to rent their own mail box at their local post office in order to receive mail. Regional capitals and some larger towns in Togo have internet connections (often very slow and/or unreliable). Peace Corps Togo currently maintains one workstation with internet connection for Volunteers in the Maritime and Plateaux regions. Volunteers will have access to internet at least once a month when they travel to their regional capital to do banking and buy necessary food items.

Volunteers are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop, which enables them to complete and save required assignments off-line. Peace Corps Togo will provide Volunteers a simple cell phone and SIM card. Many Volunteers decide to bring unlocked smart-phones to keep in contact with fellow Volunteers and friends/family in the States.

Dress, appearance, and cleanliness are of great importance in the West African concept of professionalism. Volunteers are required to dress appropriately, professionally, and respectfully once posted to their assigned communities as well as during Pre-Service Training (PST). Dressing in an inappropriate manner can diminish the respect community members have for Volunteers and can make their work more challenging. For classrooms and meetings, closed-toed shoes, trousers, short and long sleeve collared shirts are appropriate for men. For women, closed-toed shoes, skirts that cover the top of the knees when seated, & dresses and blouses that cover the shoulders are appropriate.

Peace Corps Togo welcomes and provides support to a diverse group of Volunteers. Applicants should note that Togo has some restrictive laws that target certain sexual acts. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms and country-specific laws and use their best judgment to determine how to approach topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity in their communities. Due to safety and security concerns, LGBTQ Volunteers are in general advised not to share this aspect of identity with host communities. We recognize the challenges this may cause for Volunteers; thus, we are committed as Peace Corps staff to support LGBTQ Volunteers amidst these challenges.

Serving in Togo

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Togo: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, health, and safety -- including health and crime statistics -- in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Couples Information

Togo is always eager to accept couples whenever possible. Your partner must qualify and apply for one of the following positions:

- Sustainable Agriculture Educator
- Agriculture Development Specialist
- Community Health Educator

Couples working in differing sectors will live at different pre-service training sites and with different home stay families. They can be together on weekends after training activities. Couples will be responsible for their own transportation between sites, which will not exceed 30 km.

Once in service at a permanent site, couples will live in the same accommodation.

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.


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