English Language Co-Teacher and Youth Educator

Before You Apply

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Project Description

Volunteers in the English Education project work with the public schools of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia. The project expands professional and academic opportunities for youth, teachers, and community members through English language learning and development of critical and professional skills.

Through formal classroom teaching and after school clubs and activities, Volunteers help develop students’ English language proficiency, critical thinking, gender sensitivity, teamwork, confidence, and motivation.

Volunteers are assigned to public schools, where they co-teach full-time in the classroom. Volunteers may be working in any classroom between grades 1 through 12, working directly with one to three Georgian English teacher counterparts. Volunteers work with counterpart teacher(s) to enhance their English language communication skills and improve their teaching practices and professional skills both in the classroom and through one-on-one or group trainings. Volunteers also help English teachers to identify their professional development needs and help them advance in the national professional development and career advancement scheme. Volunteers enhance, develop, and create resources for teaching and learning English or other educational materials, and/or provide access to external educational opportunities.

Volunteers also work with youth, parents, and other community members on the use of technology, healthy lifestyles, youth-oriented extracurricular activities, such as fairs, camps, English clubs, trainings, peer education and leadership development programs, holiday celebrations, educational campaigns or other areas of interest.

In addition, Volunteers support adolescent girls to pursue their education and career paths and encourage their civic participation. While girls in Georgia often outperform boys at school, they face challenges pursuing successful careers after school due to existing rigid gender norms. All Volunteers in Georgia have an opportunity to work on girls’ leadership and empowerment through both primary and secondary activities. Volunteers are expected to help their students and partners identify strengths and build on individual, organizational, and community assets to ensure that project activities are sustainable both during service and after the Volunteer completes service.

Peace Corps Georgia offers high quality technical training and support in the areas of assignment for all Trainees and Volunteers, earning a strong reputation of excellence. Peace Corps Georgia is committed to providing all Volunteers with relevant professional and cultural training for effective service in their communities.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will meet or exceed the following criteria:

* BA or BS in any discipline;
* At least 30 hours of teaching or tutoring experience in a formal or non-formal setting prior to departure;
* Strong desire to teach English.

Desired Skills

Qualified candidates will also meet or exceed the following criteria:

* Teaching certification in any of the following disciplines: English, TEFL, foreign language;
* BA/BS in English, TEFL, Linguistics/foreign languages, Literature, Education Administration, International Education;
* Interest in the field of Education and a strong commitment to teaching and a desire to work with both students and teachers;
* Creativity and experience developing teaching and learning resources;
* Experience running youth activities such as after school clubs or extracurricular programs;
* Ability and desire to create a school or community based project and activity
* Ability to establish strong working relationships with teachers, students, parents, and community members;
* Experience in helping teachers define their professional development needs and pursue professional development goals;
* Experience in creating curricula or syllabi;
* Experience in student assessment, and/or data collection and reporting ;
* Demonstrated self-reliance, self-motivation, initiative, flexibility, teamwork and open mindedness;
* Strong sense of professionalism and a desire to contribute to the development priorities of the people of Georgia.
* Interest and curiosity in Georgian culture and a willingness to integrate into a new culture and community.

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

Georgian is a Kartvelian language with a unique script, 33 letters, and some challenging sounds. Candidates must be motivated and ready to dedicate themselves to learning a complex language that is not spoken widely outside of Georgia. In many schools and communities, there are a limited number of people who speak English. Therefore, candidates must commit to learning and practicing Georgian language skills as an essential element of successful Volunteer service. Volunteers are required to achieve at least an Intermediate Low level of proficiency by the end of their 11-week Pre-Service Training.
Volunteers with Russian language skills may find this to be an asset in some parts of Georgia and with some segments of the population.

Living Conditions

Georgia is a small and beautiful country with a rich history and culture and wonderful cuisine. While some aspects of the cultural and physical environment may be challenging, Volunteers who are flexible, enthusiastic to integrate into their host communities, and motivated to contribute to the development of others will be able to form deep and meaningful relationships and find great satisfaction in their work.

CLIMATE
Georgia has a diverse climate ranging from humid subtropical to continental. Winter lasts from November to March with heavy snowfall in higher elevation areas, similar to New England.


HOUSING
Host family stays are required during training and three months after Swearing-in. Volunteers may be allowed to move into separate housing after three months. Most choose to live with their host families for their entire service because of their close relationships and the safety and cultural integration it affords. In many small sites there will be a scarcity of independent housing options, and living with a host family for two years may be necessary. The experience of living with a Georgian family is often one of the most rewarding aspects of Volunteer service. Host families offer Volunteers a deeper understanding of local culture and customs and help them become an integral part of the community.

In every Host Family setting, Volunteers have a private room with a functioning lock. Every household is equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, and heating source for cold weather periods.

DIVERSITY
Georgia has strictly defined, conservative gender roles, especially for women. Volunteers, as foreigners, may experience a lot of attention in their communities; ethnically diverse Volunteers may face additional unwanted attention. While homosexual relationships are not considered a crime, sexual orientation and gender identities are typically considered taboo topics in Georgia. Most LGBTQ Volunteers choose to be discreet about their sexual orientation and/or gender identity within their host communities.

Peace Corps is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for volunteers of all backgrounds throughout service. Peace Corps Georgia recently created a Peer Support Network and Diversity Working Group to ensure volunteers are able to discuss diversity related concerns with peers and staff throughout service confidentially.

COUPLES
There are sites available for couples who are married or in a domestic partnership. Couples have separate work assignments within the same community and are placed in different schools/organizations.

TRANSPORTATION
Georgia has easily accessible inter-city transportation

options, though the amount of time required to walk from home to the first available transportation option may vary from 10-60 minutes. In most small villages or towns, walking is the main way of getting around or getting to the main road.

CONNECTIVITY
Internet connectivity is available in most places, though the connection speed and consistency can often be lower than what you are accustomed to in the United States. At times, Internet access will be limited due to irregular power supply, poor telephone lines, or limited Wi-Fi capabilities.

PHYSICAL HARDSHIPS
Rural Georgia has an underdeveloped infrastructure, and public schools may lack adequate facilities, including heating, equipment, and teaching or learning resources. Most homes and public schools are equipped with Turkish style squat toilets. Volunteers need to be able to handle the uneven terrain and lift and carry at least 20 pounds.

Most assignments are in small towns or remote villages, with a focus on serving the most vulnerable populations. You will teach for a minimum of 18 hours a week, in addition to lesson planning with your counterpart teachers and conducting other after-school and community activities. Volunteers are expected to maintain a professional appearance and adhere to cultural norms and expectations, especially in the schools.

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

Couples Information

Couples in a domestic partnership are asked to present themselves as a married couple to their host community due to local cultural expectations.

Medical Considerations in Georgia

  • Georgia may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: insulin-dependent diabetes; some types of gynecologic support; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; seizure disorder; ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse.
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: gluten.
  • After arrival in Georgia, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot and mandatory immunizations.

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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