English Literacy Facilitator
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In support of the Tongan government's emphasis on "healthy lifestyles" activities for students, Volunteers will be encouraged to model healthy practices and integrate them with their English teaching activities. Volunteers are expected to help schools develop their uses of books and school libraries, as well as computers and other electronic technologies (e.g., radio, video). Volunteers also help schools and communities deal with environmental challenges through education and other activities.
This project has great implications for Tongan children and communities and for the reform of Tongan education. It is also a great professional and personal development opportunity for an American interested in education, language, and related fields.
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with 1 or more school year classroom teaching experience at the Early Childhood, Middle School, or Elementary level. Full time Montessori teaching experience is also acceptable
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with Elementary Education state certification
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Pre-school, Early Childhood, Middle School, or Elementary Education
• Undergraduate training and/or professional certification in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)
Applicants should demonstrate significant skills and experience (which can be acquired through basic training and work experience as well as more-formal academic training and professional experience) related to primary English instruction, particularly through the use of participatory, student-centered methods. Creativity, flexibility, humility, patience, and a healthy sense of humor are valuable strengths to bring to Peace Corps Tonga.
The ability to swim and be comfortable in small boats is desirable as Tonga is a small island nation consisting of many small islands.
Required Language Skills
Transportation and communication options vary widely across the islands. All Volunteers will have mechanisms (including a mobile phone) for contacting Peace Corps in the event of an emergency. You will be able to call PC staff and other Volunteers at no charge with Peace Corps Tonga’s special mobile phone plan. Outer island Volunteers may also be issued a satellite phone or personal locator beacon with texting capabilities for emergency communication.
Internet and email services are generally available on the main island and the larger towns of the other main islands. They are also increasingly available in villages outside these regional capitals. To date, internet service is not available on many remote outer islands. During cyclone season access to running water and electricity can be more frequently intermittent or completely cut. Volunteers should be prepared for long stretches of time without electricity and limited access to water.
Local transportation usually consists of walking or using bicycles, buses, and/or taxis. Reliable and efficient bus service is only available on the main island of Tongatapu. Travel to and from the outer islands is possible using small commercial ferries and even smaller fishing boats. Domestic plane service is also available to the capital cities of the major island groups. Delays due to weather or maintenance are common and patience is required.
Volunteers are encouraged to be self-reliant, as many aspects of the work in a rural (and in some cases, isolated) primary or middle school on a Pacific island can be difficult. For a successful service Volunteers need to focus on integration into their communities. This has proven to be a significant challenge for Volunteers in Tonga and requires flexibility, humility, perseverance, and – in many cases – repeated efforts and an unabashed approach. Tonga is a collective society and Volunteers should be prepared to spend time in their communities and with community members in order to effectively integrate.
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Tonga: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.
During pre-service training couples are not separated. They will live together with the same host family and go together on any field visits. Site placements for couples include schools that are in close proximity. Couples will share one house provided by one of their respective schools. Couples should know that they will most likely not work at the same school, to avoid the challenges of working and living together round-the-clock. During service couples will also travel together for any in-service trainings. Depending on the situation, couples might be separated in case of medical or emergency related travel.
Medical Considerations in Tonga
- Tonga may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: asthma, including mild or childhood; cardiology; dermatology; insulin-dependent diabetes; gastroenterology; some types of gynecologic support; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; ophthalmology; seizure disorder; urology; ongoing counseling.
- The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: none identified.
- Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: gluten and shellfish.
- After arrival in Tonga, 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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