English Literacy Resource Teacher (Primary Schools)

Project Description

Serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Eastern Caribbean requires a commitment to education and social equity. Community and purpose are necessary to sustain the Volunteer throughout their service and it will take time, patience, and effort to integrate and build trust among their host communities. Eastern Caribbean people are direct, engaging, and supportive in ways wonderfully different from North America.

The Eastern Caribbean islands draw heavily on two assets—their natural resources and their remarkably resilient communities. The Saint Lucian poet, Derek Walcott said, "What makes our islands special are their complexity. Part of it is the diverse landscape—the mountains, valleys, and culture of the sea. Part of it is in its bilingualism; people intertwine Creole with English in a magical, remarkable way. And then there are the customs and the African mythology that one finds here.”

The Ministries of Education in Dominica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, and Grenada are committed to building its citizens out of a post-colonial culture into one that celebrates its heritage and language and positions its youth towards the 21st Century. These four island nations recognize English as the language of academic study, international communication, and a foundation for success. Since their independence in the 1970s, these islands have been devoted to nation building, preparing for an interconnected and virtual world, and developing a competitive world economy rooted in their culture.

The Peace Corps works alongside the Ministries of Education to support the development of English acquisition and literacy for youth in rural communities. The Peace Corps partners with primary schools to develop English reading and writing skills for primary school children. Peace Corps Volunteers, teachers, and principals work together to assess students and collaborate in the design and delivery of literacy lessons tailored to each student’s abilities. English literacy is a pressing need and is often overwhelmed by existential issues—cultural identity and equity, environmental threats, inclusive leadership, and COVID-19 impact to name a few. Peace Corps promotes the interests and creativity of the Volunteer to address these issues in collaboration with schools and communities.

As a literacy resource in the school, Peace Corps Volunteers co-teach with local teachers in the classroom and conduct one-on-one and small group lessons with students. Volunteers also support the sustainable management of libraries, co-lead after-school activities, guide service-learning projects, co-develop instructional technology, and conduct family outreach. After-school activities include book clubs and readers’ theater, technology workshops for teachers and students, and literacy events for families in the late afternoon/evening. Engaging families and the community are of great benefit to the students and the school and is a direct result of the Volunteer’s effort in integrating into the school and community.

Volunteers coordinate with community leaders to generate interest in a variety of clubs and camps that address sports, environment, computer literacy, science and/or leadership skill development. Environment clubs, kitchen gardens, boy scouts, girls dance, and cheerleading are a few community projects co-led by Peace Corps Volunteers. With literacy instruction as a foundation, our Volunteers’ passions for social and global justice create projects and learning environments that are just as important as reading and writing.

COVID-19 Volunteer Activities

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

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

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Pre-school, Early Childhood, Middle School, or Elementary Education
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with Elementary Education state certification
• 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.
• Demonstrated record of volunteer and/or professional experience focused on improving literacy skills of primary school children
• Learning/Instructional Design experience — session design; blended and online module design; curriculum design
• Experience establishing and co-leading clubs or informal learning in music, theater, academics, homework support, sports, or life-skills
• Experience with Learning Management System(s) and online learning
• Experience in outreach and building networks in communities (especially with the aim to engage parents, families in their children’s education)
• Willingness to integrate current, relevant issues like climate change, environmental protection, media literacy, youth development, etc. in and outside of the classroom (identifying resources, service-learning, and after-school clubs/activities)
• Experience facilitating professional development workshops

Required Language Skills

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

Serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Eastern Caribbean requires a commitment to education and social equity. Community and purpose are necessary to sustain the Volunteer throughout their service and it will take time, patience, and effort to integrate and build trust among their host communities. Eastern Caribbean people are direct, engaging, and supportive in ways wonderfully different from North America.

The Eastern Caribbean islands draw heavily on two assets—their natural resources and their remarkably resilient communities. The Saint Lucian poet, Derek Walcott said, "What makes our islands special are their complexity. Part of it is the diverse landscape—the mountains, valleys, and culture of the sea. Part of it is in its bilingualism; people intertwine Creole with English in a magical, remarkable way. And then there are the customs and the African mythology that one finds here.”

The Ministries of Education in Dominica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, and Grenada are committed to building its citizens out of a post-colonial culture into one that celebrates its heritage and language and positions its youth towards the 21st Century. These four island nations recognize English as the language of academic study, international communication, and a foundation for success. Since their independence in the 1970s, these islands have been devoted to nation building, preparing for an interconnected and virtual world, and developing a competitive world economy rooted in their culture.

The Peace Corps works alongside the Ministries of Education to support the development of English acquisition and literacy for youth in rural communities. The Peace Corps partners with primary schools to develop English reading and writing skills for primary school children. Peace Corps Volunteers, teachers, and principals work together to assess students and collaborate in the design and delivery of literacy lessons tailored to each student’s abilities. English literacy is a pressing need and is often overwhelmed by existential issues—cultural identity and equity, environmental threats, inclusive leadership, and COVID-19 impact to name a few. Peace Corps promotes the interests and creativity of the Volunteer to address these issues in collaboration with schools and communities.

As a literacy resource in the school, Peace Corps Volunteers co-teach with local teachers in the classroom and conduct one-on-one and small group lessons with students. Volunteers also support the sustainable management of libraries, co-lead after-school activities, guide service-learning projects, co-develop instructional technology, and conduct family outreach. After-school activities include book clubs and readers’ theater, technology workshops for teachers and students, and literacy events for families in the late afternoon/evening. Engaging families and the community are of great benefit to the students and the school and is a direct result of the Volunteer’s effort in integrating into the school and community.

Volunteers coordinate with community leaders to generate interest in a variety of clubs and camps that address sports, environment, computer literacy, science and/or leadership skill development. Environment clubs, kitchen gardens, boy scouts, girls dance, and cheerleading are a few community projects co-led by Peace Corps Volunteers. With literacy instruction as a foundation, our Volunteers’ passions for social and global justice create projects and learning environments that are just as important as reading and writing.

Living Conditions

The region experiences varying weather patterns characterized by heat and humidity- which tends to be very warm and sunny year-round, with temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to mid-90s Fahrenheit. Life often embodies a simple, yet comfortable lifestyle connected to nature and community. The populations in most Capitals range from 10,000 to 24,000 people. Volunteer communities’ range from villages to small (1,500) and mid-sized towns (3,400). The geographical diversity contributes to the presence of steep, narrow, and winding roads. While major roads may be well-maintained, smaller roads often adding to the charm of rural living sometimes presents challenges for transportation.

All Volunteers must complete Pre-Service Training (PST) which is an intensive 9-week training focusing on literacy, language, medical, and safety and security. Trainees will live in Saint Lucia for the first 3 weeks and move to their island of service to develop skills specific to their assigned country.
• During the first 3 weeks PST, Trainees will be housed in a double-occupancy dormitory room with their fellow Trainees. Afterwards, Trainees immerse themselves in the culture by living with a host family. Volunteers will have a private room, and share bathrooms, common spaces, and meals with the family.
• Upon completing PST, Volunteers transition to independent living apartments equipped with essential appliances, and furniture. Homes often feature open-air designs to take advantage of natural ventilation and cooling breezes. Some houses may not have hot water systems, and Volunteers should prepare to be flexible in adapting to a new environment.

Peace Corps is committed to creating a supportive, inclusive environment for Volunteers of all backgrounds.
• The islands experience some water shortages, power surges and occasional power cuts.
• Volunteers have the option of using their phone or using a Peace Corps-issued phone upon arrival.
• Internet is available, though connectivity may be unstable. Each Peace Corps office has a computer with Internet access for use by Volunteers. Some schools have Wi-Fi access, but it may not be reliable. Volunteers have the option of purchasing a data plan using the allowance provided by the Peace Corps.
• Traveling around the island by minibus is the most common and recommended mode of transport and the prices are reasonable. Due to the terrain, bikes and recreational jogging may not be as popular but can sometimes be noticed in some neighborhoods. Walking is common.
• Christianity plays a prominent role in personal and professional settings. Prayers are offered daily in school assemblies and at official events. Laws related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and reproductive rights are influenced by the Church. While Volunteers may feel pressure to conform to religious beliefs and practices, the Peace Corps only expects Volunteers to respect the host country’s religious practices.
• The Eastern Caribbean region is generally tolerant and welcoming. Still, anti-sodomy laws are in place, homosexuality is not culturally acceptable. LGBTQI+ Volunteers must exercise discretion when it comes to revealing their sexual orientation and gender identity.
• Volunteers and most often women often experience unwanted attention, including cat-calling or sexual comments that they find unsettling or insulting. Volunteer safety is our number one priority.
• Tourism is the economic engine of the Eastern Caribbean, and Volunteers are often mistaken for tourists. Volunteers who respond to this attention by integrating into their communities by applying their cultural knowledge and Creole language skills.

Volunteers have turned challenging encounters into learning experiences that deepen local community members’ understanding of U.S Americans and deepens the Volunteer’s understanding of the local community members.

Serving in Eastern Caribbean

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Eastern Caribbean: 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 will serve as Primary School English Literacy Resource Volunteers but will not work in the same school. Partners must apply and qualify to serve as a Primary School English Literacy Resource Volunteer.
During Pre-Service Training and the two years of Peace Corps service, the living conditions of couples will be similar to single Volunteers. Couples will live together with their host family during Pre-Service Training. During service, because couples do not work at the same school, one partner may have to travel by bus to a nearby school to teach. The school is generally located no more than 30 minutes away from the Volunteer’s home community.

Peace Corps works to foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples and same-sex couples are not placed in countries where homosexual acts are criminalized. Because of this, same-sex couples’ placements are more limited than heterosexual couple placements. During the application process, Recruiters and Placement Officers work closely with same-sex couple applicants to understand current placement opportunities.
For more information please visit: https://www.peacecorps.gov/faqs/lgbtq/

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.


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