Junior High Science Teacher
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• Plant and animal science
• Earth science concepts
Recently, the Liberian government has adopted a national exam called West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) which has a science lab component. Volunteers may also train students and teachers in science labs.
A majority of the schools are located in rural communities, small towns or large villages; however, some are located in county capitals that have populations above 30,000. Peace Corps Volunteers will be responsible for teaching different grade levels, in classrooms that typically have between 50-90 students in each class with very limited teaching resources. Ninety-five percent (95%) of Liberian students are considered ‘over-age’ for their respective grade level. Students in junior high and high school will range in age from 13 to mid-20’s. The Liberian school system often passes students to the next grade level even when students have not passed classes or mastered academic concepts for their current grade level. Volunteers might have to adapt to a system where students’ grades are good indicators of a student’s progress (or lack thereof), but may not be a determining factor in a student’s passing on to the next grade level.
In addition to teaching junior high school science, the following are a few examples of other projects Volunteers also do with their communities:
• Teacher training
• Science lab trainings for students and teachers
• School community improvement activities by working with their principal, teachers, students, and Parent Teacher Associations
• Local library awareness raising activities or creation
• Gender equality activities (i.e. girls’ or boys’ club or camp, training on gender-based violence in the classroom)
• Youth development projects (i.e. after-school programs, boys and girls clubs, sports activities, and/or other math/science-based experiential learning opportunities)
• Malaria training on prevention activities with students, teachers, and/or community members
• Hand washing and safe hygiene practices and awareness raising activities in schools
• Food security projects (i.e. school and community gardening)
• Literacy activities in school, after-school, and with neighbors
Peace Corps/Liberia promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. Volunteers will receive training on gender challenges in country and will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During service, Volunteers will look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. As part of their work, Volunteers will also report on these efforts and their impact.
In addition, all Volunteers are expected to monitor and report on their work twice a year during their service for the following reasons: to allow Volunteers to share their activities and contributions with their community; to measure progress towards meeting Peace Corps/Liberia’s project goals; and at the end of their service, for Volunteers to assess their overall contribution to Liberia.
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education with a concentration in any science; or
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with secondary certification in science; or
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in general science, biology, chemistry, physics, or engineering; or
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any physical science, biological science, or equivalent; or
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with a minor or equivalent (15 semester/22 quarter hours) in biology, chemistry, or physics.
• Sound knowledge of basic scientific concepts in biology, chemistry, and/or physics
• Ability to work in, and teach to, a multi-level classroom
• Experience working with youth in unstructured or semi-structured environments or in community and organizational development
• Prior teaching experience including lesson planning, basic classroom management, student evaluation, and public speaking
• Demonstrated ability in planning, organizing, counseling on leadership within the past 5 years
• Preferred work experience in low or under-resourced classrooms or communities
Required Language Skills
Communication: Many sites have limited cell phone coverage in or near a Volunteer’s assigned community. However, there are a few sites without any cell phone coverage. If Volunteers have cell phone coverage in their assigned community, they will also have the possibility of connecting to the Internet through a smart phone or if they purchase a portable internet USB. Volunteers without cell coverage tend to have very limited internet access. Cell coverage and Internet accessibility continue to increase.
Transportation: During Peace Corps service, Volunteers travel via public transportation, often in the form of tightly packed taxis. Many roads and vehicles are in extremely poor condition, especially during the rainy season; however, road projects are in the works and some of the roads throughout Liberia are being paved. Volunteers will be trained in transportation safety, and transportation will always be a very large challenge during their service. While traveling between locations, Volunteers should be prepared for old and crowded vehicles and many long hours on the road. In addition, some Volunteers have to travel by motorbike to the nearest taxi. All Volunteers will be trained in motorbike safety.
Health: The health and safety and security of Volunteers are Peace Corps' top priority. Blood-borne diseases are endemic in Liberia. Once in Liberia, Volunteers will be trained on maintaining their health and how to seek treatment if needed.
Laptops: Volunteers are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop which not only increases options for internet access, but also enables Volunteers to complete required assignments off-line and upload them at a later date. While Volunteers may also complete the assignments through local internet cafes or other access points, having a laptop will facilitate successful participation in training. Please note that tablets and smart phones have not been found to be an effective alternative.
Social Climate: While Liberia is generally tolerant, values and mores concerning sexual orientation and gender identity may be different from those in the U.S. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms, and use their judgment to determine the best way to approach sexual orientation and gender identity in their communities and host countries. Staff and currently serving Volunteers will address this topic during pre-service training, and identify support mechanisms for incoming trainees.
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Liberia: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.
- Primary Literacy Teacher
- Primary Literacy Teacher Specialist
- Junior High Math Teacher
All couples will live together for the majority of Pre-Service Training. However, there will be between eight to ten days of the training where couples will be in dorms with the rest of their training cohort. Once training has been completed, couples will live together for the duration of their service. Depending on site availability, couples might serve at the same school or different schools within the same community.
Medical Considerations in Liberia
- Liberia may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: asthma, including mild or childhood; cardiology; dermatology; gastroenterology; some types of gynecologic support; insulin-dependent diabetes; mammography; 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: Adderall, Vyvanse.
- Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: none identified.
- After arrival in Liberia, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive 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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