Primary English Literacy Specialist
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This assignment focuses on classroom support for primary school teachers and students in Grades 1-3 using the Eastern Caribbean's standard primary English curriculum and additional resources. Primary Literacy Volunteers begin their service at the start of the school year, working with local co-teachers to assess students’ reading proficiency. Volunteers then collaborate with their co-teachers to design curriculum and activities that will meet the identified needs of the students, and work with their co-teachers to implement the lessons in the classroom. Volunteers promote literacy instruction best-practices with their assigned co-teachers and throughout the school. Volunteers conduct monitoring and evaluation on a regular basis to determine the progress of their students and overall impact of the project.
In addition to classroom teaching, Primary Literacy Volunteers share resources, develop teaching materials with local teachers, and become involved in community and school-based projects. These include working with schools to develop and regularly use libraries, establishing after-school programs such as book clubs and readers’ theater, and engaging parents and other community members in English literacy through initiating family literacy activities and inviting parents to school-based events. Volunteers co-plan and co-facilitate these activities, engaging with parents and the community.
In addition to the primary literacy work, Volunteers will also be involved in substantial secondary youth development activities in their schools and communities. This may be anything from working with teachers and students exploring how to use technology effectively in the classroom, to starting or working with existing sports clubs, leadership camps, youth environment clubs, or computer clubs, and more. Primary Literacy Volunteers in the Eastern Caribbean are expected to be involved in these youth development activities during the school summer break, as well as throughout the year.
Training will be held in St. Lucia for 5.5 weeks. Volunteers start off as trainees and training. The specific island of service will be determined and conveyed during the 5th week of training. The remaining 3 weeks of training take place on the assigned island of service.
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Preschool, 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 one or more years classroom teaching experience at the Early Childhood, Middle School, or Elementary level. Full time Montessori teaching experience is also acceptable.
The ability to adapt to unfamiliar customs and norms to improve intercultural competence.
Commitment to working with primary (elementary school) students and teachers to improve literacy skills in the classroom
Experience engaging parents in their children’s’ education.
Experience with designing training curriculum, facilitating a workshop, classroom, or after-school program
Willingness to learn a Creole language
Required Language Skills
Volunteers are required to learn St Lucian Creole during training to model respect of the culture and integration into the training community. Volunteers must have the capacity to learn oral Creole languages. Once assigned to their island of service, Volunteers will receive specific language training to the Creole of that country over the course of eight weeks. After language training, Volunteers will be required to demonstrate motivation for self-directed language learning with a language tutor for the first six months of service.
Peace Corps is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for Volunteers of all backgrounds throughout service.
Volunteers who are of an American racial, ethnic, or national minority may find they experience a high degree of curiosity or unwanted attention from host country nationals. Please be aware that American concepts of politeness and appropriate behavior are not universal. Ethnically, nationally, or racially diverse Americans may be asked where they are “actually from” or if they are “really” American. Many Volunteers have been able to turn these encounters into learning experiences deepen local community members’ understanding of Americans. African Americans may blend in with the local population, but may be confused with “returned residents” displaying different accents. Asian Volunteer may receive unwanted attention in the form of name calling, like “Chin Chang”.
Religion plays an integral role in shaping social practice in the Eastern Caribbean--for example reciting of prayers in schools and at official events--as well as laws relating to sexual orientation, gender identity, and sexual and reproductive health rights. A Volunteer may also experience proselytizing or general pressure to engage in religious discourse. Peace Corps Eastern Caribbean simply expects its Volunteers to respect our host country’s religious beliefs and practices.
Gender and Sexuality
Eastern Caribbean countries are generally tolerant and laws surrounding homosexuality are not enforced; nonetheless, homosexuality is not culturally accepted. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms and exercise discretion when it comes to revealing their sexual orientation and gender identity or becoming involved in romantic relationships in their host community. In addition, female Volunteers often experience unwanted attention, including cat-calling and inappropriate sexual comments.
Staff along with currently serving Volunteers will address these topics during training, and identify support mechanisms for incoming trainees.
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.
During training and throughout Peace Corps service, couples will have similar living conditions as single Volunteers. Couples will live together with a host family during training. Couples are not assigned to work at the same school; one partner will travel by bus to another school / community for their service. We cannot guarantee a particular type of living arrangement, and expect all Volunteers to be flexible and adaptable.
Medical Considerations in Eastern Caribbean
- Eastern Caribbean may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: 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: none identified.
- After arrival in Eastern Caribbean, 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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