Primary & Secondary Education English Co-Teacher/Trainer

Before You Apply

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Project Description

The Primary & Secondary Education English Co-Teacher/Trainer position places Volunteers in a medium to small size town or village in Thailand. In general with this project, Volunteers focus on capacity-building through co-teaching and some teacher training. Volunteers will collaborate closely with Thai English teachers, spending approximately 20 hours/week team-teaching directly in the classroom, introducing participatory learning approaches and encouraging the integration of content areas. Volunteers will help in identifying and developing local learning resources and will become engaged in various teacher and student camps, conferences, and workshops. Volunteers should understand that they will be collaborating with teachers in the English classroom and will be viewed as school staff. It is likely that some Volunteers in this project may be placed in schools that are peer centers, having more grades and outreach to other schools.

Though the community may not initially understand their role in training teachers or doing broader community development, Volunteers are also expected to pro-actively engage the community with the school. In order to fulfill their role in linking the school in community outreach activities, Volunteers should also have a background and interest in one or more of the following areas: health education, HIV/AIDS, environment, youth development, information technology, designing and implementing teacher training workshops and student camps, and/or community services.

All Volunteers selected for Thailand’s TEFL project are enrolled in the TEFL Certificate program, regardless of previous experience. After completion of 27-months of service and meeting the technical requirements, Volunteers receive a TEFL Certificate. The program starts before arriving in Thailand with the 3-month online pre-departure course and continues in Pre-Service Training with technical TEFL trainings. Teaching observations are conducted throughout the Volunteers’ service to offer feedback and support to the Volunteer professional growth. Also, to help Volunteers enrich their teaching repertoire, they participate in six Online Learning Community events and submit written assignments. Volunteers with previous teaching experience use their skills and knowledge to facilitate training and to support other Volunteers.

Required 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

Desired Skills

The most competitive candidates will have classroom teaching experience, tutoring experience, and/or teacher training experience. Additionally experience or an interest in curriculum and resource development is highly desirable for this project.

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position. Please take a moment to explore the Language Comments section below to find out more on how local language(s) will be utilized during service.

Additional Language Information

All Volunteers will be required to learn the Thai language and will be required to test at a certain level in order to swear in and become a Volunteer. Speaking Thai is critical to your success as a Volunteer. There will be very few English speakers in your rural community and speaking the language facilitates work and social interactions.

Living Conditions

Peace Corps has specific selection criteria for Volunteers’ site assignments that includes a viable work assignment, supportive colleagues, reliable communication and transportation, appropriate housing, opportunity for secondary projects and, above all, standards of safety and security.

All Volunteers live with a Thai host family during pre-service training (PST) and for the first month in their community after PST. After the first month of service in their community Volunteers may rent a house on their own or continue living with a host family, depending on what is locally available as well as preference. Volunteers’ houses typically are small 3 room homes in a compound near other community members. Volunteers' housing conditions will vary depending on the site and housing that your office has identified for you. Most Volunteers will live in villages where electricity and indoor plumbing (bucket showers and squat toilets at a minimum) are available. Drinking water must either be boiled or purchased. Most towns have Internet shops and your school or office is very likely to have regular internet service.

Regardless of where they live, as a foreigner in a small community Volunteers will get a lot of attention. This attention is often seen in both a positive and negative light. It can be challenging to adjust to as most Volunteers may not have experienced this level of attention in the past. Many Volunteers appreciate the increased level of attention because it can offer safety and security in an otherwise foreign area.

The primary mode of transport within and around communities is by bicycle. All invitees must be willing and able to ride a bicycle for at least 6 miles in very hot conditions. Be aware that some individuals will find the heat and humidity most months of the year in Thailand very taxing, especially during the first few months in country.

While it is possible to maintain a vegetarian diet, strict vegetarians may find it difficult to maintain diets that don’t allow for flexibility, especially within some social contexts. The most successful Volunteers are those who are flexible and open to accepting the culture where they will be living.

Thailand is known as "The Land of Smiles" and Thai people are generally patient, tolerant, warm and friendly. There is a cooperative discipline that ensures harmony and the preservation of Thai values. Some of these values include an importance placed on hierarchy, status and position; respect for those who are older or have seniority; different concepts of time and punctuality; indirect communication styles. Volunteers may find some cultural norms different from American cultural perspectives and norms but with patience and flexibility, Volunteers find they are able to adjust and work successfully with their communities.

Thais take great personal pride in appearances and dress neatly so dressing professionally as a Volunteer will increase your effectiveness and credibility. Appropriate professional dress for men includes slacks and collared short-sleeved shirts and neat shoes. For women, collared blouses and skirts below the knees and dresses are appropriate. Some schools where Volunteers work may prefer skirts only be worn. Volunteers should understand that many Thai schools and offices ask their staff to conform to certain norms of dress and appearance. For example males are generally not allowed to have long hair, beards, or earrings; frequently tattoos are required to be covered; multiple-pierced ears and body piercing are generally not allowed. Volunteers’ work will be in rural Thailand and you will be seen as a community leader and role model for the youth. As one of Peace Corps Thailand’s core expectations is to respect Thai culture, it is important that you are willing to learn about and follow the norms of your work place. You may find in some sites, these norms are relaxed so you will need to learn the particulars of your work situation and adjust accordingly.

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

Medical Considerations in Thailand

  • Thailand 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: gluten, peanuts and shellfish.
  • After arrival in Thailand, 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 also review Important Medical Information for Applicants [PDF] to learn about other health conditions typically not supported in Peace Corps service.


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