Secondary Education English Teacher
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Peace Corps has a long and rich history in Guinea. Since 1963, Peace Corps Volunteers have been working in the education sector, helping students, teachers, and community members become empowered and engaged citizens. Volunteers will be assigned to teach English in Grades 7-10 in a small town or rural community.
The Education program focuses on the following three areas:
Goal 1: Improving student achievement.
Volunteers focus on improving student achievement in critical thinking and annual exams through quality classroom teaching. Volunteers also participate in extracurricular activities such as spelling bees, afterschool clubs, and other student-focused events.
Goal 2: Improving local capacity.
Volunteers help build the capacity of Guinean teachers by modeling effective teaching techniques, developing and using appropriate resources, and practicing hands-on learning. Volunteers form communities of practice with local teachers to discuss and exchange ideas on the current state of education.
Goal 3. Promoting gender-equitable classroom practices.
Volunteers will promote gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. All Volunteers in this program will receive in-depth training on incorporating methods of gender analysis into community assessment and development efforts. You will be encouraged to find culturally appropriate ways to incorporate gender awareness and the promotion of youth, especially girls, into your work and projects as appropriate and report on these efforts and their impact.
This assignment will require a high level of motivation, initiative, and patience. It will also require a certain level of confidence in your abilities, an enthusiasm for working with students of different age groups (which may vary from 12-19 years old), and adults (fellow teachers), as well as a good deal of creativity and flexibility.
Volunteers will have the opportunity to pursue secondary projects, based on the needs and resources available in your local community, and in accordance with Peace Corps Guinea’s development frameworks. Cross-sector collaboration with health and agroforestry volunteers is encouraged and there may be opportunities to collaborate with other national and international organizations.
• Working in classrooms, particularly at the secondary level, or 30+ hours of English, foreign language, or literacy tutoring experience with primary, middle, or high school students or adults;
• Teaching students for whom English is a second language;
• Ability to research, design, and deliver instructional materials;
• Working with youth and adult students in any leadership capacity; or
• French language proficiency or strong desire to learn French.
Required Language Skills
A. Completed 4 years of high school coursework within the past 8 years in a Romance language
B. Completed a minimum of 2 semesters of college level coursework within the past 6 years in a Romance language
C. Native/Fluent Romance language speaker
Candidates should have either a willingness to take a French course or commitment to self‐study and a subsequent placement test (score of 50 on the French College Level Examination Program CLEP exam or a score of Novice‐High on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL OPI).
If invited, you may be asked to self-study French before departing the U.S. If possible, it is highly recommended that invitees take an intensive French course.
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. Please note that tablets and smart phones are great for personal use but not an effective alternative for a laptop.
Cell phones work in almost all areas of the country and internet access, while limited, is becoming more and more common outside of urban areas.
Personal appearance is important to people in Guinea. During pre-service training, the dress code is business casual – polo shirts, khakis/slacks, blouses that cover shoulders, and skirts that fall below the knee. Following pre-service training, you will need to dress appropriately for work situations in your community. Dressing appropriately will help you gain respect in your host community, facilitate integration, and increase your credibility and effectiveness.
All terrain bicycles or funds to purchase one are provided for transport to work sites and for recreation. Almost all schools/work places are within walking distance, so it is NOT required to be able to ride a bike. For long distances, Volunteers rely on public transportation in small passenger vehicles.
Rice or a local grain “fonio” is eaten for most main meals, along with spinach, peanut and/or tomato based sauce with vegetables, meat or fish. Fruits such as mangos, pineapples, oranges, and limes are available seasonally.
You will develop social and working relationships with a variety of people, become familiar with local expectations and customs, develop an appreciation of local foods, struggle with local languages, and learn to live and work with necessities rather than comforts.
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Guinea: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.
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Couples will live with the same host family during training. At site, couples will share a home that meets the same standards for all Volunteers. Couples are usually placed at the same school within the same community. There will be time during service when couples will spend days and nights apart, such as when one is attending a meeting, routine medical appointments, etc.
Medical Considerations in Guinea
- Guinea may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: insulin-dependent diabetes; dermatology; some types of gynecologic support; mammography; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; seizures; 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: peanuts.
- After arrival in Guinea, 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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