Secondary Education Math Teacher

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Peace Corps domestically and internationally.

The information provided for each assignment is subject to change, including the tentative departure date.

Project Description

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 high-school level math in a small town or rural community. Volunteers may also be asked to teach other subjects, such as biology, depending on the needs of the school.

The Education program’s goal and objectives focus on the following three areas:

Project Goal
Guinean students attain math and science skills and opportunities to become problem solvers and innovators.

Project Objectives

Students:
1.1 Increase achievement of students in Math and/or Science.

Teachers:
2.1 Increase the capacity of teachers to use gender-equitable teaching practices
2.2 Strengthen the general, critical thinking, and/or STEM teaching skills of teachers

Learning Environment and Community:
3.1 Increase community members’ involvement in student learning and school improvement
3.2 Increase students’ and teachers’ access to teaching/learning materials and resources that use the STEM approach

The STEM approach is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. By learning through STEM, students develop key skills including problem solving, creativity, and critical analysis. Key components of the logic model framework are gender equity, student-friendly and -centered approach, science camps, critical thinking activities, and demonstrations/experimentations of learned lessons, field trips, and community members’ involvement in school improvement.

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 their local community, and in accordance with Peace Corps Guinea’s development frameworks. Given the poor situation of schools in Guinea, Education Volunteers are encouraged to undertake projects that improve the learning/teaching environment of their work place. Cross-sector collaboration with health and agroforestry Volunteers is also encouraged and there may be opportunities to collaborate with other national and international organizations.

Peace Corps Guinea promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive training on gender challenges in your country and you will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During your service, you will look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. As part of your work, you will also report on these efforts and their impact.

COVID-19 Volunteer Activities

In the past year, the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 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

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in math
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with secondary certification in math
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Math, Engineering, or Computer Science
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with a minor or equivalent (15 semester/22 quarter hours) in math

Desired Skills

Experience in the following areas is preferred:

• Working in classrooms as a math teacher, particularly at the secondary level, or 30+ hours of math 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
• Firm grasp of middle-school or junior-high school level mathematics
• French language proficiency or strong desire to learn French
• Working with youth and adult students in any leadership capacity

Required Language Skills

Candidates must meet one or more of the language requirements below to be considered for this position.
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).

French is necessary to interact effectively in Guinean schools, so this means that all Education Volunteers will be required to attain an intermediate high level of French by the end of training. Volunteers who achieve the intermediate high level during training can begin to learn the language most used in their local community. Malinke, Susu, Pular, and Kissi are the languages taught to date by Peace Corps Guinea.

Note: While Covid-19 is still active in the country, Volunteers will be placed in sites within 6 hours of Conakry and the Peace Corps Medical Center. The most used languages in this area are Susu and Pular.

Trainees who fail to secure an Intermediate High level score will not be allowed to swear-in until they meet that criterion after extended training.

If invited, you will be asked to self-study French before departing the U.S. It is highly recommended that invitees take an intensive French course, in person or online.

Living Conditions

Volunteers are assigned to serve in rural villages; these villages can range in size from several hundred to several thousand inhabitants. The size and style of housing vary depending on the region and resources available. Peace Corps works with communities to prepare housing that is safe and secure, near a source of water, and within walking distance to a market and shops. Houses are typically modest, consisting of two to four room structures or round huts with thatched roofs. Many are situated within a family compound and most houses do not have electricity or running water. Some houses have an inside toilet and shower area but most are equipped with a private pit latrine and enclosed bathing area. If the toilet is not inside the house then it should be attached to it.

Given the context of covid-19, Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) will most likely not eat with their host families. Volunteers will be provided the funds for the purchase of small stoves and gas tanks. Peace Corps will train the Volunteers on safe cooking procedures when using gas tanks.

Cell phones work in almost all areas of the country and internet access, while limited, is becoming more common outside of urban areas. All education sites have phone network connections.

Personal appearance is important to people in Guinea. During pre-service training, the training staff guide Trainees to dress according to the school system norms, and this dress attitude will be fully adopted during practice school. After pre-service training, you will need to dress appropriately for work situations in your community. Appropriate dress for male teachers includes collared shirts, khakis, or other types of casual professional long pants. For female teachers, shirts covering the shoulders, and pants or long skirts/dresses. Volunteers are expected to have clean and neat clothing. Shorts or short skirts/dresses are not permitted. Facial piercings are generally not accepted, particularly in rural areas. Prominent tattoos are best covered while at school. Remember that, as a Peace Corps representative in your community, you should be considered and treated as a professional.

All terrain bicycles are provided for transport to work sites, limited distance transportation, and for recreation. Almost all work places are within walking distance, so choosing to ride a bike is up to you. For long distance travel, Volunteers rely on public transportation in small passenger vehicles.

Rice, cassava, corn, 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 mangoes, 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 for local foods, struggle with local languages, and learn to live and work with necessities rather than comforts.

Guinea has some restrictive laws that target certain sexual acts. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms and country-specific laws and use their best judgment to determine how to approach topics related to 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 some potential support mechanisms for incoming trainees.

Serving in Guinea

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

Couples Information

Your partner must qualify and apply for the following position in Guinea:

• Secondary Education Science Teacher

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

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


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