TEFL/English Teacher

The Peace Corps continues to monitor and assess the COVID-19 pandemic domestically and internationally. The locations and timing of returning Volunteers to service will be determined on a country-by-country basis. The listed positions and projected departure dates are subject to change.

Project Description

Ukraine is one of the oldest nations in Europe, yet it’s one of the youngest democracies. Located in the heart of Europe, Ukraine is famous for its rich and diverse culture, stunning landscapes, fertile soil, flavorful cuisine, yet tragic history. Most importantly, it is famous for its proud people who value freedom above everything. It is because of their love for freedom that Ukrainians continue to resist Russian hybrid aggression, much like they have been for the past 400 years. “Resilient” is the adjective used frequently by Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) to describe Ukrainians. Despite the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and active conflict instigated and fueled by the Russian government in the eastern part of the country, Ukraine remains one of the safest Peace Corps countries with the largest number of serving Peace Corps Volunteers who can’t help but eventually fall in love with the country and its people. Based on the 2019 Security Incident Questionnaire Crime Data Report, overall crime level against PCVs in Ukraine is 45% (global average is 53%) and serious crime level is 10% (global average is 17%), which makes PC/Ukraine one of the safest Peace Corps Posts globally.
The Peace Corps Ukraine Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) project aims to enhance teachers’ and students’ English language communication abilities and to encourage independent thinking through the creation of an interactive learning environment. Volunteers transfer language and teaching skills through team-teaching with Ukrainian teachers and facilitate professional development workshops on contemporary methodologies and student-centered techniques. Along with English teaching and professional trainings, Volunteers promote attitudes and skills essential for a shift to a democratic society – problem solving, critical thinking, civic responsibility, and healthy lifestyle.
Volunteers work alongside their counterparts to improve English proficiency through team-teaching conversational or content-based English to students in grades 3 to 11 for 18 academic hours per week. Everyday communication in English with Volunteers increases the self-confidence of teachers to use English in their classrooms and equips them with child-focused, interactive teaching methods. TEFL Volunteers will build awareness, promote inclusive classrooms, and reduce stigma of students with differences.
Volunteer presence, especially in underserved locations, can make a real difference in a student’s life. Volunteers help foster students' interest in learning English as a language of international communication. Volunteers promote cross-cultural learning exchange through English language initiatives outlined in the Ministry of Education and Science reforms, emphasizing English instruction at a college level, facilitating regular teacher-training events/clubs and summer camps, and promoting inclusive/special education and student-centered learning.

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 the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline
• A strong desire to teach English
• At least 30 hours of English, foreign language, or literacy tutoring experience with primary school, middle or high school students, or adults.

Desired Skills

• Prior experience in organizing camps and/or extracurricular activities;
• Information Technology skills;
• Any background with displaced, refugee children;
• Any background with inclusive and/or special education, mainstreaming, or related activity;
• Youth engagement: dance, drama, music, sports activities.

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

Ukrainian is the native language of the Ukrainians and the official state language. According to most recent polls, some 48.4% of Ukrainians speak Ukrainian at home, while 23.9% speak both Ukrainian and Russian, and 27.3% of respondents speak only Russian in their households. Ukrainian is obligatory for use within government and education system, customer service, medical and social services.
All Volunteers are required to learn Ukrainian during Pre-Service Training. Peace Corps Ukraine offers a strong 10-week pre-service language learning program to get Volunteers started on their language learning journey. In addition, online resources and trainings, developed by Peace Corps Language Staff, will be available during service. The key to success in learning Ukrainian is a positive attitude, practice and systematic work. Trainees must demonstrate, at a minimum, an oral proficiency of novice-mid in Ukrainian by the end of pre-service training.
Prior experience of studying a foreign language will be of use.

Living Conditions

• Host Family
Host family stays are required during the 10-week Pre-Service Training (PST). PST host family accommodations provide Volunteers with a safe, private room with basic furniture and shared bathroom and kitchen facilities.
Options for housing at a Volunteer’s permanent site may include an apartment in a dormitory, a private apartment or house, or a part of a family house with separate bathing facilities and kitchen. A host family may be the only option for Volunteers during their service in some communities, subject to changing circumstances due to COVID-19.

The Ukrainian diet is bread-based with lots of wheat and grains; pork and dairy products are typically prepared daily. It is also very rich in fruits and vegetables during the summer, but mostly root vegetables during the winter months. Nearly 50% of Ukrainian households have indoor pets, and cats or dogs can be expected in many homes.
• Diversity Challenges
We encourage you to access our website for more information regarding diversity and inclusion at:
Peace Corps is challenging regardless of where you serve, and in some way or another Volunteers will be a minority and may invite unwanted attention. Peace Corps Ukraine’s Pre-Service Training will address these types of issues in preparation for service, and strive to provide appropriate and timely support utilizing experience and recommendations of former Volunteers and current support and affinity groups.
• Transportation
Volunteers usually walk from home to the first available transportation, and this could take between 10 to 45 minutes. The country is well-served by trains. On shorter routes, Volunteers use mini-buses for inter-city transportation. New policies, procedures, and restrictions are in place to help limit the potential for exposure and transmission of COVID-19. Volunteers will need to adhere to Peace Corps Ukraine’s transportation policy.

• Climate
The climate in Ukraine consists of four distinct seasons. Volunteers may experience long and snowy winters and hot or rainy summers. Global climate change affects Ukraine as well, making the weather less predictable.

• Dress
Men and women should bring business casual clothing for work and casual settings. There are abundant secondhand shops in Ukraine and Volunteers make good use of them.
• Physical requirements
Communities where Volunteers are assigned in Ukraine are physically challenging and will require Volunteers to be physically fit to walk up and down stairs, ride public transportation, and sometimes use a squat toilet. Volunteers must be able to walk on uneven terrain/pavement and carry their groceries (~20 pounds).
• Service in “clusters”
Peace Corps Ukraine staff will make the best effort to place Volunteers strategically during service so that Youth Development, Teachers of English as a Foreign Language, and Community Development Volunteers will be able to work together on their community projects.
• President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
Peace Corps Ukraine is a member of the PEPFAR team and aspires to do our part to end the AIDS epidemic in Ukraine. During service, Volunteers will have opportunities to take part in PEPFAR clubs and camps.
• Succession Placements
Most Volunteers in Ukraine are placed in succession at an organization or school to conduct different activities over time. Volunteers may be the first Volunteer at their site or they may the second or third in a sequence.
• Internet Access
Internet is available in most places, though the connection speed and consistency can often be lower than to what you are accustomed. 3G internet via cellular network is available in all big cities, most towns, and in parts of small communities.
• COVID-19
Policies, procedures, and restrictions are in place to help limit the potential for exposure and transmission of COVID-19 and Volunteers will learn more about these safety recommendations.

Serving in Ukraine

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Ukraine: 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

Peace Corps Ukraine can accommodate couples that serve together in the same or different sector. During Pre-Service Training, couples will live together. In cases when spouses are assigned to different sectors, they may be placed in different nearby communities. In this case a couple can meet during weekends in one of the communities.
Couples will live together at their permanent site. Spouses have separate work assignments within the same community.

Medical Considerations

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

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