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English Education Teacher

Project description

Since the Peace Corps first arrived in Nepal in 1962, Peace Corps service is more relevant than ever for supporting communities in adjusting to the impact of environmental shifts and helping Nepali youth and educators engage and compete globally in a rapidly changing technological age.

At the request of the Government of Nepal, Peace Corps Nepal launched its English Education Project in February 2019 placing Volunteers in government schools with Nepali counterparts to teach English in grades 4-8. The English Education Project focus areas are:

1. Increasing the capacity of teachers to use general and English teaching skills more effectively
2. Increasing the capacity of teachers to use gender-equitable practices in the classroom
3. Increasing the English proficiency of English teachers (as measured through use of classroom English)
4. Increasing achievement of students in English
5. Increasing the ability of community members to support students’ access to learning

Volunteers will find themselves in a dynamic environment, with option to be a co-learner or expert when it comes to their teaching and facilitation practices. Volunteers and Nepali teachers will engage in ongoing exchange so they can identify, implement, and reflect on effective classroom practices, activities and experiences that inspire a creative, effective and attractive environment for teaching and learning. Volunteers work together with their counterparts, teachers, and committed community members to build capacity of the school.

Building relationships and gaining the trust of school leadership, teachers, and students, will allow for the exploration, collaboration, and implementation of new best practices for English as a Foreign Language. These may include new methods, techniques, and digital and physical resources such as art, music and storytelling in a variety of mediums, drawing, poetry, drama, essays, debates, etc.

In addition to classroom teaching, Volunteers will work alongside counterparts, teachers and community members on a variety of projects that may include students and parents, sports clubs, drama camps, school digital libraries, and youth leadership initiatives. Volunteers will promote gender equity, positive masculinity and will support students from marginalized communities in building their vision and path toward the achievement of higher education. In addition, they will support application, self-confidence, motivation and exposure of Nepali educators to US Department of State Educational and Cultural Affairs programs, including professional development opportunities (i.e., the English Access Micro-scholarship Program, the English Language Fellow Program, and the English Language Specialist Program).

An average volunteer school day schedule will look like this:

• 9:00 -9:45 AM Independent Family Visit, Student Energizers, Tutoring
• 9:45 -10:00 AM School Assembly, Staff Meeting
• 10:00 -10:40 AM Phonics and Literacy with Grade 6
• 11:00 – 11:45 AM Assist in Creating Low-Cost Teaching Materials for Schools
• 1:00 – 1:30 PM Break, Lesson Planning with Counterpart
• 1:30 – 2:00PM Planning for Other School Activities (Sports, Climate, Or Sanitation)
• 1:00 – 1:40 PM English for Playwriting with Grade 8
• 2:00 – 2:30 PM Digital Resource Development/Exploration
• 2:30 - 3:30 PM Community Outreach for Extracurriculars (i.e., PTA, Mother Group)
• 3:30 – 5:00 PM Clubs/Sport/ Community Project Co-Facilitation

Volunteers teach 2-3 individual classes per day (Sunday-Friday) and can use time within and outside of the school calendar to support co-curricular and extracurricular activities. The school year begins in April and Volunteers are permitted to take breaks when school is not in session. In addition to occasional public holidays, longer school breaks generally include about 30 days in June/July, 15 days in October/November and 15 days in April are slow times at school.

Required skills

Qualified candidates will meet the following criteria:

• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in any discipline and a strong desire to teach English.

Desired skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:

• Bachelor’s degree in English, Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), English as a Second Language (ESL).
• Bachelor’s degree in Adult, Early Childhood, Middle School, or Elementary Education.
• Three months, 10 hours/month, or 30 hours of English, foreign language, or literacy tutoring experience with primary, middle, or high school students or adults
• A demonstrated history of extracurricular activities, including organizing social clubs or camps.
• Experience in facilitating classroom teaching, and/or an expressed desire to continue teaching after Peace Corps service.
• A demonstrated history of climate change awareness and action into English language teaching and extracurricular activities.
• A demonstrated history of awareness and support of gender-equitable practices, including promoting education for girls.
• A demonstrated history of the promote empowerment for youth.
• Experience in facilitating community and or adult education.

Required language skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position. Volunteers use English as the teaching language during class. However, Volunteers will be interacting with teachers, principals, school management committee members, and their communities in Nepali. With the goal towards increasing community support for English education, Volunteers will regularly use the Nepali language to engage with families of students, local associations, and government officials to keep stakeholders involved and informed about the work and progress of Peace Corps. By the end of Pre-Service Training, Volunteers are expected to attain a level of Nepali language that will enable them to effectively integrate into the community . Volunteers are encouraged to continue learning the Nepali language after arriving at their site. As such, Peace Corps/Nepal provides funds so Volunteers will be able hire the service of a local tutor. If a qualified local tutor is not available, they can work with a tutor remotely.

Living conditions

All Volunteers live with a host family throughout the entire duration of their service. Volunteers share meals with their host family and have the option to learn and cook for themselves. While Volunteers have their own room, privacy is limited so individuals should prepare for communal-style living. Homes in Nepal are generally made of bricks, mud or cement and have passed minimum earthquake-safe inspections conducted by the Peace Corps staff.

Most Nepalis eat rice, flat breads and legumes as their staples. However, corn, potatoes, other tubers seasonal fruits and vegetables are consumed when available. Bread and noodles are available in most towns. Imported goods are available in the cities but are expensive. Meat is usually consumed once a week or bi-weekly and maintaining a vegetarian diet is feasible.

Volunteers may walk up to two miles every day on hilly terrain to reach school; travel to and from school may total 1 hour. While Volunteers are placed in separate communities across several districts, proximity to the nearest Volunteer is normally within a 4-8 hour walk or a 3-hour jeep ride. Considering Volunteers serve in the mid-hills region of Nepal, bicycle travel is usually the exception rather than the norm.

Nepal has four seasons. The average temperature ranges from 41-68 degrees in winter and 73-95 degrees Fahrenheit during the hot season. June-September is the monsoon season when it rains almost every day. There are variations between districts and Volunteers should be prepared to live in hot and cold weather. There is no central air or heat in Nepali homes.

While Volunteers can charge their electronic devices in their homes, households generally limit their use of electronics due to cost and availability of electricity. Some communities have schools, government offices and other locations that offer Wi-Fi. Peace Corps Nepal provides Volunteers with a basic smartphone and data package and some Volunteers may choose to purchase additional internet data as they see fit. Running water and hot showers are rare and most households use a latrine-style toilet located outside of the house.

Knowledge and acceptance of LGBTQ+ community members in any host community may be limited. LGBTQ+ Volunteers will need to be mindful of this lack of knowledge and use their judgement to determine the best way to approach sexual orientation and gender identity in their communities. Staff will address this topic during Pre-Service Training and throughout service to identify support mechanisms for Trainees and Volunteers.

Volunteers can expect challenges and opportunities in their cultural exchanges during Peace Corps service. Many Nepalis are unfamiliar with American diversity and are often curious about the cultures of Volunteers from different backgrounds. Stereotypes exist and Volunteers with backgrounds, visible disabilities, or spiritual beliefs different from those commonly found in their Nepali community may experience a high degree of curiosity, unwanted attention, or even discrimination from host country nationals. These Volunteers may not be treated with the same level of respect as other Volunteers and may be told that they are not “real Americans.” Volunteers can turn these encounters into teaching and learning experiences by sharing a wider lens of American values and deepening connections and intercultural understanding among community members.

For safety and security reasons, Peace Corps Nepal has restrictions on extreme sports and trekking routes Volunteers can use.

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

Medical considerations

Before you apply, please review medical clearance and legal clearance to learn about the process.

Couples information

Peace Corps Nepal can accommodate couples where both people serve in the same sector. Peace Corps Nepal cannot accept cross sector couples where one serves in English Education and the other serves in Food Security or Environment. Couples live together throughout their service. This includes living with a homestay family during the 11-week Pre-Service Training, as well as in their permanent community for the 2 years of service.

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