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Peace Corps Volunteer
2 years, 3 months
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Peace Corps Response
Up to 12 months
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Virtual Service Pilot
3-6 months
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Virtual Service Pilot

Co-Create Socio-emotional Development Skill Building Resources

Activity/project background

Partner: 1.“Subsecretaría de Desarrollo Educativo del Atlántico”; 2. “Secretaria de Etnoeducación de Buenaventura” (Government)

In the Ministry of Education in Colombia under the Secretary of Education, there is an Undersecretary for Education Development for each region or department in the country that oversees an Education Quality (EQ) office with a mission to improve education coverage rates and the efficiency of the Secretary of Education, to implement national education plans, and to strengthen school management and teacher training to impact student education. Two Undersecretaries for Education Development in Atlántico Region, located on the north coast of Columbia and home to indigenous communities, and in Buenaventura Region, located in the Department of Valle del Cauca and home to many Afro-descendent communities, are seeking support for their EQ offices to train teachers in new methodologies to support the development of socio-emotional skills and personal entrepreneurial competencies (PEC) of their students.

The Secretaries of Education are requesting a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) each to support the EQ team in the training of teachers in pedagogical strategies that can be implemented across schools to develop the socio-emotional skills of students between 15-17 years old corresponding to grades 9, 10, and 11. This support will primarily be in the form of workshops on methods for designing activities to develop socioemotional skills and personal entrepreneurial competencies (PECs) within students, such as the following: (1) Opportunity Seeking, (2) Persistence, (3) Commitment to Work Contract, (4) Risk-taking, (5) Demand for Efficiency and Quality, (6) Goal Setting, (7) Information Seeking, (8) Systematic Planning and Monitoring, (9) Persuasion and Networking, and (10) Self-Confidence.

The Secretary of Education Atlántico has previously collaborated with the Peace Corps. The Secretary of Education Buenaventura has not previously collaborated with the Peace Corps. Both understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

• Co-assess current teaching materials
• Support the revision of pedagogical resources currently available to public schools on socio-emotional skills and personal entrepreneurial competencies for teachers
• Co-create at least three professional development training sessions for teachers on how to help students develop socioemotional skills and personal entrepreneurial competencies
• Train two EQ staff on how to continue developing additional training resources on socioemotional skills

VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week. This engagement is estimated to be 10 hours per week.

Online collaboration will generally occur between 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Colombia time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Microsoft Teams for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor's degree in education or related field

Language: Intermediate Spanish

• 3 years of experience teaching secondary school
• Experience in training on socio-emotional skills and personal entrepreneurial competencies or related skill areas.

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: Master’s degree in education or related field

Language: Advanced Spanish

• Experience with virtual engagement and communication
• 3 years of experience training school teachers

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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