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

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Virtual Service Pilot

Support Rural Teachers with English Speaking and Teaching Skills

Activity/project background

Partner: Center of the Professional Development for Pedagogical Workers of Dolyna City Council of Ivano-Frankivsk Region (Government)

The Center of the Professional Development for Pedagogical Workers (the Center) of Dolyna City Council of Ivano-Frankivsk Region, Ukraine, recently relaunched programming to provide better service to rural and local teachers. The Center staff strive to promote leadership, cooperation, and professional communication within teacher communities. Educators at the Center are developing both the hard and soft skills of the local teachers and students. The Center consultants are organizing different teacher-centered events to help teachers improve their professional and personal development needs.

Education partners from the Center intend to support English teachers from rural areas who have limited opportunities to communicate with native speakers to improve their conversational skills and develop a communications-based approach to teaching English.

Together with Center partners, the Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) will co-develop and co-plan interactive English training sessions outlining different conversational topics and co-facilitate communicative teaching methodology. The VSPP will engage with 15-20 teachers to improve English conversational skills and encourage intercultural exchange of ideas. Additionally, the VSPP will support the completion of a resource pack to be used by the teachers for continued use.

The consultant of the Center has experience working with Peace Corps Volunteers. The Center understands 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-facilitate and analyze the results of a survey concerning conversation topics English teachers of Dolyna Community are interested in
• Co-design teachers’ training curriculum and session outlines relevant to the needs and interests of training participants
• Co-teach a 1.5-hour English speaking club once per two weeks for a group of 15 – 20 rural English teachers
• Support teacher learning processes through ongoing reflection and feedback
• Co-develop the resource package of at least 10 session outlines for teaching speaking skills and relevant teaching materials
• Create a Google Drive folder to share session outlines and teaching materials with the partner teachers and club participants

VSPPs are expected to engage in the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week. This engagement is estimated to be 5 -8 hours per two weeks of which 1-2 hours online will be planning and collaborating with teachers.

Online collaboration will generally occur between 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Ukrainian local time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to WhatsApp, Zoom, email 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 and relevant certification: TEFL, TESOL, Cambridge, or similar

Experience: 2 years of experience teaching secondary school

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: Bachelor's degree in secondary education

Experience:
• 2 years of experience training secondary school teachers or participating in communities of practice related to secondary school education
• Experience with virtual engagement and communication
• Experience developing teaching resources

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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