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Strong Volunteer needed in a Safe Pocket of Honduras

posted Jun 14, 2015, 11:47 AM by Director Activiteca   [ updated Jun 14, 2015, 12:34 PM ]

The Need

Instituto Técnico Loyola is a trade school for at-risk boys, grades 7 – 12, located in a low-violence city, El Progreso.  The students take both vocational and academic courses.  Some of their teachers in the academic classes have trouble managing them, even though the school is trying to introduce more interactive methods in those subject areas.  We're looking for someone with experience working with troubled adolescents, as well as teaching academic subjects, who can do consulting and team-teaching with the weaker instructors, coaching them to develop the needed skills to manage their classes by themselves.  Besides being a “reinforcer,” it would be especially valuable if this coach could also offer some counseling for the teens, either group or individual.  The school has no funds for a counselor.  Having this sort of help in improving the learning atmosphere at the school would be greatly welcomed by the faculty and exciting for the students, who will get more interesting educational experiences as a result.

Boys of the Instituto building molecular models
The boys are not all hard-core; some are just poor.  Others have been referred by a court; some are involved with drugs.  If a class is in chaos because a few are acting up, all the students suffer the results: they get even more behind in their education. The volunteer teacher coach would be linked up with a recently launched Activiteca program and help the teachers to implement it in their classes, using the learning resources from the large collection of equipment, models, experiments, and games.  When the teachers use these materials in hands-on activities, it's very motivating for students.  The volunteer coach would cooperate with the Activiteca coordinator to get more of such activities into the classes, especially those where the students are most in need of such experiences but are not getting them because of their behavior problems.

Time Frame of the Position

The job is open now, even though the school is nearing the middle of the Honduran school year.  During the winter school vacation, beginning in late November, the Executive Director of Activiteca International will be in El Progreso to conduct training.  If the volunteer starts working in this position before that time, he or she will be able to get involved with classes right away to gain some familiarity with the students, teachers, and their needs, and then in vacation time will take part in that winter training group.  Then the volunteer would work for the entire 2016 school year.  And if things go well and the volunteer is available, it would be great to have him or her stay on for another year.

Qualifications/Skills

Adult of either sex, age 23 or over.  High level of Spanish fluency, successful experience with at-risk youth, teaching experience in various subject areas, openness to new ideas and methods, ability to deal with challenges.  Qualifications in counseling are especially valuable.  

Benefits

The volunteer will have free lodging in the neighborhood of the school, but will be responsible for other living expenses, which are lower than in developed countries.  Other benefits: an in-depth experience with a culture and people well worth knowing; the chance to help some young people avoid having to join gangs or flee their country in order to survive.  The opportunity to demonstrate and disseminate alternative learning methods as a way out of a moribund educational system. 

To Apply

The interested person should examine the rest of this website, and make contact as indicated below.  A resume and contact information for references will be required.  As part of the “interview” process, the candidate will need to supply a video of a demonstration science lesson that he or she conducts in Spanish with a small group of low-income students. (Guidelines for the demo are available on request.) The purpose of the demo is to be sure that the teachers and kids at Loyola will get someone who can truly perform. If the volunteer travels to Honduras from the U.S., or through the U.S., and does so any time before November, she or he can get a more focused introduction to the job by first going to Austin, Texas, and spending a week or more with the executive director there. This advance training session, and room and board during that period, would be free.
 

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