TEACHING IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL
Volunteering in Poor Public School
All education systems have to address problems of marginalization. Chronic poverty, social exclusion, and inequalities linked to gender, race and ethnicity, conflict, location, and disability can interact to lock disadvantaged groups into extreme educational disadvantage. Effective and innovative education policies open enormous opportunities for overcoming marginalization. A Teaching Assistant Practicum shares the responsibility we all have for the education of all students, by supporting the work of teachers and schools.
As a teaching assistant serves as a role model for young people and, through the support the intern provide teachers, help assure each student learns. Your effectiveness in influencing the future of each student increases when you have an educated understanding of the role, schools, students, and the teaching – learning process to use at work.. As demonstration of our own commitment to meeting needs of students we recognize that, while this program is designed to serve individuals and schools in any locality, adaptations to particular school settings.
Schools in poor communities tend to have more staffing issues. Demand for teachers has generally increased, and teachers may choose to work in suburban schools and schools with more resources. Moreover, the stress of working with underprivileged children -- and, in many cases, lack of support in doing so -- can cause a higher turnover rate than in wealthier schools. This makes it harder for teachers to develop long-term relationships with students, can teach students that people who care about them are unreliable or leave, and means schools have to continually struggle with training new teachers.
Children living in poor communities are often underprepared for school. Their parents tend to be poorly educated and may struggle with health problems, both of which can interfere with their ability to prepare their children for school. Some poor parents may have deficits in parenting skills, struggle with addiction or have employment problems that interfere with their ability to care for their children. This lack of preparation for school means that teachers may have to spend extra time teaching students basic skills.
Poor communities tend to face more stress than wealthier communities. Poverty, for example, means that children may come to school hungry or even malnourished, and this can interfere with a student's ability to learn. Children may live in unstable homes or unsafe environments. This stress means schools may have to spend more time in community outreach and on providing students with basic services. Such stress can also affect classroom behavior, creating classroom management challenges for teachers.
Lack of Funding
While public schools are, in general, supposed to get equal funding regardless of their location, the reality doesn't always match this goal. Wealthier parents can contribute more to funding drives and can design projects to raise funds for specific needs such as a new classroom computer. Poor families don't have such resources, which means their schools may not have the same benefits as those in wealthy areas. State funding per student can vary significantly, and states may choose to allocate different resources to different schools. Poor schools often get less money in state funds and grants than do wealthy schools.
Through classroom observation and interaction participants will:
1) Identify current educational issues and learn about similarities and differences in education among countries.
2) Reflect on teaching and the teaching/learning process.
3) Observe, analyze, and reflect on classroom life from a new perspective.
4) Explore historical, social, and philosophical influences on curricular and educational issues in different countries.
5) Assess their own characteristics and qualities in terms of knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to become an effective teacher of children and adolescents.
6) Develop and demonstrate intercultural communication competency through practical experience, comparative analysis of interpersonal communication patterns in two cultures and by fostering effective communication through application of understandings.
7) Connect lessons learned through the experience - serving teachers and students while living in a different cultural setting – to educational, personal, and professional life goals.
Work Schedule: Teaching Assistant Volunteering requires a minimum commitment of 8 weeks. Volunteer can participate in the program up to 7 months. This position requires a minimum time of 20-25 hours per week. Classes are conducted in Spanish in poor public schools in Córdoba.
Attendance Policy: The classroom experience is pre-arranged with a mentor teacher in the pre-primary, elementary or secondary school. It is important and expected that participants will be in attendance every day and throughout the school day during the assigned placement. It is the responsibility of participants to contact the school or classroom teacher if illness or other urgent factor keeps them from being in school. Tardiness and absences will reflect on the intern successful completion of this field experience
Placement process: The placement process begins 6 weeks prior to the proposed start date. The earlier a completed application is submitted the better the chance of being placed.
Academic year: Placements are available from the first week in March to the second half of November. There is two weeks winter vacation in July.
Preschool Teachers: Instruct preschool-aged children in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth needed for primary school in preschool, day care center, or other child development facility.
Kindergarten Teachers: Teach elemental natural and social science, personal hygiene, music, art, and literature to kindergarten students. Promote physical, mental, and social development.
Middle School Teachers: Teach students in one or more subjects in public schools at the middle, intermediate, or junior high level, which falls between elementary and senior high school.
Secondary School and Technical Education Teachers: Teach students in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics, or social studies at the secondary level in public or private schools. May be designated according to subject matter specialty. Teach occupational, career and technical, or vocational subjects in public schools at the middle, intermediate, or junior high level, which falls between elementary and senior high school.
Spanish Language Level: Volunteers must have an intermediate proficiency in Spanish. This means that the intern should be comfortable enough in the Spanish language to complete daily tasks, hold conversations of substance, and manage a classroom full of Argentinean students. Assistants are required to do a number of tasks all in Spanish, including completing paperwork, going to a medical visit, and working with their Argentinean teaching colleagues on a daily basis. Having an intermediate level of Spanish skills is therefore essential to having to a positive and successful experience as a Teaching Assistant Volunteering.
Qualifications & Studies: Schools committed to improving the effectiveness of personnel participating in the instruction of students.
-Current and prospective Teaching Assistants/Paraprofessionals (age 18+) who seek to increase their effectiveness in assisting Preschool/Primary/Secondary school teachers and have the support of a school through which to develop and demonstrate their abilities.
-Students age 18+ seeking a recognized certificate of achievement and are either enrolled in a course offered by their school or completing requirements independently.
-This volunteering is particularly recommendable for students of Social Education, Social Work, Psychology, Pedagogy and Educational Studies. (but it is open to all students or volunteers)
Requirements for Public Schools
-Volunteers age +18.
-Be able to read, write, and communicate in Spanish at intermediate level.
-Curriculum Vitae in Spanish language
-The latest you can apply is 6 weeks before the program starts.
-Current or prospective teaching assistant/paraprofessional seeking to increase effectiveness in assisting primary and/or secondary school teachers.
-Access to a school through which to develop and demonstrate abilities.
-Support of a teacher or administrator in the school who will assist, advice, observe, and report on the candidate's work throughout the course.
-Criminal Record Check: Criminal Records Review Act, which means that all interns who are enrolled in programs that include a practicum component involving work with children or vulnerable adults will have to undergo a criminal record check before they will be permitted to register in the volunteering. If the participant is found to present a risk of physical or sexual abuse to children, or physical, sexual, or financial abuse to vulnerable adults, as a result of the CRRA Check, intern will not be permitted to register in the practicum. Therefore the intern should consider this requirement carefully before applying to, or continuing in, this program.
-Psychophysical fitness certificate issued by a professional authorized by the Ministry of Health of the intern’s country.
-Volunteers are required to have international liability, emergency, and medical and liability insurance coverage.