Peace Corps service presents major physical, emotional, and intellectual challenges. In the space below, please provide a few paragraphs explaining your reasons for wanting to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer and how you plan to overcome the various challenges associated with Peace Corps service.
(up to 500 words).
When one volunteers abroad the changes take place so fast there's almost no time to catch your breath. One day you're a volunteer in an orientation, living in a bubble of English speakers. A week later you're standing in front of 23 Chilean high-school students, in a Spanish speaking community and living in a home with no English speakers. My desire to be a teacher in the Peace Corps was formed somewhere between these two extremes. The joy of teaching is in watching people grow and having the privilege to be part of that growth.
The most important reason I would like to volunteer with the peace corps is that I enjoy being a teacher and working with students. My Chilean students attended a low performing municipal school that lacked basic supplies like toilet paper, where class sizes averaged 40 students. To watch those students blossom in the classroom despite their challenges at home and at school is a privilege.
If the highs of teaching are higher, then the lows are even lower. Many of my students in Chile disliked not only English but school in general. Classroom management was consistently one of my biggest challenges in addition to the language barrier and the lack of central heating. Working with teenagers requires resiliency. There were many difficult classes, lessons that didn't work the way I wanted them to or days where I came home exhausted and demoralized but still had to get out of bed the next morning and bring a positive attitude and energy to my classes. Being a teacher means being flexible and adaptable; a lesson that I spent hours planning might be canceled because of a school assembly or that projector that I counted on having for my class might not be available. A positive attitude, flexibility and the ability to withstand challenges are as necessary to a teacher as chalkboards and books.