Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Cultural exchange opportunity for Primary School Teachers

Published:Sunday | August 7, 2016 | 8:00 AM
Seaby

VIF (Visiting International Faculty) announces the opportunity for Jamaican teachers with primary-school experience to teach in the United States as part of a cultural-exchange programme.

VIF is currently considering applications from Jamaican teachers for primary-school positions in the United States.

VIF, designated as an official J-1 visa sponsor by the US Department of State, has placed teachers from around the world in US teaching positions for more than 25 years. Positions are now available for Jamaican teachers in primary schools in North Carolina.

"Jamaican teachers have been very successful in our programme. American students have benefited from the hard work, positive outlook, and vibrant culture they bring to the US classroom," said Jeff Seaby, international education adviser for the Caribbean. "In return, the teacher is exposed to a new educational system and professional sharing in an international setting."

 

NEW SKILLS AND IDEAS

 

VIF carefully selects a relatively small number of candidates for the primary level from Jamaica. "We know there is a shortage of maths and science teachers and do not want to be a drain on the country's schools," Seaby said recently. "We also aware of the surplus of primary school teachers in many areas. Therefore, we have decided to only consider primary candidates in Jamaica. Our goal is that both sides benefit since VIF teachers are obligated to return to Jamaica at the end of their tenure. They come back with new skills and ideas they can share with Jamaican students and colleagues."

Janice Roswess-Chambers is currently teaching in North Carolina on her second contract appointment as a VIF teacher. She has earned her master's in education since becoming a VIF teacher. After her first contract period expired, Roswess-Chambers returned to Jamaica and taught at Duhaney Park Primary for three years. "My love for teaching has grown since I have been a part of the VIF programme. I have been exposed to so many different teaching strategies and methods that I had not been aware of before," she revealed. "I am proud that I have been able to return to Jamaica and bring back what I have learned to share with the teachers at Duhaney Park Primary. When I return to Jamaica, I would really like to share and impart my skills, especially by working with maths teachers in the primary schools. It is my goal and passion to come back to Jamaica to facilitate the teaching of mathematics in primary schools." Roswess-Chambers has already started the process of sharing her new experiences and knowledge with teachers in Jamaica. In addition to writing a mathematics book for Grade 4, Janice has worked with Carlong Publishers to write and edit material for maths books, and on another project, has developed GSAT preparation materials for students.

VIF provides full-time employment with the salary equivalent to an American teacher with similar degrees and experience, subsidised health insurance, and free life insurance, evaluation of international credentials, a flight to the US, and visa sponsorship for teachers and their families.

Latoya Campbell, who was a teacher at Greater Portmore Primary School, will depart Jamaica shortly to participate in the VIF Program in North Carolina. "VIF is a good opportunity for me as it will take my teaching career to new heights. It is a great opportunity to share my culture and embrace other cultures, too," said Latoya. "The VIF programme will expose me to new teaching methods and resources. I have every intention of coming back to Jamaica to share my experiences."

The requirements for candidates interested in participating in the highly selective VIF programme are: diploma in teaching or Education with a bachelor's degree including teacher training; two years' experience as a full-time teacher of students ages 5-10 years; and a driver's license.

Teachers who meet the requirements are invited to apply online at www.vifprogram.com/applyjamaica.