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ESL teaching assistant

Job in Chita - Russia
Posted by Siberian Bridges
Full Time, Temporary, Volunteer position
Listed on 2019-11-21
Job specializations:
  • Teaching
    English Teacher, Language Teacher, Overseas Teaching
  • Language/Bilingual
    English Speaking
Job Description & How to Apply Below
We are looking for a native English speaker for one month of teaching at two two-week summer English language camps in and near Chita, Russia. This is the month of June, June 1-30 (arrriving in Chita on May 31 or earlier.) The camps are run by City of Childhood Child Development Center (Город Детства, центр детского развития) of Chita, Russia, a private enterprise . Siberian Bridges has provided two teachers for three summer sessions in the past and is charged with initial interviews of next summer's teacher.

One camp is in town (day camp) 7 hrs a day, six days a week for two weeks. 15-25 children, likely ages 7 - 11. The teachers are highly qualified and committed.  Your job is mainly to speak clear natural English, support their efforts, run lessons if called upon, join in on all activities, get to know the children and support them individually and as a group. Housing will either be an apartment on your own or as a home stay. You'll be given food already prepared, or groceries or money to buy groceries. The apartment will likely be a few minutes walk from the camp's center, or it may be on a convenient bus route, or you may be driven there and home by a staff member.

The 2nd camp is at a summer camp on a lake about 70 km from the city. You'll live in a staff building in a single or shared room--very simple accommodations and eating in the dining hall with the rest of the staff and campers. The English student group (ages 7 - 17) will likely be one among other groups of campers with other interests. (Summer 2019 there were 25 English learning campers and 55 other kids.) The job is the same as for the day camp: help the teachers as they request, be available to the kids and helpful to the program, speak a lot of English, have a lot of fun with them.

It is hoped that you will prepare a lesson/presentation with powerpoint  or other materials on a topic, large or small, that both interests you and helps the students understand your own culture (Example: a previous teacher was a pianist and he prepared a lesson on jazz and what led to it: spirituals, blues, ragtime.)

Important note: preference will be given to a candidate who agrees to the following free vacation add-on: Siberian Bridges (the non-profit posting this job for City of Childhood) wants the candidate to stay an extra two weeks in order to make friends, see things, get a better feeling for the people and place, allow room and time for Russian hospitality.  The teaching is not particularly difficult, but it is tiring and all-involving during those weeks. Both City of Childhood and Siberian Bridges' other contacts in Chita will assist in making this part enjoyable and it will incur no added cost to you.

You will be there on a "Humanitarian" visa as the responsibility, both financial and physical of the Director of the City of Childhood. As such you will do as she requires. Also, on this type of visa you may not work for pay, only volunteer work. However, Russian hospitality strong suggests you may receive gifts from the Center and friends of the Center.
Position Requirements
High School
Best candidates speak clear grammatical and idiomatic English, are easy-going and flexible, responsible, self-motivated, curious, imaginative, proactive, tend to jump up to help and participate, presentable, ready to support and join in on a teaching style that may be unfamiliar.

Russian language ability is not required, though even a little knowledge could make some of your interactions with students and some staff members easier.

Candidates must be 18 yrs old at the time of visa application.
Required Language Skills:
  • English - Very good
Additional Information / Benefits
The  pluses of this summer job are
1. Getting to meet people rarely met by Americans or even Western Europeans, because this is in eastern Siberia...in fact, it is now considered part of the Russian Far East. Siberians are very hospitable and warm and preferring to become friends, though they are also generally quiet and reticent (and famously not always smiling!). You will be appreciated simply for coming so far--15 timezones from CDT, other side of the globe!--to allow them to share their hospitality. The original inhabitants and the region's largest minority, the Buryats (ethnically Mongolian, following Buddhism and their original shamanism) are also fascinating and welcoming.
2. Summers in this region are typically very comfortable--the climate is dry, summer nights are long, evenings cool off nicely.
3. The story of Chita and its region is very interesting--bordering on China and Mongolia, founded by Cossacks in the 1600s, closed for most of the Soviet Era, varied geography from steppes to taiga to 10000 ft peaks, a tough but enriching history as destination for exiles (Old Believers, Decembrists, other groups during the time of Stalin) now an archdiocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.
4. You will be the only or one of the only Americans in town, and as such are a bit of a novelty and certainly a resource.

The minus list is short and easily managed: mosquitoes and horseflies in June at camp. Bug spray is easily obtained there. Additionally, you should be ready to be frustrated by cultural misunderstandings on occasion. The City of Childhood is an impressive collection of serious educators, staff and a child psychologist (the director/founder), and though things will seem familiar, their history and sense community and self is from a different source than ours in the US, so differences can appear.
Questions to answer on applying for this job
  • Are you easy-going and flexible, responsible, curious, imaginative and proactive?
  • Can you speak clearly, grammatically and articulately, especially with young English learners in mind?
  • Do you follow directions well and work well in a team (you'll be assisting teachers who follow a very specific pedagogical approach, a quite strict one)?
  • Are you willing to stay an extra two weeks for learning about the place and making friends?
Contact Information
Contact Name: Thomas Dickinson, Siberian Bridges President
Contact Phone: 612-822-9520
Preferred method of contact: Email with CV via Application Box below.
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