I’m an education PCV, yet you don’t often hear me talking about teaching and working with learners in the classroom. There’s a pretty simply explanation: I’m only teaching about 1 hour a week. What? Confused? While I may be in the education section, I’m technically a “resource specialist”. I define that as using the resources I have to benefit my school.
I’m not a teacher. I didn’t study teaching in college. I don’t have a teaching degree. I’ve never student taught or spend any significant time teaching in a classroom setting. That is not my area of expertise. While I can offer good tips to the educators at my school, and I frequently step into the classroom when needed, I am not a teacher. And you know what? I don’t really like teaching.
I’m using my other skills to help my school, and by doing so, I’m being a part of truly sustainable change. I am good at teaching in an informal environment, so that’s what I do. I am able to offer knowledge about better gardening practices, so I offer them. I enjoy working with both adults and children, so I work with all ages.
I really wanted to work in the environmental education sector of PC, but I was just barely underqualified. So, I did what any good PCV does: I took my assignment and turned it into MY Peace Corps experience. I tailored my work to the skills I can effectively offer and the skills my school is looking for. By doing so, I am able to be an effective PCV, and see how my efforts are causing change at school, and outside my school. I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but this shows why I do what I do, even if I am an education PCV, and not an environmental education or agriculture PCV.
Permaculture is my secondary project by PC’s definition. But in reality it has become my primary project. Of course I still assist teachers by offering to help design lessons and develop classroom management techniques, but I spend far more time working with the garden. And I even have a tertiary project of teaching computer lessons to the education. In a few more weeks, I’ll be setting up a school library, and next year I may do the World Map Project. But the vast majority of my time is spent improving our garden, one way or another, and training community members and learners on Permaculture practices. It is a passion of mine, and is making my PC experience truly enjoyable.