Kevin Acers

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For several years I was intensely engaged in human rights advocacy, working in a volunteer capacity with organizations including Amnesty International, the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and the Oklahoma affiliate of the ACLU.  
For several years I was intensely engaged in human rights advocacy, working in a volunteer capacity with organizations including Amnesty International, the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and the Oklahoma affiliate of the ACLU.  
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I currently work as a Social Worker in an HIV/AIDS clinic, assessing/addressing the psychosocial needs of low income people who are HIV+. My wife Lee is a therapist at a non-profit social services agency, working with refugees. We currently share our house with two cats and numerous potted plants.
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I currently work as a Social Worker in an HIV/AIDS clinic, assessing/addressing the psychosocial needs of low income people who are HIV+. My wife Lee is a therapist at a non-profit social services agency, working with refugees. We share our house with two cats and numerous potted plants.
== External Links ==
== External Links ==

Revision as of 02:33, 16 April 2008



Kevin Acers
Flag of Thailand.svg
Country Thailand
Years: 1982-1986
Site(s) Ubonrajathani, MahaSarakham & RoiEt
Program(s) Education
Assignment(s) English Teacher Trainerwarning.png"English Teacher Trainer" is not in the list of possible values (Agroforestry, Sustainable Agricultural Science, Farm Management and Agribusiness, Animal Husbandry, Municipal Development, Small Business Development, NGO Development, Urban and Regional Planning, Primary Teacher/Training, Secondary Teacher/Training, Math/Science Teacher/Training, Special Education/Training, Deaf/Education, Vocational Teacher/Training, University Teacher/Training, English Teacher/Training (TEFL), Environmental Education, National Park Management, Dry Land Natural Resource Conservation, Fisheries Fresh, Ecotourism Development, Coastal /Fisheries Resource Management, Public Health Education, AIDS Awareness, Information Technology, Skilled Trades, Water and Sanitation Resources Engineering, Housing Construction Development, Youth, Other) for this property. ,English Teacherwarning.png"English Teacher" is not in the list of possible values (Agroforestry, Sustainable Agricultural Science, Farm Management and Agribusiness, Animal Husbandry, Municipal Development, Small Business Development, NGO Development, Urban and Regional Planning, Primary Teacher/Training, Secondary Teacher/Training, Math/Science Teacher/Training, Special Education/Training, Deaf/Education, Vocational Teacher/Training, University Teacher/Training, English Teacher/Training (TEFL), Environmental Education, National Park Management, Dry Land Natural Resource Conservation, Fisheries Fresh, Ecotourism Development, Coastal /Fisheries Resource Management, Public Health Education, AIDS Awareness, Information Technology, Skilled Trades, Water and Sanitation Resources Engineering, Housing Construction Development, Youth, Other) for this property.
Kevin Acers started in Thailand 1982
Kevin Acers, Alan Hickman
Education in Thailand:Education.gif
Kevin Acers, Frederick Baker, Rachel Bobruff, Carol Sue Chapman, Gerry Christmas, Charlene Day, Carol Ginzburg, Tony P. Hall, Tim Hartigan, Gary Helton … further results
Other Volunteers who served in Thailand
Flag of Thailand.svg
Kevin Acers, Frederick Baker, Rachel Bobruff, Ronald Cecchini, Carol Sue Chapman, Gerry Christmas, Charlene Day, Lowell Dunn, Carol Ginzburg, Tony P. Hall, Tim Hartigan, Gary Helton, Alan Hickman, Andrew Hokenson, Harry Hushaw … further results
Projects in Thailand
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Environmental Education and Training Program
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Contents

Description of Service

I was part of Group 73, arriving in Thailand in early March 1982. I was in the "straight TEFL" program (as opposed to "TEFL Crossover"), designed to spend year one as an English teacher in a rural school and year two as a trainer-in-residence for the English teachers of two or more schools in a given administrative region. I spent my first year teaching in the remote town of Phayaphumphisai, Mahasarakham. My second year I spent a semester in a smaller school in Atsamart, RoiEt, and a couple of shorter stints (4-5 weeks each) in a couple of other schools in Ubon and MahaSarakham, with lots of teacher training "road show" workshops in between. I extended my service for an additional two years at Ubon Teachers College where I was given a lot of flexibility to design my own program combining teaching English majors at the college, supervising college students' practice teaching in area schools, and doing outreach/in-service trainings for teachers in schools of the region. My coolest project, probably, was during my final year when I rolled all this together at one of the secondary schools nearby the college. The school helped me recruit about 30 kids to come to English classes on Saturdays for 2 hours. The first hour I taught a demonstration class (which was a good recruiting tool, as the kids wanted to experience the novelty of 'ajaan farang') observed by my college students who were preparing to go practice teaching in the schools the following semester, and also observed by English teachers of the host school as an informal sort of in-service training. My little dog-and-pony show was immediately followed by a second hour of English communicative activities team-taught by my college students, giving them the experience of leading a class of kids in the kind of student-centered language practice activities I was encouraging them to integrate into their lessons once they became teachers. We did this throughout the semester every Saturday, rotating a different group of observing/team-teaching college students each week. The whole thing was video-taped for future use at the college and in-service trainings (at least in theory--I doubt they were ever actually used).

Like many people in their 20s, I was guilty of rapidly cultivating an inflated sense of self-importance as a Peace Corps volunteer, and for that I can only say, "yikes." The most significant lasting effects of my 4 years as a PCV were the relationships--with fellow volunteers, with students, with co-workers, with neighbors and members of the communities in which I lived--many of which, to my deep satisfaction and gratitude, have been retained through the subsequent decades.

As a volunteer during my 2nd-4th years I was involved to different degrees in several trainings for new groups. When I returned to Thailand a few years later on my own, I was eventually hired to be a training coordinator for PCgroup 105, where I also was lucky to develop some long-term friendships. One of my former students from my volunteer days was, at that time, on staff as a Peace Corps ajaan, which was quite the treat.

In short, while the work is a great learning experience, to paraphrase the now-tired political truism, when it comes to the Peace Corps, my mantra is, "It's the Relationships, Stupid."

About Kevin Acers Today

My Peace Corps service led me into a teaching career, and also influenced my choice--after 15 years in the classroom--to move into a second career of Social Work. The connection to Thailand I made as a volunteer has stayed with me, even though I do not believe I could ever be accused of romanticizing the complex reality of Thai society. While working in a refugee camp in the 1990s, I met an extraordinary Thai social worker who a few years later married me. We now live in Oklahoma, and return to Thailand when we can for visits. I remain in contact with former students and friends from Peace Corps days, which is particularly satisfying.

For several years I was intensely engaged in human rights advocacy, working in a volunteer capacity with organizations including Amnesty International, the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and the Oklahoma affiliate of the ACLU.

I currently work as a Social Worker in an HIV/AIDS clinic, assessing/addressing the psychosocial needs of low income people who are HIV+. My wife Lee is a therapist at a non-profit social services agency, working with refugees. We share our house with two cats and numerous potted plants.

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