Teaching in Israel: An Experience of ‘Biblical’ Proportions!
By Tammy Reed
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Despite its biblical fortitude it is also a business and commerce leader in the Middle East, and is therefore most certainly not just of archaeological importance. There is an increasing need for businessmen and women to speak the ‘universal language’ and English teachers are in great demand. This has been propounded by the popularity of American media. As a result, finding a job to teach English has never been easier, and it is a great opportunity for foreigners wishing to experience the Middle East.
There is great emphasis placed on the Israeli education system, with children at school from the age of 5 and a 95% literacy rate. Parents are increasingly hiring private tutors to teach their children English from a young age – from the elementary years upwards.
Israel has recognized English as an important qualification, and TEFL teachers have been granted preferential treatment by parents and institutions. However, in relation to their stringent educational policies, a degree is necessary in conjunction with the TEFL certification. The positive side to this potential disadvantage to some is that the degree is of no importance, and it is the principal that counts.
A typical teaching contract in Israel lasts from 6-12 months, but individuals are hired all year round. The majority of employers are middle/upper class Israelis requiring private or private school tutoring. However, as mentioned, business and commercial organisations require teachers as well as alternative educational institutions. Employers more than often provide assistance with visas, and many schools provide housing for their teacher, which is an advantage as housing can be pricey and hard to come by. Although Israel may not be able to provide as high a salary as other Middle Eastern locations, there is an extensive availability of workshops and conferences to attend. You should find the experience helpful on your CV, as well as socially and professionally beneficial.
Jerusalem, in particular, has all the modern amenities, and with warm temperatures all year round to compliment both the city and beach lifestyle you can’t go wrong. It would be advised to get familiar with cultural norms, economy and climate to name a few examples- as they vary substantially from in the Western world.