The first few weeks of the program will be dedicated to getting settled in your new Israeli environment. The orientation will include: the opening trip (Building a Community), city orientation to get to know your city of Petach Tikvah or Rishon LeZion, intensive Ulpan (Hebrew classes), group activities, Israel education days, some volunteering in the community and teacher training.
Your work as a Teaching Fellow
The teaching component of Israel Teaching Fellows is obviously a very significant and central aspect of the program. Within your role as an Israel Teaching Fellow, you will bring all your enthusiasm, positive spirit, creativity and resourcefulness into the classroom in order to connect with your Israeli students and get them excited to learn English and improve their skills. As a teaching fellow you will teach English through taking a special role in school – a native English speaker who is there to teach but also serve as a bigger brother, a mentor and a role model to the children you will work with.
The Israeli School Climate
As with any cross cultural environment, the Israeli school experience may be quite different than what you have experienced in your country. Cultural differences may include the much less formal relationships between school staff and students, the loudness in Israeli classrooms, different disciplinary measures, the number of students walking around out of class, English teachers (and other school staff) without fluent English and more. Especially in low income areas, the challenges in the school might be greater than just the level of English the children are achieving.
It is essential to approach your work at school with an open mind and patience, understanding that it might take some time to acclimate to the new school environment – and that’s okay! Our staff is there to prepare you and help you through the process. In general, schools are very grateful to have ITF fellows around, accept them with open arms, and make great efforts to make them feel welcome and a part of the school.
Israel Teaching Fellows participants will be working in the 3rd-8th grades in schools of varying socioeconomic levels.
Each participant is required to work 20-25 hours a week at their school placement.
1-3 participants per school.
Your will teach mainly in small groups outside of class, working with individual students of varying levels of English. Some of the time you will be assisting the Israeli teacher inside the classroom. Special projects and initiatives are always welcome!
You will be working very closely with the main English teacher at your school, who will be in charge of your daily schedule and tasks; The ITF program coordinator will be in charge of your placement and will keep track of your integration in the school; and a pedagogical advisor will support you with ideas and methods for teaching your students.
Masa provides a special training track for all Israel Teaching Fellows participants. The Talpiyot College of Education, a recognized academic institute, provides training for the fellows, which includes over 60 hours of training throughout the year. During the first month of the program, in order to prepare participants to enter schools, the training is more intensive and includes several days of theoretical classes and workshops, as well as observation days in which each participant gets a first glimpse into their prospective school.
Throughout the rest of the year there will one training day a month, several school visits by the pedagogical advisor assigned to each group, as well as monthly group meetings with the advisor.
At the end of the program ITF participants receive a certificate from Masa and the Talpiyot Academic College of Education stating that they have completed 60 hours of training for teaching English as a foreign language in Israel.
Being in Israel is not just about your classroom experience! Israel Teaching Fellows also provides an intriguing educational program allowing you to get a much deeper prospective on Israeli society By exploring the country by foot, participating in trips and seminars ranging in topics from Religion and State, through Minorities in Israel and down to Green Energy in Israel (to name a few), you will learn about current events and Israel’s history while exploring the beauty that the country has to offer. With several over-night trips to different parts of Israel, monthly day seminars and other educational activities, the ITF educational programming is not only a wonderful opportunity to learn and experience, but also a fun change of pace from your school routine and a great chance for some quality group time with your fellow fellows!
The program includes Hebrew classes for you to enhance your language skills. During the first month of orientation you will have intensive Ulpan. Once you settle into your school routine you will have Ulpan twice a week in the afternoon.
Though teaching will be your top priority, the program also strives to allow each participant a chance to develop other personal interests while contributing to the local community. TheIsrael Teaching Fellows staff will help connect you to a volunteer opportunity that applies your passion and your skills, in fields such as informal education, environment and sustainability, special needs, NGOs and more. Gaining experience in non-profits outside of the classroom will help integrate you into the community and develop more transferable skills. The additional volunteering starts after you’re placed in school and will require 4-5 weekly hours (afternoon/evening).
Israel Teaching Fellows is a community. The other participants on the program will be your roommates for the year, some of them will work with you at school and all of them will be around for the trips, the seminars, the group activities, etc.
This is a great opportunity to create an active community life with communal Shabbat dinners, afternoon activities with you friends, celebrating birthdays together, and making friends for life… It is up to you to make these things happen!
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