Fellows arrive in Israel with varied backgrounds in both education and comfort speaking Hebrew. If you don’t have a background in one or the other, don’t worry! Masa Israel Teaching Fellows provides you the opportunity to build foundational knowledge throughout the year that you can put to use in your classroom or your community.
Training Sessions with your pedagogical mentor:
o Initial Orientation: To prepare you for the classroom, Fellows will receive an orientation in educational methods and teaching English as a foreign language, created and led by Israel’s Ministry of Education. Particular emphasis is placed on strengthening your skills as a leader, communicator, and educator to improve your experience in the classroom.
o First Visit to Teaching Location: The Israeli school environment is different from what most of you are used to in your home countries. We found it is essential for Fellows to spend the first week becoming familiar with their schools, teachers, and students, and learn about their new work environment. You will be debriefed from these visits to process first impressions and manage expectations
o Continued Pedagogical Training: To promote professional and pedagogical development, participants will take part in mandatory full-day training seminars throughout the year at least once per month. Fellows must attend all pedagogical training days to maintain fellowship status.
The quality of education in Israel’s periphery varies greatly. Schools where Fellows work vary in levels from low to middle socioeconomic statuses, and represent a cross-section of Israeli society. You might work in a class of mixed Arab and Jewish students, in a state religious school or in a school with a high percentage of children from Ethiopian Descent. You will work in conjunction with Israeli English teachers to provide support to students both struggling and excelling in the classroom, offering them small group opportunities and one-on-one assistance.
As a Fellow, you will have the opportunity to put your own talents and interests to work your teaching. With the support of an educational mentor or supervisor at your school and a pedagogical mentor, we’ll help you make the most of your teaching time.
Past fellows have led debate clubs, international culture lessons, and workshops on important issues facing children and teens. Some fellows write songs in English, organize English week celebrations, and use new technology to make learning interactive.
Israeli schools can be vastly different from your previous experiences in educational environments. Classrooms are, more free/ less restricted and there may be more activity going on. Unlike in America, Israeli students call their teacher’s by the first name.
Especially in lower-income areas, the challenges in the school are far greater than just the level of English the children are achieving, so it is essential that you come into the school environment with an understanding that the cultural differences will be vast and that it might take some time to acclimate to the school environment.
Working with students in such a challenging environment will not only make a huge impact in their lives, it will provide you cross-cultural fluency and confidence to dive headfirst into unfamiliar situations that will serve you for the rest of your life.