In Israel, the need for English speaking citizens has recently risen to epic proportions. With this increase in demand, finding a job teaching English in Israel is easier than ever for foreigners who wish to head abroad.
Are you considering teaching English in Israel? If so, there are a few key things you should know before you begin your job hunt. The information below is designed to make the process easier and ensure you're getting the best possible situation. Teaching English in Israel is an adventure... make sure it's not a stressful one by following these simple tips.
Many countries prefer their native-speaking English teachers to get certified in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) while still in their home countries. While this isn't a requirement in Israel, it will certainly help you when it comes time to find a job.
Another requirement for teaching English in Israel is to have a four-year college degree. The subject is really unimportant; what matters is the fact that you have graduated from a college.
You must also consider becoming teacher-certified in Israel. The TESOL organization in Tel Aviv is one of the most highly regarded English-teaching organizations in the country, and provides training for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. Approach the English Teacher Network in Israel (www.etni.org.il) for more helpful information. Once the Israeli teaching program is completed, you are almost guaranteed a teaching position.
Finding a position
The need for English speakers in Israel has grown so much in recent years that the language has become one of the most popular subjects taught in classrooms, from elementary level on up. You will find, however, that jobs are more prevalent in middle and upper class areas, where the level of education is higher and more students are expected to enter the business world.
In the same middle to upper-class areas, you will also discover that a large percentage of children are tutored privately in the art of speaking English. You may want to consider becoming a private tutor if working in the school system does not suit you. While pay may be lower and you won't have the benefits provided by a school or university job, you will be able to work more flexible hours, and some people much prefer the freedom of such a position over working for a school board.
If neither of these opportunities appeals to you, you may want to consider teaching English in Israel to adults. Many businesses and corporations in Israel deal with the Western world on a frequent basis, and employees who speak English is an absolute necessity. A corporation may hire you on a job-by-job basis, or even as a staff consultant, where you'll be expected to teach English to employees one-on-one or in a group setting.
What to expect
The pay you will receive for teaching English in Israel is considered rather low compared to many other countries with opportunities for such positions. You will have the option, as a teacher, to attend numerous teaching conferences and workshops, and doing so can greatly increase your value as a teacher and result in pay raises down the road. A resourceful teacher will take any such opportunities that come along and will learn quickly how to increase his or her worth on the job.
Most schools that hire you as an English teacher will offer teacher's housing, and you should take advantage of this situation particularly if you are located in a large city, where housing may be expensive and difficult to find.
Of course, you'll also be given vacation time and paid holidays while teaching English in Israel, and you should use your time off exploring the country and learning more about your adopted culture. Israel is a beautiful place steeped in history, and teaching English to Israeli natives is a unique experience that should not be passed by.
By Michelle Simmons