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, or you may work in a religious school that serves Ethiopian children.
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.
In Israel, it often takes a few weeks after school starts to iron out teachers’ schedules. Because of this, it might also take a few weeks to find out with which exact students you will be working with. You’ll be able to use those first few weeks to learn about our school environment and adjusting to Israeli culture.
Fellows primarily work with students in grades 3-9, in an effort to help children with their foundational levels of English. Available grades will depend on which school you’re placed in. and most of the time, you will be working in smaller groups with three to five students.
The content and structure of your work will depend, to some extent, on your individual school and teacher. You’ll have several class periods a day, and you’ll work many of with the same student throughout the year. Fellows find that helping students get excited about mastering new concepts is one of the most gratifying experiences of their year.
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. You and your teaching fellow partner will get to choose a classroom style that works for you.
Israeli schools can be vastly different from your previous experiences in educational environments. Classrooms are more chaotic, there may be more yelling, and students call teachers by their first names. Discipline may involved sending disruptive students out of the classroom, which hurts learning even more. As a teaching aide, you’ll make sure these students get the individual attention they need to succeed.
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.