Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Teaching Profession in Israel

There are three main avenues for those that want to teach in Israel. One is to work as an English (or another language) teacher (inside or outside the Israeli public school system), another is to teach a non-language subject in Hebrew, and the third is to teach subjects other than English with the language of instruction being English.

Note: For prospective teachers in Israel (although this is true of all professions), it is critical to network with others in the profession. The conditions in Israel, both in terms of actual working environment and compensation, may be significantly different than what a teacher expects coming from outside of Israel.

English Teachers

Israel needs good English teachers. While teachers of other subjects are currently finding their hours cut or their positions jeopardized, English teachers continue to be in demand. Currently in Israeli schools, from 2nd grade and above, there is a mandatory requirement for English instruction. There simply are not enough qualified teachers to meet the demand at the national level (although some regions of the country have more of a shortage than others).

Native English speakers have an advantage over their Israeli counterparts in this field, and the Ministry of Education is interested in encouraging immigrants to enter the work force as English teachers. The Ministry offers incentives such as subsidizing immigrant’s salaries through the addition of extra teaching hours and by running training programs for native English speakers without prior teaching experience.

Even if you taught English before arriving in Israel, you will be required to take some additional coursework before you can get certification to teach English in Israel. You will learn the skills associated with teaching English as a Foreign Language, and ultimately become accredited through the Ministry of Education. In some cases, the unfilled demand for English is so high that schools will make an exception (at least temporarily) to hire teachers without Israeli credentials.

People arriving in Israel from other countries that want to teach English in public schools should contact the Ministry of Education’s English Inspector in their area in order to understand what they need to do specifically to qualify for an Israeli credential. For those arriving with foreign teaching credentials, the Ministry of Education will evaluate previous education and/or work experience, which may well allow portions of the regular requirements to be waived. Nonetheless, the Israeli authorities have certain criteria for teaching English to students which is not their native language, and all certified English teachers in Israel must have the training to satisfy these requirements. For more detailed explanation on teaching English in the Israeli school system, click here.

In addition to the Israeli public school system, there is a wide variety of options for teaching English, including at private schools, adult education, pre-schools, post-secondary and after-school/tutoring programs. In most cases, a Ministry of Education credential is not required when teaching outside of the public school system.

Teaching subjects other than English in the Israeli school system

The rules for compensation and receiving a license to teach subjects other than English in the Israeli school system are quite similar to the requirements for English teachers, with the one exception that teachers of other subjects must also have an excellent level of Hebrew. As with English teachers, people from other countries should contact the Ministry of Education’s relevant inspector in order to understand what they need to do specifically to qualify for an Israeli credential, as previous education and/or work experience will allow some of the regular requirements to be waived.

Teaching other subjects in English

There are limited number of schools and educational programs in Israel which are taught in the English language. This includes primary and secondary level international private schools that offer a regular school program to students in Israel and short-term educational programs for high school students from English-speaking countries studying for a semester or more in Israel. Also included are a growing number of universities/colleges, including MBA programs, which offer some or all instruction in English.

Teaching Resources
Teaching other subjects in English:
Schools with instruction in English:
Educational programs for English speaking students from outside Israel:

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