Friday, August 29, 2008

Teaching, Reasons I Just Left

It's no surprise for me to hear that Israel's teaching shortage is getting more and more serious. I'm one of those teachers who left this year.

Even though I'm of retirement age for a teacher, I started my pension plan late and actually have five more years to go. But I decided that my health was more important.

No, thank G-d, I'm not sick, but I had no doubt that one more year of having to hitchhike to and from work, standing in the searing sun and pouring rain, and my good health would be a distant memory. By the time I'd get to work, I was already dreading the trip back. No energy was left for my students.

I taught English as a Foreign Language, EFL. But in actuality, I taught all of the basic language skills, grammar, literature and composition. Few of my students were grounded with the foundation of their native tongue, Hebrew, so I had to teach nouns, and verbs, active and passive, reading comprehension skills, composition structure and more, much, much more.

The administration of the high school and its junior high didn't like hearing that the students weren't properly prepared. I felt sorry for these kids who were struggling, because even though the Hebrew term for elementary school is בית ספר יסודי , beit sefer yesodi, "foundation" school, these kids didn't receive the foundation of good education.

I just couldn't juggle my roles as teacher and diplomat, trying to deal with students, parents and administration, plus I'm a human being, too. I have a husband, children, grandchildren and elderly parents.

Some schools are better and some are worse. I also taught the weakest students in my school. In earlier years I really enjoyed it, but the recent students weren't cooperative. Teaching is interactive. I felt like I was serving tennis balls into the ocean.

Good luck to all those still in the system, students as well as teachers. Parents, don't trust that the staff knows what they're doing. Check things out. Be involved.


Esser Agaroth said...


I think of it this way. Now I can expect more blog posts and photographs from you this year, no?



Batya said...

One thing, I've already signed up to host a Heval Hevalim, which I haven't done for over a year. Now I won't be limited to school vacations.

goyisherebbe said...

You should tutor students privately for bagrut. When they pay you because they want it and need it, you can make more money, travel less, and be less aggravated.
B'hatzlacha on the way to a better life. Use your experience to lobby for improvements. Don't let yourself stay embittered. You will age faster that way.
Work on smiling and laughing each day.
Q: How do they do netilat yadayim in Saudi Arabia?
A: With an axe.

Batya said...

goyish, I'm not embittered. I'm grateful, grateful for the work and grateful to be finished.

Yes, I'd love some tutoring jobs.

Esser Agaroth said...

Be careful about where you place ads.

Lishkath HaMas did a crack down on English tutors in Jerusalem some time ago, for avoiding taxes.

But, of course, you'd declare the income. ;-)

Batya said...

So far no ads, and no money. thanks for the warning