Who knew that working as teachers, we would be learning so much?
Reflecting back on our past months in Israel we’ve come to realize that this experience has taught us far more than anticipated. Here are five unexpected skills you can now expect to learn on MITF: Masa Israel Teaching Fellowship.
1. Get Comfortable with the Uncomfortable/ לזרום
Upon our arrival to Israel, on our first zoom call with MITF we were taught the word ‘lizrom’. Little did we know for the months to follow we would be putting this into practice in our day to day life. Lizrom is the concept of going with the flow and taking things as they come. Unforeseen challenges constantly pop up, whether it's something not going right at the bank, taking the wrong bus, or not being able to keep the attention of your students. It has become incredibly useful and even encouraged to slow down and be adaptable. When things change, especially amidst a teaching fellowship abroad during corona, it has become crucial to go with the flow.
2. Good Communication
Good communication skills are very important in life, but we quickly learned this skill would be strengthened over the 10 months on this program. For many on this teaching fellowship, Israeli culture is brand new. So don’t be afraid to communicate your questions and concerns, ask for help, and share your ideas. Between the language barrier and any cultural differences we might face, good communication is key.
3. Assertiveness/ Taking Initiative
Not everything is always easy and sometimes it takes taking initiative to get things done. Whether it’s continually motivating a student to want to learn English, suggesting a new lesson to your host teacher, or calling the Ministry of Health 10 times to ensure you have the correct information on file, it is imperative to take charge of your time here. Self advocating and pushing for what you want creates a more productive and healthy professional environment during your time here.
4. Network, Network, network
There is no better place to make friends than in Israel, the small country is filled with people who all look out for one another. Anyone you meet knows someone, who knows someone, who can help you with whatever you need. The possibilities are endless so it is crucial to use the skills of going out of your comfort zone, and to sit down and talk to people, because you never know what it could lead to.
5. Constantly Stay Learning
In order to participate in MITF you have to have completed your undergraduate degree, but your learning should not stop there. It is not about what you have already learned, but what more you can add to yourself in order to grow professionally. From marketing forums at BINA, portfolio building workshops and certifications in a variety of fields, there is constant opportunity to add to your skill set. Being open to expanding your knowledge and taking on new tasks has not only helped us grow professionally, as well as meet some amazing and driven people.
Being on MITF and teaching and living in Israel, has allowed us to grow more professionally and in our personal lives. Having this opportunity to be in Israel for the year has already been one of the most challenging yet rewarding times of our life. One of the best parts is that these will be skills we will carry with us the rest of our lives.
Your favorite Tel Aviv Fellows,
Marielle and Michaela
//Marielle and Michaela