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המכללה האקדמית בית ברל > English > About Us > News > Newsletter > January 2020 Newsletter > Meeting the Shortage of Chemistry Teachers – Creatively

Meeting the Shortage of Chemistry Teachers – Creatively

Two years ago, when dozens of highly-skilled chemists were laid off from Teva Pharmaceuticals, Beit Berl College stepped up to the plate – by offering a customized program to retrain them as teachers.

​Today, the program’s graduates are helping reduce the acute shortage of chemistry teachers in Israeli high schools.

When Teva Pharmaceutical Industries laid off hundreds of employees in 2017 in a major business crisis, many high-level chemists were forced to make a career change. Seeing an opportunity to bolster the thin ranks of advanced chemistry teachers in Israel’s schools, the Ministry of Education turned to Beit Berl College to establish a special course to retrain former Teva employees. Beit Berl College is known for its expertise in retraining professionals for a second career in education, including retired army officers and high-tech professionals seeking a meaningful career change. The Teva program demonstrated, yet again, the College’s ability to meet society's needs by providing innovative and prompt solutions.

The 18-month program for the Teva cohort offered intensive training that enabled them to begin teaching in schools after less than one year. They completed their requirements and obtained their teaching certificates after they already started working as teachers, thereby facilitating a smooth transition and minimizing the amount of time between jobs. 

Adi Asulin had been working at Teva for eight years, heading a lab team, when the company’s tribulations led her to decide to leave preemptively. Having always been interested in teaching, she decided to apply to the Beit Berl retraining program. Today she is a full-time chemistry teacher in a high school in Kfar Yona and is pleased with her career change.

“I received tremendous support from Beit Berl, and I still do,” says Ms. Asulin. “Program head Dr. Tami Yaron helped us with everything, and continues to do so. The classes were small and personal, and the fact that we had a special, shortened program meant that I could start working in my new field almost immediately.” Beit Berl also arranged to have experienced Chemistry teachers mentor those who were just starting out, and Adi emphasizes that this extra support has been valuable for her. “I enjoy being a teacher. My students and my colleagues are a great source of gratification.”

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