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המכללה האקדמית בית ברל > English > About Us > News > Newsletter > June 2020 Newsletter > Corona Career Changers Ease Teacher Shortage

Corona Career Changers Ease Teacher Shortage

The economic disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis has prompted many people to change careers.

​Beit Berl College met this challenge by offering special fast-track, online programs to train recently unemployed professionals who want to become Math and Physics teachers. Most of the curriculum will be covered in three very intensive months (June-August), so that the future teachers will be able to start teaching as interns in high schools already this September – thereby helping to ease the country-wide shortage of Math and Physics teachers.

“Beit Berl is renowned for developing programs to meet systemic needs. The coronavirus presented many new challenges, including to prepare future teachers for the new conditions,” says Dr. Tili Wagner, head of the clinical programs to train math and physics teachers at Beit Berl. “The virus isn’t leaving any time soon and we must adjust and find solutions to live with it,” she asserts. This is why the new program does not only train the future teachers using digital technologies; it also prepares them for a world where they themselves will teach virtually.

Nearly 50 participants were selected for the program, out of hundreds who applied, and they began studying on May 31st. All have an academic degree in Mathematics, Physics or Engineering. They vary in age from around 30 to 50+ and come from a variety of backgrounds and fields, many from the high-tech sector. Some were referred to the program by the Israeli Employment Service, while others heard about the initiative on their own. The Government is providing stipends and loans to those who qualify. Graduates of the program will receive a teaching certificate as well as a certificate in their field of expertise (Math/Physics), which will make them eligible for a teaching permit.

Until the end of August, the future teachers will study eight hours a days, five days a week – mostly online. After high schools reopened and before the academic year ended in June, they also spent time at schools, learning through observation. Dr. Wagner stresses that the program is not shorter in any way; rather, it is accelerated. “We want them to get into schools already in September,” she says. This goal will benefit the school system, which is eager to take in new teachers as soon as possible, as well as the participants, who will return to work since they will be paid during their internships. 

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