I can't speak highly enough about this program! I was lucky enough to spend the Summer of 2016 teaching in Northern Israel with TALMA. There was nothing more inspiring than spending time planning, discussing, and creating with such incredible and passionate educators. I will be a far better teacher in my career in the U.S. because of my fellow TALMA teachers.
My students reminded my why I got into education to begin with - I will never forget the relationships we formed in just three short weeks together (despite our language barrier!). My favorite memories will always be playing soccer in the hot Israeli sun during recess with the students practicing their English by telling me the score and complimenting each other, or when one of my students who had never taken English before approached me the last week to ask to use the bathroom in perfect, unprompted English.
Beyond teaching, I feel so lucky to have made so many special friendships with like-minded, passionate educators who shared this incredible experience with me. Our location in the North was a great way to feel like part of the community and explore a part of Israel I would normally not have the chance to. After school and planning, we would go swimming at our Kibbutz or take a bus to any of the many neighboring areas for hiking, shopping, dinner, drinks, dancing, and more. And of course, experiencing a new culture means learning some of the language, and eating lots of the local food.
Our two free weekends were an awesome opportunity to travel with new friends or visit old friends/family in Israel. I spent one weekend in Tel Aviv exploring the cities and incredible beaches and the other renting a car and hiking/wine tasting in the Golan Heights, visiting Haifa, and camping on the beach. In four weeks, I experienced so many new things and was pushed (in a good way) out of my comfort zone. I'm so happy I chose to participate in TALMA because of all the positive impacts it had on me as well as the benefits of our students having English immersion classes.
I left Israel a far better teacher, a more cultured person, a more creative and innovative educator, and a truly better human. I'm so excited to return to Israel and TALMA again in the coming summer(s).