Where we work / Jordan
Jordan, a safe haven for so many in a region of unrest
The land of Jordan, in part, forms a land bridge linking Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Its capital, Amman, is a vibrant and modern city. Education is valued—just over 2.5 percent of the total population is enrolled at university (a proportion comparable to the UK). Traditions of hospitality are ingrained in the culture—so much so that Jordan’s increasingly critical plight is how to serve the huge numbers of Palestinian, Iraqi, and Syrian refugees who have run to them for help.
Jordan could be the place where you find tangible ways to bring restoration, language skills, and new opportunities to people needing to reinvent their lives on the other side of tragedy.
How many hours per week will I work?
Teachers work from two to five days per week depending on the school. They can anticipate roughly one hour of preparation for each hour of teaching. Teachers are expected to invest the necessary amount of time to effectively design instruction, plan out lessons, and grade students’ coursework, although the amount of preparation per class will vary according to each teacher’s prior training and experience.
What is the working relationship like with other faculty and teachers?
Teachers have opportunities to engage with a variety of other teachers and foreigners from many different backgrounds.
What is the student demographic?
Most students are Jordanian. We have educational opportunities for all ages, depending on the school.
What will my first week look like? How will you help me get my life overseas started?
Activities of the first week include moving in, shopping for groceries and other essentials, meeting local staff, team building, school-specific training, prepping for classes, and other important matters to help teachers get settled.
What does ongoing professional/personal development look like?
Although the team definitely plays a role, individuals also conceptualize and lead their own professional development as a teacher. Each week, all teachers spend time researching and logging their professional development learning and share takeaways at team meetings. This is a small but valuable time commitment. There are also occasional professional development efforts put forth by the school, primarily during the teacher in-service weeks at the beginning and middle of the school year.
What is it like to raise a family overseas?
We have a great group of families and kids living in Jordan! There is a great deal of support for families, including groups such as the Expat Mom’s Tea Group. There are certainly challenges, but Jordan is also a place where many expat kids have enjoyed growing up.
What are some things I might do to contribute to my team if my spouse is teaching, but I’m not?
Non-teaching spouses have the opportunity to focus on raising their children (if applicable), managing day-to-day tasks at home, and cultivating friendships with local Jordanians. This might include visiting locals’ homes, practicing hospitality, lending a listening ear, and helping with special community events.
What kind of housing will I have? How far away are housing options from the school and other teammates?
At one of the schools, our teachers all live in apartments within the same neighborhood. New single teachers generally move in with other single teachers, but this is discussed on an individual basis, and at times alternatives can be arranged.
At another school, teachers live in school-provided apartments—all within walking distance of the school. These apartments are very safe and are looked after by school management. Couples live together, while singles room with another single from our team if there is a teammate of the same gender. If not, a faculty member (probably a North American) will room with the single teacher.
What are some surprising things I might learn after the first 60 days?
Jordanians are the kings and queens of hospitality. You will feel more welcomed in Jordan than you have ever experienced in your life.
What is the team structure like? How often are formal meetings, and what do they entail?
Formal team meetings happen once or twice a week. They include professional development, team encouragement, and team development, and generally last two hours. Each meeting’s specific agenda will be shared in advance. Informally, teams interact regularly to share life together, share meals, and hang out together with friends.