Rich in history, Jordan is most widely recognized for the preserved ancient ruins of Petra, or the “rose-red city.” Once under the control of the British Empire, the nation celebrated its independence in 1946. Today, the Kingdom of Jordan continues to hold strong ties to the United Kingdom, but also to the United States, as an ally in the Middle East. Globally connected, Jordan aims to produce a bilingual society, and needs the teachers to do so!Photo Credit: m'sieur rico.
Since the mid-1990s, Jordan’s education system, overseen by the Ministry of Education, has made vast improvements as it transitioned from an agrarian society to an industrialized one. It is arguably the top Middle Eastern nation in education. With this, in the last decade, schools have seen a sharp increase in its enrollment. More classrooms must be added to fuel this demand, as well as teachers to instruct Jordan’s many students.
Teachers can either privately tutor English on the side, to supplement their salaries, or enroll in a teach abroad program. Applicants will receive room and board in exchange for about 15 hours/week of tutoring (a bit similar to an au pair situation). As a “live-in” tutor, there will be plenty of opportunity for cross-cultural exchange between you and your host family. In addition, this volunteer-like situation will allow for plenty of free time to travel within Jordan and explore your surroundings.
No official teaching experience is necessary for these types of tutoring placements; though, it is helpful to have some background in dealing with children.
International schools in Jordan, such as The International Academy - Amman, employ teachers in all subjects, including math, science, humanities, or computer studies. In addition, most international schools offer a bilingual curriculum (in English and Arabic).
When and Where to Look for Jobs:
Amman is Jordan’s capital city, where many teaching jobs are located. Although, there are plenty of opportunities in other cities, such as Az Zarqa, Irbid, and Al Karak.
Most schools prefer to hold face-to-face interviews. In some cases, the employer will conduct a phone interview first, and then an in-person meeting once the applicant arrives in Jordan. However, it is easiest to secure a job once already inside the country or city.
A TEFL/TESOL certification is required to teach (not for tutoring jobs though). While a BA/BS is not required, it is highly recommended that you hold a degree in any subject. Most schools and tutoring jobs look for applicants who have previous experience working with students or young children. The more experience you have, the easier time you’ll have when applying from overseas.
Salary & Cost of Living:
Teachers earn around $ 600-1,000 USD per month. Schools will help to find housing, but it is not included in your salary. While the cost of living in Jordan is relatively inexpensive, the major city of Amman is home to swanky restaurants and modern, renovated real estate. Try to avoid high-end restaurants if you are looking to save some of your monthly salary.
Classroom & Work Culture:
Even though Amman is quite the cosmopolitan city, since Jordan is a predominantly Muslim nation, be sure to dress conservatively while in and out of the classroom.
In general, Jordanians are very friendly and hospitable, a trait that is highly valued in ethnic Bedouin culture. A guest is always treated with the utmost respect in a Jordanian household, and will often be showered with attention and food as a visitor. If you cannot make an invitation, then place your right hand over your heart and politely decline.