Soon we will leave the security of Pardes’ Beit Midrash where if we had a question or wanted to study a text, there was always a teacher or a student interested in helping, guiding and learning with us. We all know there is so much more to learn. When I feel overwhelmed by the massive tomes yet unexplored, I am inspired by these words from the Torah:
On Thursday I completed my teaching at the Kellman Brown Academy, a medium size warm and friendly Solomon Schechter (Conservative) day school in Cherry Hill, NJ. The school has terrific staff and it was a great match for me. I was mentored by a talented fourth grade teacher who encouraged me as I deepened my skills. It was the first time I ever taught חומש in Hebrew. I introduced my students to hevruta study, used the Smart Board and active discovery learning strategies with them. One activity I renamed as “Boardwalk no talk” where I put up a thought question on the board and each student wrote his/her response to it. It worked well because it increased the number of participants from the typical five students who always raise their hand to everyone! Several students wrote their answers on the board while other students quietly waited their turn. They thought about their answers which deepened their quality. Plus, they all are familiar with the Atlantic City boardwalk which made the learning activity both fun and familiar to them. I also learned about fourth grade social development and their struggles learning how to show כבוד to each other.
At the אני מאמין Kabbalat Shabbat middle school minyan, I shared thoughts about Continue reading →