“I learned to reframe the way I think about my students,” shared a Mechaneches after the first session of “Teach and Reach,” Menachem Education Foundation’s course on meeting students’ social-emotional needs. The program, led by Mrs. Dena Gorkin of Bnos Chomesh Academy, is changing the way Chabad educators view, connect and communicate with students. Currently, the 30 participants include teachers, program coordinators and school leaders of girls ages 12-18, from throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. 

The Mechanchos registered are gaining practical tools for “reaching the whole child.” After the first two sessions focusing on topics such as “Forming and Maintaining Relationships,” and “Professional Communication and Boundaries,” participants say they are now better equipped to relate to students on a personal level in a professional and appropriate way. One teacher expressed that she now knows “boundaries means choosing what, when and how to share.” Another teacher said her new mindset is that “clear is kind,” while communicating with students. Others took away tools to run an effective and consistent classroom.   

Future sessions in the first track will address building self-esteem, Yiddishkeit, and Chassidishkeit, as well as academic support. The second track of the two part program, beginning on Feb. 15 – י”ד אדר א, will discuss how to address students’ challenges such as mental health, trauma and crisis. Having prepared and positive educators will powerfully impact students, and as a participating educator said, her new outlook in education is to ”see challenges as opportunities.” 

Educators of grades 6-12 can still sign up for Track 2 of this program at mymef.org/events/teach-reach. “This is our third year of running the program, and it just continues to grow,” says MEF Educational Director Mrs. Chanah Rose. “This goes to show how motivated schools and teachers are to truly reach each child, and how much of a need there is for tools and strategies to make this happen!”