by Rena Greenberg
Teachers from around the world are taking advantage of a new opportunity to gain vital skills for success in the classroom.
The Menachem Education Foundation’s Teacher Induction Program (TIP) has successfully been training new teachers for seven years. Developed by leading educational specialists, the curriculum covers a wide range of pedagogical methods and progressive teaching techniques for teachers to reach every student. This year marks the first time this training is being made available in an online format for women.
Mrs. Chanah Rose, director of TIP for women, remembers her earliest years of teaching at Cheder Chabad of Monsey and later expanding her experience as a teacher and curriculum director at the Shluchim Online School. When she joined MEF in 2013, and learned that such a training program exists for men, she was eager to make it available for women as well.
“I wanted young teachers, like I once was, to have this kind of opportunity for professional development and support,” she explains. “The Hashgacha Pratis that went into making this program a reality was incredible.”
Imitating the successful men’s program, which has been led by Rabbi Zelly Silber for the past three years, Mrs. Rose and the MEF team started to lay the groundwork for a women’s program to take place locally in Crown Heights. They soon realized that it would be a lot more difficult for women, with their many teaching and family obligations, to block out the time to attend weeklong summer sessions and monthly forums.
“It became evident that the needs of our community’s Mechanchos are different than those of the men,” says Mrs. Rose, “so I thought, let’s take the program online!”
The virtual solution proved effective in allowing local Mechanchos to participate from the comfort of their own homes – and it had the added benefit of opening up participation to teachers in other cities and countries. To date, ten teachers – all in their first three years in the classroom – have joined the program from throughout the United States, as well as England and South Africa.
Every other week, they log on to a fully interactive web-hosted platform for two hours of intensive learning and collaboration. They then go on to apply what they learned in their respective classrooms.
So far this year, the course covered techniques for classroom management and building student rapport, and teachers say that they can already see the difference that these techniques have made in their classrooms.
Mrs. Yael Rosenberger, a 7th and 8th grade teacher at Chabad Girls Academy in Crown Heights, says that “the course gives me the tools I need to manage all the different aspects of my classroom. I’m learning so much about how to evaluate myself and each of my students, so they can succeed.”
Mrs. Sara Deren, a 6th grade teacher at Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, adds, “Chanah Rose presents the classes in a dynamic way that engages every teacher who participates.”
Future topics on the curriculum include student engagement, lesson planning and assessment, standards based learning and more. Between sessions, homework assignments require the teachers to delve more deeply into topics learned, as well as put them into practice. The program is also fully accredited through Maalot for teachers who qualify.
“It’s beautiful to see ten teachers who are dedicated to being the best teachers that they can be, to benefit their students,” says Mrs. Rose. “Their contributions are very insightful, and the exchange of ideas is rich and vibrant.”
With the success of this year’s cohort of women teachers, MEF now looks to the future with online learning as its new frontier for reaching educators throughout the world.