Sarah Burns(Cohort 7)
Sarah Burns is a member of DeLeT Cohort 1 (Brandeis). After DeLeT, she moved to New York City where she taught math at the Abraham Joshua Heschel High School. She recently returned to the Boston area with her husband, Dan, and is taking some time out of the classroom to be with her children, Maya and Eli.
Jewish education is important to Sarah, but her first love is math. She is passionate about teaching for understanding and helping students find meaning in mathematics, both by finding everyday applications for math and by finding the beauty and elegance of the subject for its own sake. She is interested in examining the ways that thoughtful planning and assessing impacts students’ learning. Sarah is also excited about teaching young people about Jewish life through experiential learning and being a role model for various ways of being involved in the Jewish community.Read more...
Leah Ticker (Cohort 3)
Leah Ticker, a cohort 3 alumna of DeLeT HUC, teaches first grade, general and Judaic studies, at the Brawerman Day School in Los Angeles. Brawerman is a Reform day school whose mission is to help students acquire competence and confidence as communicators, problem solvers and “mentshes” through an integrated secular and Judaic curriculum.
How did you develop the unit that you are sharing with us?
The mini-unit that I’m sharing is an integrated three-lesson unit I created during my summer at the Day School Novice Teachers’ Curriculum Workshop at Pardes. It was created for primary students – in my case, first graders, to integrate physical science standards and Parashat Beresheet. We launched the unit on Earth Day, and it tied into first grade’s theme of Teva. While I thoroughly enjoyed teaching this unit, I enjoyed just as much the process of creating it. It was an unbelievable learning experience! It was a totally collaborative effort. In Jerusalem, I worked in collaboration with my assistant principal, Hannah Bennett, and stateside, I worked with my mother, Denny, a middle school science teacher. I also made use of technology that was somewhat unfamilar to me. The lessons were created using SmartBoard’s Notebook software, and I used videos and resources available from Discovery Education’s streaming service. Read more...
Samara Hendin (Cohort 7)
I am privileged to have joined the faculty at the Jewish Community Day School in August 2009 after graduating from DeLeT. I teach fifth grade English, history, math, in addition to being the fifth grade Advisor. English and history are taught as a combined Humanities class where the content areas are intertwined and skills for both are combined.
Integration is an area of my teaching I have been thinking about more and more about as I’ve gotten more familiar with my curriculum. Perhaps the most prominent example of integration in my teaching is through my Humanities classes. Students write paragraphs about the maps they create during our geography unit, a research paper about the artifacts they create on Ancient Greece and an essay on Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry during our Civil Rights unit.Read more...
Liz Corman (Cohort 2)
Liz Corman Shiro is a cohort 2 alumna of DeLeT at Brandeis. Liz has been teaching K-1 Hebrew and Jewish studies at Kesher in Newton, Massachusetts for the last 6 years and will be the Director of Education at Temple Tifereth Israel in Malden, Massachusetts starting in mid-August.
As a Jewish Educator, my goal is to create opportunities for children to connect with their Judaism in a way that is meaningful to them.
Overall, School-age children receive a Jewish Education in one of two ways: by attending a Jewish Day School or by attending a Jewish Supplementary School, most often through their synagogue. It is generally accepted that students who attend a Jewish Day School will gain more Judaic and Hebrew knowledge than students who attend a supplementary school. I generally agree with this statement because of course there is more time to learn about Jewish studies and Hebrew at a day school than at a supplementary school, but the reality is most of school-age children in America will attend a supplementary school to receive their Jewish education.Read more...
Anna Salomon (Brandeis Cohort 7)
What grades and content areas do you teach in?
I teach general studies for second and third grade at New Orleans Jewish Day School. In my general studies classroom, however, I manage to integrate Hebrew and Judaics whenever possible. Last year I taught in a third and fourth grade combined class. I try really hard to collaborate with each of the other teachers throughout the year as well.
What do you find to be the most rewarding aspects of teaching?
For me, the most rewarding aspects vary depending on the point of reference. With students, the most rewarding aspects of teaching are when students can’t wait to come to school – or they’re so excited about something they’re learning that the parents know all about it before I send a note home. Read more...
Sapphira Fein (Cohort 1)
Sapphira Fein is the librarian/literacy specialist for the Lainer Library at Pressman Academy in Los Angeles. She shares the work that she does in this position and her perspective on that work in the following alumni profile:
“I conduct monthly performance-style storytelling for toddlers ages 4 and under. I read stories and introduce the library experience to pre-K through 1st grade on a weekly basis. I also teach weekly lessons to students in grades 2-5 in reading comprehension, author studies, library skills, non-fiction research, and other topics related to reading and writing.Read more...
Jamie Faith Woods (Cohort 1)
Jamie Faith Woods currently teaches fifth grade general studies at the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island, in Providence, RI. She is a day school graduate herself and most days feels as if she were put on earth to teach fifth grade in a Jewish day school.
Jamie was a fellow during DeLeT’s pilot year and she still considers herself a proud member of cohort one (at Brandeis). This year marks Jamie’s first year as a DeLeT mentor, an endeavor that has taught her more than she expected.Read more...
Jake Wirtschafter (Cohort 2)
As the eldest of four siblings and a former camp counselor, I’ve always enjoyed mentoring children. So when I decided to try a career outside of journalism, putting my skills at work for the Jewish community, teaching called as a credible alternative. Having worked as a reporter, I was looking for a program as engaged with the ‘why’ questions alongside the practical pedagogy. That where DeLeT came in.
After my year at DeLeT, being mentored in a fifth grade classroom at Ronald C Wornick Jewish Day School in Foster City, my partner Gary and I moved to Southern California, and I taught Middle School History and Judaic Studies for six years at Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School in Northridge.Read more...
Ilana Elson (Cohort 6)
Kellman Brown Academy recently put together a video in which I’m featured about a writing program I brought to my fourth grade classroom.
The most rewarding aspect about teaching is seeing kids get excited about learning. During a social studies lesson in the fall, somehow the conversation turned to the pages in the back of the textbook about the US presidents. My students were so interested and had so many questions. I took their interest in this topic and turned it into a research project in February for President’s Day.
The students were so excited to pick their president and research him using a variety of book and internet sources. The project was a great collaboration between my goals and some of the skills the computer teacher was working on with them. They worked on the final presentation of the project with both of us and created a book about the US presidents that has become a permanent part of our classroom library.Read more...
Melissa Greenwood (Cohort 7)
Melissa Greenwood is a graduate of cohort 7, HUC, LA. She is currently a 6th Grade English and social studies teacher at Emek Hebrew Academy in Sherman Oaks, CA. Thanks to Melissa and to Jacob Hall, of the Curriculum Resources Bank committee, for conducting the interview. Special kudos go out to a creative novice teacher willing to share her practice with colleagues!
What do you find to be the most rewarding aspects of teaching? The most challenging? The rewarding feelings come when the kids make connections, come across things in their everyday lives that they now know, thanks to my class, or sincerely thank me for teaching them something they’ve enjoyed. The challenging piece has been classroom management in a setting of all adolescent boys! Read more...
Devorah Servi (Cohort 7)
I’m in my second year at Ohr Eliyahu, an Orthodox school in Los Angeles, that is known for accepting students with learning and behavioral challenges. Early on, they had a policy that when such a student was admitted, the family needed to also enroll all other siblings in order to create a “mainstream” setting. Thus the school calls itself a “family school.” It’s also relevant to know that boys and girls learn in separate classrooms from kindergarten. It’s been interesting to think about how to modify lessons after the first presentation for the other gender!
Both last year and this, I’ve had the opportunity to teach math and Language Arts to elementary and middle school math classes. For the middle school math classes, a class of 19 or even a class of 9 is divided into 2 or 3 groups, each with its own teacher. The grouping allows us to differentiate instruction according to content, competence and aptitude.Read more...