As the academic year begins, children strap on their backpacks and return to their schools for another year of learning and growth.
This year, tandem programs, rolled out by the Menachem Education Foundation (MEF), will enhance the education that these students receive.
At the end of August, MEF commenced these two programs, the Teacher Induction Program (TIP) and the Teacher Coaching Program (TCP), with an intense orientation to prepare the teachers for the first day of school.There are two cohorts, one for men, and one for women. The men’s cohort in Brooklyn includes 15 fellows, teaching in 6 local schools. The men met for two weeks of intensive training and they will meet monthly throughout the school year.
The women’s cohort is an online program which kicked off with a three-day orientation and will meet Wednesday evenings bimonthly throughout the school year. There are 9 participants in the Women’s TIP from 5 schools across the United States.
The first program, TIP, is a one-year, comprehensive teacher training program for individuals in their first few years of teaching. It presents the most current, professional pedagogy with a focus on training teachers to implement professional educational systems in their classrooms that will enable students to succeed and excel in acquiring academic and life skills. Each participant is matched with a highly trained coach for one-on-one assistance in tailoring the resources to his/her classroom.
One TIP participant from Postville, Iowa, who joined the two-week summer intensive, Rabbi Shmulik Raices, told us that he gained tremendously from the program. He felt that Rabbi Zelly Silber was an excellent instructor and that he taught specific skills that have already been very helpful. Rabbi Raices shared with us that after taking the course, he was motivated to reexamined his communication style with his students. He feels that participating was well worth his time.
The second program, the Teacher Coaching Program (TCP), provides training and direction to a group of seasoned educators that are ready to participate in a yearlong, comprehensive mentor training program. Capitalizing on their years of experience, this group focuses on developing the skills to handhold new teachers through the oftentimes difficult adjustment of taking the reigns of their own classrooms for the first time.There are 10 coaches in the men’s cohort and 8 in the women’s. A three-day orientation was held in August and will be followed by monthly forums.
Rabbi Levi Feldman serves as the facilitator for the men and Mrs. Blumie Gurevitz for the women, both experienced mentors in their schools. “MEF has brought together some of the stars in Chabad education today,” says Mrs. Blumie Gurevitz.
“Many of these teachers have informally held mentorship roles before, and they’ve expressed such enthusiasm at the process of formally learning how to coach new teachers. Part of the program includes reviewing the TIP curriculum themselves in order to best assist mentees. I’ve been especially moved by TCP participants expressing a deep desire to learn new techniques themselves to apply to their own teaching. This is the mark of a phenomenal teacher and mentor. What’s more – the mentors will return to their schools, passionately opening conversations about teaching and mentoring new teachers, creating a culture of educational growth.”
Our most valuable asset in Crown Heights is our community. MEF seeks to build capacity among the individuals of our community, thereby strengthening our educational structure. We seek to create a culture of change and growth, preparing our youth to live Jewish lives informed by the Lubavitcher Rebbe and Chabad Chassidus. These tandem programs, TIP and TCP, will impact some 500 students this year – and countless students in the years to come.
For more information about our organization, visit us online at www.mymef.org or call us at 718- 6637215