The Value of Professional Development

The Value of Professional Development

In a traditional “classroom” or a virtual space, ShalomLearning went from coast to coast in August to support our educators.  Our training began in Davie, FL, with special thanks to Orloff CAJE, where we trained 40 educators. We worked with new partners at NewCAJE8 in Moraga, CA, and led one more session at Hebrew College in Newton, MA.  Our two-day training included:

  • a comprehensive overview of ShalomLearning course materials
  • personalized instruction
  • training on our learning portal, my.shalomlearning.org
  • preparing educators to use a virtual classroom
  • an opportunity to network with peers

Whether on a laptop or hand-held mobile device, teachers mastered the basics and experienced the curriculum in a meaningful way and had some fun! Our Zoom icebreaker, a surprisingly competitive game of Kahoot!, and relaxing social gatherings were some of the highlights.

For those unable to attend or just wanting a refresher, we ended the month with well attended webinars reviewing the materials. And there’s more work to be done!

We’re  currently providing virtual 1:1 training. Staff and mentors are meeting with teachers to answer specific questions, troubleshoot, and/or offer ideas. Questions and suggestions are also being discussed on ShalomLearning connect, our virtual teacher’s lounge.

There are additional opportunities to network and learn at our  upcoming fall training sessions in New Hyde Park, NY in September and in Northfield, IL in October.

Throughout the year we will continue to connect educators to create a community of practice, encourage each other, and share ideas.

Meet Online-Only Educator, Rachel Besser

Meet Online-Only Educator, Rachel Besser

Rachel Besser teaches Bible and Jewish thought to post-high school students studying during their gap year.  Before moving to Israel this year, Rachel taught Tanach and philosophy at The Frisch School where she also served as department chair and a member of the guidance team.  A graduate of Yeshiva University, Rachel received her MA from Hunter college in English literature.  Besides her love of teaching, Rachel also enjoys creative writing and editing. Rachel lives with her husband Donny and their five children in Beit Shemesh, Israel.

Why do you like teaching for ShalomLearning?
I love being part of ShalomLearning’s innovative team. It’s amazing to connect with students all over the world to share ShalomLearning’s curriculum and insightful way of presenting Jewish values. Of course the main thing I like about ShalomLearning is the students! I have been privileged to meet thoughtful and intelligent young men and women and delve with them into Jewish texts and ideas.

What has been your favorite teaching moment this year?
During one of my classes, a student shared something difficult that he was going through in his personal life. Immediately all the other students in the class began sharing their own stories and words of encouragement. It was amazing to see them connect and be able to support each other even through a digital medium.