Our hope is that this blog will become a
forum in which people can exchange ideas on how to recruit, develop and retain exceptional Jewish educators
through mentoring and e-mentoring students, teaching candidates,
and teachers in our day and supplemental schools. The present focus of this blog is to empower Jewish teachers, administrators, teacher trainers, consultants, and staff developers to integrate web technology (i.e. web tools and apps) into their teaching and teacher training.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009
New Sources Added to Web-based and Print References on Mentoring Jewish Students and Teachers on December 22, 2009
Shalom Colleagues and Friends,
This is a collaborative post. We invite you to submit web-based and print references on mentoring Jewish students and teachers. We want this listing to be as complete and helpful to our readers as possible.
NESS is a three-year, whole-school, on-site intervention, custom-designed to meet the needs of each synagogue school.All sixty-one schools in the Greater Philadelphia area were invited to apply. Through a rigorous selection process, six schools were chosen to pilot the program. Selection was based on diversity of size, location, movement, experience of the educational director, and the challenges presented by and the assets of the schools. What is learned from this pilot program will provide an invaluable and unique opportunity to understand how synagogue schools throughout the country can improve and succeed. It is for this reason that NESSis seen nationally as a cutting-edge model for change, one that is being supported by national as well as local donors.
The goal of the NESS Initiative is to strengthen synagogue schools through professional development for teachers, leadership development for educational directors, and training in organizational development strategies for synagogue and school lay leaders. By redesigning our approach to synagogue school education, we will: (1) provide our youth with an engaging, meaningful, and enjoyable Jewish education; (2) help our youth develop strong Jewish identities and increase their commitment to active involvement in the Jewish community; and (3) encourage our youth to continue their Jewish learning and involvement beyond their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Through NESS , we can produce a generation of Jewish youth who are proud to be Jews and eager to participate in the Jewish world.
What is most unique about the program is its comprehensiveness. NESS incorporates these elements :
• The deliberate integration of five educationally sound components that together can create school change.
• An innovative collaboration of secular and Jewish educational institutions [ACAJE, FOUNDATIONS, Inc., and the Penn Literacy Network of the Graduate School of Education of the University of Pennsylvania] that have designed the program.
• An assessment of a school's assets and limitations through a standardized instrument that generates individualized recommendations for school improvement and tracks the school's progress.
• An ongoing, intensive training program for teachers and their educational directors which incorporates innovative teaching strategies, cutting-edge curricula, technology-based resources, and Jewish content, as well as techniques for integrating them appropriately, in order to capture the interest of today's students.
• Opportunities for teachers to practice these newly acquired strategies under the guidance of NESS-trained educational directors and mentor teachers.
• Ongoing professional training for educational directors, enabling them to become more effective leaders and change agents in their own schools.
• The intentional creation of a community of learners among the NESS professionals and lay leaders at each school.
• The active involvement of the synagogue community :the rabbi, cantor, educational director, education committee, synagogue board, parents, and students in the process of planning for and implementing school change.
• Generous stipends or college credits, for teachers and educational directors, compensating them for their professional time.
• Ongoing, intensive, external evaluation of the entire program, as well as of each of its components, throughout the duration of the program. This will afford the opportunity to make adjustments as the program proceeds, as well as to provide information that will facilitate replication of the program in Philadelphia and other Jewish communities throughout the United States.
• The active, continuing involvement of a carefully selected advisory committee of Jewish education professionals and lay leaders.
Jewish Education of Greater New York. The ELI program trains 11th and 12th schools students to serve as teaching assistants, and paid substitute teachers in congregational elementary schools.
Sheila Adler, Coordinator, ELI Program; Educational Director, Bet Torah Synagogue, Mt. Kisco, NY writes:
In the 11th grade... the ELI Program adds 26 two-hour sessions to the normal four-hour-per-week academic program. One hour is given to the Fundamentals of Teaching (lesson planning, classroom management, teaching methodology, supervised practice teaching); one to the elementary school Judaic curriculum (Jewish holidays, Bible, history and prayer). For the 12th grade program, students who completed ELI in 11th grade can continue the program as "educational residents," take two hours a week of classes, one hour of which is devoted to Judaic studies and one hour to advanced teacher education. Twelfth grade participants work as paid full-time aides or substitute teachers in the elementary grades, and as facilitators for high school student discussions as well as for some of the 11th grade ELI training sessions. Because of their greater teaching responsibilities, the ELI educational residents are carefully observed and monitored by their mentor teachers and coached by their lead educator. Students who did not take ELI in 11th grade, and who have decided they would like to be part of the program after all, can participate in ELI with special enrollment requirements as a 12th grade program.
By providing a strong link between elementary and secondary Jewish education, and by motivating students to complete Jewish high school, the ELI program has transformed the Jewish congregational school. It has energized high schools, raised academic standards, given teens leadership skills, responsibilities and Jewish community connections through college and beyond.
In summary, what distinguishes ELI from other Jewish teen leadership programs is that it:
*has significantly increased high school enrollments, maximized attendance and retained students through the twelfth grade;
*is a formally designed, curriculum-driven, carefully supervised student teacher training program with high eligibility standards and performance expectations;
*is a sixteen-year-old proven model of teen leadership development that has been replicated successfully in five congregational and community schools;
*trains teen student teachers to work in elementary school classrooms and serve as role models for younger students, many of whom aspire to join the program when they reach 11th grade;
*has become, because of positive peer modeling, an elite group to which younger teens aspire to belong;
*has raised the level of teaching in the elementary schools by making mentor teachers more reflective practitioners, and, by infusing new teachers into the field as some ELI graduates choose Jewish education as a career;
*issues a Board of Jewish Education Certificate of Completion;
*helps students stay involved Jewishly during their college years, finds them positions as congregational classroom teachers while in college, and provides them with on-going guidance by and contact with their lead educators.
As a professional development initiative, the Mentor Teacher Development Program is structured to support both teacher and student learning. The goal is to create a community of practice among Jewish day school teachers in which active leadership and rigorous exchange about teaching and learning among colleagues are normal instruments of continuous improvement. This requires a commitment to teacher development as part of the ongoing work of teachers, and recognition that mentoring is an important skill in the toolkit of the professional classroom teacher. Accomplishments
• Nine mentor teachers have been actively engaged in creating a cross-school learning community that helps to combat the traditional isolation of classroom teachers.
• Ongoing professional development for mentor teachers takes place through a summer institute, as well asa monthly cross-school study group throughout the school year.
• Leadership opportunities for experienced mentor teachers have been created including facilitating the Beginning Teacher Network, instructing in the DeLeT Program, planning and implementing workshops for new mentors, and doing teacher research on teaching Bible.
http://www.dphds.org/main/jewish_lifepathing.html If you check this website you will find information about the Jewish Life Pathing (JLP) Mentoring Program at the David Posnack Hebrew Day School in Florida. This program offers students the chance to explore possible career paths while interacting with schoolmates who share similar interests. Students in grades 8 to 11 serve as “coaches” for students in grades 3 to 7. Twice monthly, the older students interact with the younger students in teacher-supervised sessions.
http://www.keshet.org/peerbuddymentoring.asp This publication describes the peer buddy and mentoring program at the Sager Elementary School, Sager Solomon Schechter Middle School and the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in the Chicago area.
http://www.iawaken.org/shiurim/view.asp?id=6638 On this website you will read the words of Rabbi David Lapin who urges students and parents to find a righteous and erudite mentor. He writes: If you are a student... find yourself a great mentor, a rebbe who is a human being of profound intellectual and moral stature, and put yourself in his hands. Allow him to coach you and mold you. If you are a parent, do the same for yourself never mind for your child. You will then be a role-model for your children. They will see what the pursuit of greatness means. They will see what it is to have a coach and a mentor. They will see greatness in you, more and more each day as you grow and progress on your own journey to greatness. Your children will naturally adopt you as their rebbe, their own coaches and mentors. And who is more worthy of coaching your children than you?
Appoint a teacher for yourself . . .” (Pirke Avot 1:6) This teaching from Ethics of the Fathers is what I believe is the foundation to engaging, strengthening and maintaining young professionals in our Jewish communities. Young professionals need strong mentors, as Debbie had been to me as a young teacher. They need teachers who can guide them in effective committee processes and lay relationships, challenge them to build their competencies and model commitment and passion. Mentors are not only critical for young professionals, but for all professionals. All professionals benefit tremendously from mentors who challenge them and provide a safe space to discuss issues and receive critical feedback and structure.
“Appoint for yourself a teacher; acquire for yourself a friend; and judge everyone favorably” (Pirke Avot 1:6). The full mishnah speaks to the fruitful results of strong mentors for young professionals. It is only through relationships that challenge us to learn and to teach others that we develop into our best selves, with the eyes to see our community and our world more discerningly and more honestly. And it is only through such communal professionals that we will ensure a strengthened future for the Jewish people.
http://jrf.org/tel-post-bnai-mitzvah Learn about the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation's (JRF) new post b’nai mitzvah initiative, the TEL program, that involves madrichim training teams of youth (grades eight through twelve) to do congregational and community service.
On this website you can read the abstract of the article, Developing Comprehensive Induction in Jewish Day Schools: Lessons from the Field written by Sarah Birkeland and Sharon Feiman-Nemser (July 2009), Journal of Jewish Education, 75 (3), 240-257. In this article the importance of mentoring is emphasized.
http://www.lookstein.org/online_journal.php?id=168 On this website you will find an article, Birkeland, Sarah & Feiman-Nemser (Fall, 2007), 6(1). Building Professional Learning Communities Through Beginning Teacher Induction. In this article the authors describe a new type of teacher induction that highlights the creation of a professional learning community and mentoring. They write:
At our Center, a team of educators and researchers is collaborating on a project called the Induction Partnership. We have deployed coaches to help build strong systems of new teacher induction in a group of diverse, local Jewish day schools. Our initial goal for the 2-year coaching project was to help make these schools educative environments in which beginning teachers could thrive, by instituting a system of supports specifically geared towards addressing their needs. As they focus their resources and attention on beginning teacher induction, the schools in our partnership are looking more and more like professional learning communities.
http://www.lookstein.org/mifgashim/readings/mentoring.htm Read this insightful article by Stanley Peerless which summarizes the components of an effective mentoring program which include (a) training of the mentor, (b) time for the mentor to work with his or her mentee, (c) proper matching of the mentor with the mentee, and (d) the support and encouragement of the educational leader of the school.
http://www.peje.org/docs/ArticleonLomedL.pdf For schools considering implementing a tutor/mentoring program, click on to this website . Here you will find a practical manuscript titled, A Manual to Create a Volunteer Tutor/Mentoring Program Within Jewish Schools, written by Elizabeth Kotler Glass, and Kenneth Schaefler in March, 2004. In the manual these topics are covered: Program Goals, Methodology, Implementation, Overview of Procedural Steps, Orientation for Principals, Orientation/Training, Lomed___Rules for Tutors, Matching Tutors with Schools and Students, How Tutors are Utlized, Problems that May Arise and Possible Solutions, Plus Sample Administrative Forms.
On this website Dr. Mar S. Silk describes the model of teacher support developed by the Jewish New Teacher Project (JNTP) in order to help new teachers advance in skills and knowledge, especially during their first two years on the job. Key components of the model include mentoring and a Formative Assessment System with which mentor and mentee can keep track of progress. JNTP mentor models include in-house mentors, visiting mentors and half-release mentors. The author cites research indicating that this mode improves both teacher competence and student achievement.
https://www.policyarchive.org/bitstream/handle/10207/14847/Making%20Jewish%20Education%20Work%20-%20PDP%202.pdf?sequence=1 This website contains the JESNA report, Making Jewish Education Work: Mentoring Jewish Educational Professionals, Lessons Learned from Research and Evaluation in the Field, Report 2. This report offers these five conclusions about mentoring: Mentoring relationships are most beneficial under these five conditions: (1) When orientation and training are provided to both the mentor and the mentee; (2) When mentor and mentee pairings are thoughtfully coordinated; (3) When roles and expectations are clearly defined; (4) When multiple venues of frequent communication and feedback are available and (5) When mentoring programs are thoroughly managed and evaluated in an ongoing systematic manner.
Holtz’s study examined what new and seasoned teachers reported and experienced as participants in a mentorship program in a supplementary school. Her research focused on 4 issues: (a) the focus of mentors' and mentees' dialogue and writings, (b) mentors' and mentees' concerns, (c) the characteristics of community the participants found, and (d) the effect of the part-time nature of the school on this religious community.
Five hypotheses were generated by this study: (1) Teachers in a part-time religious community perceive that their educational program is in competition with the secular community for students' limited time. (2) Teachers in a part-time religious educational community perceive that the material they are teaching conflicts with the material being taught in the secular educational community. (3) Mentors in a mentorship program in a part-time religious school emphasize philosophical concerns about their work. (4) Mentees in a mentorship program in a part-time religious school emphasize technical concerns about their work. (5) Teachers in a supplementary Jewish school may collaborate to learn from one another and create community.
Recommendations for future research and suggestions for future consideration and implementation of mentorship programs were made. The potential for such a program appears to be great and this researcher highly recommends consideration of such a system in Hebrew schools and other similar institutions.
Listen to the lecture of Dr. Susan Handelman, Professor of English at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel entitled "Find Yourself a Teacher: The Mentor/Disciple Relation in Classical Jewish Thought and Contemporary Practice" This presentation was given in 2004 through the Samuel and Althea Stroum Lecture Series in Jewish Studies at the University of Washington.
http://www.spertus.edu/degreeprograms/jewishstudies/majps_info/majps_individuation.phpRead about Spertus College's Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies which includes a mentoring component in its program. Each graduate student in this program is given a personal mentor. The mentor meets with the student on a regular basis (every 2 to 3 weeks). The nature of the role served by the mentor varies from student to student. Some students may choose a reflective practitioner from their field with whom they will regularly discuss the applicability of course materials to practical work. Others may choose to create a more formalized independent study framework with their mentor, based on readings and writing. Still others may choose a mentor with whom they work on a specific profession-based issue over a sustained period of time. Finally, some students may choose a mentor who serves as a personal coach. The program advisor will work with each student in identifying an appropriate mentor and crafting the nature of the work the mentor will do with the student.
http://www.urj.org/chai/teach/elearning/ Read about the electronic mentoring program offered by the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ) which includes sessions on these topcs: What is a mentor?, The Adult Learner, The Mentoring Relationship, The Needs Assessment, Using Understanding by Design, Classroom Observation and The Protege as a Colleague.
http://www.uscj.org/metny/files/tdi.pdf Read about the Teacher Development Institute (TDI) sponsored by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.The Teacher Development Institute prepares new teachers for future success in synagogue, congregational schools and Hebrew high school programs. TDI will provide ongoing mentoring during the two years of the program, and continued mentoring following the program.
Aronson, Judy (2003). Partnering with a Mentor. Moskowitz, N.S. (Editor). In The Ultimate Jewish Teacher's Handbook. Denver, CO: A.R.E. Publishing Inc. 653-661.
Artson, Bradley Shavit (2006). The Gift of Soul, Gift of Wisdom: A Spiritual Resources for Mentoring and Leadership. Springfield, NJ: Behrman House.
Cutter, William (1995). Hierarchy and Mutuality: Mentor, Protégé and Spirit. InTouching the Future: Mentoring and the Jewish Profession. Edited by Zeldin, M. & Lee, S. S. Los Angeles, CA: Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
Feiman-Nemser, Sharon (2007). Beit Midrash for Teachers: An Experiment in Professional Development. Journal of Jewish Education 72(3), 161-181.
Feiman-Nemser, Sharon(2007). Discovering and Sharing Knowledge: Inventing a New Role for Cooperating Teachers. In Transforming Teacher Education: Reflections from the Field.Ed. Carrol, D., Featherstone, J., Featherstone, H., Feiman-Nemser, S. & Roosevelt, D.. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. 139-160.
Feiman-Nemser, S. (2006). Foreward. Mentoring Teachers Toward Excellence. Ed. J. Shulman & M. Sata, Eds. San Francisco:: Jossey Bass. xi-xv.
Feiman-Nemser, S. (2008). Learning to Teach. In Goodman, .L, Flexner, P.A. & Bloomberg, L. D. What We Now Know about Jewish Education: Perspectives on Research for Practice. Los Angeles, CA: Torah Aura Productions. 213-222.
Feiman-Nemser, Sharon (2007). What We Know About Learning to Teach and What This Means for Jewish Education. In What We Know Now About Jewish Education: Perspectives On Research and Practice. Ed. P. Flexner & R. Goodman (Eds.). Los Angeles: Tora Aurah Publications.
Goldberg, A. & Schapira, R. (Winter, 2008). Training Students to Become Jewish Educators. RAVSAK Journal, HaYidion. 22-23.
Gorsetman, C.R. (2005). Mentoring Novice Teachers in Selected Modern Orthodox Jewish Day Schools. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education, Yeshiva University, NY.
Holtz, R. F. (2008). Mentoring Jewish Educators. In Goodman, .L, Flexner, P.A. & Bloomberg, L. D. What We Now Know about Jewish Education: Perspectives on Research for Practice. Los Angeles, CA: Torah Aura Productions. 235-246.
Howard, L. B. (2006). The Madrichim Manual: Six Steps to Becoming a Jewish Role Model. Springfield, NJ: Behrman House.
Joseph, S. (1989). The Madrikhim Handbook: A Training Program for Teenagers Working in Jewish Schools. Los Angeles, CA: Torah Aura Productions.
Levin, N. P. & Lee. S.S. (2006). Bridging the Gap: The Power of Mentoring Teachers for Creating Teaching Excellence. Los Angeles, CA: HUC-JIR.
Solomon, R. (January, 2008). A New Career Development Ladder for Professional Development for Supplemental and Day School Teachers. In Creative Solutions to Educational Challenges, Lookjed Electronic Professional Learning Community, The Lookstein Center, Bar-Ilan University. http://lookstein.org/lookjed/read.php?1,16568,16568#msg-16568
Solomon, R. (Winter, 2008). Developmental Ladder for Students and Teachers in a Jewish Day School. RAVSAK Journal, HaYidion. 18-21.
Solomon, R. & Davidson, N. (Spring, 2009). Cooperative Learning: Research and Implementation for Jewish Education. Jewish Educational Leadership. 7(3).
Solomon, R., Solomon, E. & Bor, H. (Fall, 2007). From Madrichim to Expert Educators: New Career Ladder for Professional Development for Supplementary and Day School Teachers, Jewish Education News, CAJE, 28 (3).http://caje.wikispaces.com/Jewish+Education+News
Zachary, Lois, J. (Summer, 2006). Creating A Mentoring Culture. Jewish Education News, 27(3), 10-12. In this article Dr. Zachary describes the values of mentoring and compares the process of creating a culture of mentoring to the building of the mishkan. She writes: Creating a mentoring culture, like building the mishkan, is sacred work that connects us more deeply to one another as we take the mentoring journey that renews us individually and collectively as an educational community. An institution or initiative doesn’t need to be large to successfully create a mentoring culture. However, it must be willing to enlarge its thinking. It doesn’t need to possess extensive resources. Rather, it needs to utilize available resources wisely. It takes a commitment to do the right kind of work and provide space for individuals to bring their contribution to bear. The presence of a mentoring culture expands the opportunities for individual, personal, and professional growth and development and prepares us to harness and focus our energy to create momentum that raises the bar for everyone. When the bar is raised, we can achieve amazing results.http://www.caje.org/learn/Summer06/zachary_one.pdf.