Source: HaYidion – Summer, 2019
This issue of Hayidion reflects Prizmah’s belief that Jewish day schools are populated by stakeholders who possess immense talents, and that all people at Jewish day schools deserve opportunities to deepen their talents. Moreover, day schools thrive on the model of professional growth. A school best helps its students grow by supporting the growth of its educators. The authors in this issue of HaYidion describe different methods, programs and practices that day schools employ to deepen the talents of faculty and leadership.
The first group of articles explores the power of relationships and teamwork. Cappell presents Prizmah’s work and vision for strengthening lay leaders, while Oberman describes opportunities that boards have for development both individually and collectively. brown posits the critical role that mentorship can play in a teacher’s mid-career. Farbman relates a case study in which teacher teamwork powerfully transformed the delivery of education, and Raider-roth shares her work in fostering collaborative learning environments. Applebaum observes the ways that both agreement and disagreement among teachers can spur growth.
Articles in the next section consider culture as the pivotal factor for teachers to thrive as they join and remain on the faculty. Lurie is inspired by the idea of a “culture of excellence” that many corporations look to create. Wise explores five levels, five types of culture, that school leaders establish through their leadership style. The next three articles show the importance of induction in unlocking teacher capacity: Katz and Lerner chart the process from hiring through the first year; Rabinovitch presents scholarship on best practices in mentorship; Grebenau explains the benefit of strong induction for teacher recruitment, especially in smaller Jewish communities. Haber tells of his experience in a Teach for America-type program for Jewish day schools
The school spread presents a variety of ways that day schools foster student talent. In the final section, authors consider the impact of programs of study and methods of reflection, both in-service and beyond the school. Hassenfeld assembled a program for experienced teachers to perform research on questions of practice. The next two focus on Hebrew education: Benjamin’s school devised a unique solution to faculty recruitment challenges through a university partnership, and Shapiro-Rosenberg helped a school tackle deficits in achievement and motivation through the adaptation of best practices in second language acquisition. Shire and Skolnick Einhorn scrutinize the impact of a master’s degree in Jewish education. In response to issues of teacher stress and burnout, Levey describes the creation of a health and wellness program, and Wechter surveys school leaders who practice mindfulness meditation. Schorr and Davis discuss their research on haredi women who are highly talented heads of school.