Summer learning kollel for professional development

Fifteen rabbeim from across ATT schools recently gathered together at Congregation Adas Yeshurun to learn Torah for the second annual ATT Summer Kollel. The program took place in the evenings for three weeks and in the day time as well for two weeks.

The kollel includes Torah learning as well as professional development to learn best practices in teaching Judaic studies.

For the Torah learning portion, participants were able to delve deep into topics like the laws of shemitah and cooking on yom tov. The program gives teachers an opportunity to review material and network with educators in schools across the Jewish day school system.

Rabbi Dovid Greenberg says interacting with colleagues enhanced the experience. “It was an opportunity to hear ideas from the presenter and interact with our colleagues.”

The teachers also learned about the concepts of Universal Design for Learning to create a learning environment where every student can succeed. Teachers gained specific tools for activating student knowledge and processing information after students have completed a lesson. They also looked at different ways to make use of chavrusa learning, supporting students at every age to collaborate with their peers.

One participant, who wishes to remain anonymous, says, “I have found the educational instruction of this program to be very beneficial. Although I’ve been a rebbi for many years, I am sure to gain from the professional insights and ideas that were presented. Thank you for bringing in Rabbi Binyomin Segal who gave a great demonstration on how to prepare class lessons…Also, although we’ve already been using the chavrusa system in our classrooms, Rabbi Gold’s showing us how to do it successfully was very insightful and helpful.”

Connecting with colleagues in different schools to learn Torah and to gain new teaching skills led to insightful conversations around classroom practice as well.

The program will continue in some capacity so that rebbeim can work more together on Gemara instruction throughout the coming school year.

The  participants left the program with renewed motivation to enhance instruction.