Encouraging Professionalism in Chinuch – E.P.I.C.

Are you ready to further develop classroom skills, practices and new approaches, through individual mentoring?

The ATT’s program, E.P.I.C. Encouraging Professionalism in Chinuch., is a teacher-driven, professional development mentoring program that will help you enhance your success in the classroom and support your professional growth. This program is a collaboration between the Associated Talmud Torahs, Association for Torah Advancement and National Louis University. Space is limited.

At the start of the program, participants determine professional goals for the five months, and National Louis University mentors meet with principals and teachers to plan the implementation. The mentors observe the participants bi-weekly during instructional time. Prior to each classroom visit, the mentor and mentee meet to discuss the upcoming lesson. After the lesson, a post observation conference occurs to review the mentor’s observations and the mentee’s reflections about the strengths and weaknesses of the lesson, and to discuss possible alternative strategies to consider utilizing in the future.

The goal of E.P.I.C. is to raise the bar and expectations for principals and teachers by providing both with the tools to meet the ongoing challenges of preparing the leaders of tomorrow. The strength of E.P.I.C. stems from ongoing supervision and personal reflections which are the cornerstones of the program. E.P.I.C. provides another set of eyes for problem solving and gives positive feedback to the participants.

Download EPIC Program Flyer

EPIC mentoring includes the following:

  • Research-based classroom suggestions
  • Regular visits with collaborative conversations
  • Individualized support
  • Professional growth during any point in a teacher’s career
  • Mentoring for all subjects: General and Judaic

There is no financial cost to the participating teacher, and teachers are eligible for a $750 stipend and 1.5 ATT credits for participating in the program. The five-month program takes place on each mentee’s school’s site.

Participating schools include:

  • Akiba Schechter
  • Arie Crown Hebrew Day School
  • Cheder Lubavitch Hebrew School
  • Hillel Torah
  • Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov
  • Yeshiva Ohr Boruch
  • Yeshivas Tiferes Tzvi
  • Bais Yaakov High School
  • Hanna Sacks Bais Yaakov
  • Ida Crown Jewish Academy
  • Lubavitch Girls High School
  • Yeshivas Meor HaTorah

Past participants have worked on the following:

  • Classroom Management, Authentic Assessment, Developing Higher Order Thinking Skills, Effective Questioning, Differentiated Instruction, Multiple Intelligences, Portfolio Development
  • Meaningful Student Involvement, Grouping Strategies, Time Management Skills
  • Unit Development/Revision, Lesson Design, Curriculum Mapping, Curriculum Design
  • Reading Strategies, Arts Integration, Making Effective Use of Classroom Assistants

Principals said the following about the program

“We are grateful to the ATT for providing valuable opportunities to all school employees to grow and develop within their career paths.

“In your involvement in the EPIC program, the growth that you displayed has been evident to our entire faculty.”

“This personal approach also allowed my mentor to really get to know my students and my classroom, which helped her to help me in making changes necessary for the environment where I taught, and not a general methodology for all Jewish day schools.”

I encourage teachers to participate in EPIC because all seasoned teachers can get in a “rut” and having the opportunity to have an independent, personal mentor will allow them to see themselves and their students through a new lens, which might invigorate them in a new way in the classroom.”

Mentor Feedback

“…I have bragged about our lesson planning and execution of lessons to not only people in the Epic Program but colleagues in other professional areas. Your lessons were fluid and flawless.”

“I want to let you know how delighted I was to work with you as a mentor for the Epic Program.”

EPIC Details

Enrollment and initial visit begin in September and mentoring begins after the fall Yomim Tovim. Spots are available to general studies and Judaic studies teachers of all levels of experience. Space is limited.

25-hour Professional Development Program (over 5 months):

  1. Includes 2 visitations per month by the National Louis mentor (10 visits total for the program).
  2. A mentor meets with the teacher to discuss program expectations, collaborative goal setting, and discuss time frame.
  3. School visits are generally about 2 hours, including observation and discussions. School administration provides for coverage during post-observation meetings.
  4. Two evening workshops at 1.5/2.5 hours per workshop on a related professional growth topic.
  5. Upon satisfactory completion of the program and full compliance with all expectations, each participating teacher will receive a $750 stipend.
  6. Written work will include: initial goal statement to principal and mentor, summary letter to principal at conclusion of program, questionnaire, completion of time sheet, journal with mentor, and other work as discussed with mentor such as lesson plans.
  7. ATT will grant 1.5 credits (includes the mentoring program and the 2 evening workshops) to each participating teacher from the ATT’s Department of Teacher Education and Development.
  8. Mentor and teacher will communicate with the school principal about the project at the beginning and end of the process.
  9. Participants work collaboratively with their mentor to determine appropriate individual goals.
  10. New this year – administrative mentorship; use of in-house mentors who know the school’s needs and culture.

For further information please contact Rabbi Yoni Gold at 773-973-2828 or ygold@att.org.