The Importance of the Teachers’ Role

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It was interesting to read about the changes/innovations in supplementary Jewish education and the focus on creating and providing concrete Jewish “experiences” for children in these programs (“Dollars and Sense,” May 29). What was missing was the role of the teacher. Although the principal/ education director can set the curriculum, devise the program, design the “experience,” it is the teacher who does the implementing of all aspects of the “experience.” Hopefully, the teacher has a part in this preparatory process. The teacher is the most important person in the classroom. How are teachers being prepared to provide the students the knowledge base for the “experience”? What preparations and what resources are available for the teacher? What are the students taught before the “experiences”? Concrete learning experiences must and should — have a knowledge base to ensure that there is true learning for the students. How are parents and families involved and incorporated into the experience? What is the follow-up to the experience? By the teacher in the classroom? By the principal/education director? In the home, by the family? Perhaps a follow-up article?

—Rena Rotenberg, Baltimore


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