With schools finally set to reopen for the new year, teachers are busy preparing for their return to the classroom. To help them put their best foot forward, Igud Hamelamdim held its sixth annual Teacher’s Training Course. Despite this year’s unique challenges, participation was higher than ever.
“There was a very positive feeling about the course,” said Rabbi Avrohom Bluming, director of Igud Hamelamdim. “It was a quality program, and everyone came out feeling very accomplished.”
Rabbi Michoel Gourarie and Rabbi Mechel Rottenberg, who led the course in the past, were joined by Oholei Torah principal Rabbi Yehoshua Lustig and Rabbi Mendel Klyne, principal of Cheder Chabad Detroit. The 30-hour course took place over 10 days, with sessions held on Sundays and in the evenings.
Rabbi Lustig, who is well known and respected as a menahel and educator, gave a powerful presentation on the parent-teacher relationship, giving teachers the tools to communicate their values and what they hope to achieve. Teachers walked away feeling empowered to get parents on board and to work together with them to accomplish shared goals.
“Rabbi Lustig really opened up a new door in my view of communication,” said participant Rabbi Reuven Bachurberg of Montreal. “It gives me the confidence to form strong relationships with parents on a professional level.”
Rabbi Klyne’s workshop, described by attendees as ‘a breath of fresh air,’ focused on teaching Gemara effectively so that students can master learning Gemara on their own. He stressed that less time should be spent on learning “how to learn” and more time on actual learning – which is what will actually familiarize them with the text. “Learning Gemara is like riding a bike,” he said. “Reading about it won’t get you far, you just need practice!”
Graduates gathered in Crown Heights last week for a Siyum ceremony marking the conclusion of the course. During the evening they were addressed by course presenters and guest speakers Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Simpson, principal of ULY Crown St. and Rabbi Mendel Blau, principal of Chovevei Torah.
Before the end of the evening, Rabbi Moshe Weinfeld, a participant in the course, shared a few words with his fellow graduates. Rabbi Yehoshua Lustig handed the trainees their certificates signed by Rabbi Bluming and the four mechanchim who had led the training.
It is a well-known educational principle that teacher training transforms the classroom for the trainees and their students. Now, thanks to Igud Hamelamdim, hundreds of talmidim will enjoy an elevated learning experience and will reap the benefits of enhanced parent-teacher engagement.