Support Teachers—Increase Retention!

Posted on 11/13/2020 @ 07:00 AM

Tags: Jewish Schools & Educational Services

Can you imagine what it feels like to be a first year teacher? When we asked veteran Miami Jewish day school teachers to reflect back on their first year in the classroom here is what they said:

Now, add to all those feelings the dynamics of this school year - a global pandemic requiring new school protocols to ensure the health and safety of students and faculty; teaching online, on-campus, and a combination of both; uncertainty of IF and WHEN your class might be sent off-campus for a certain amount of time; dealing with the social, emotional and academic needs of students; and the list goes on. 
Enter CAJE. For over a decade, the CAJE day school department has been designing and implementing professional development for educators in Miami’s Jewish day schools. Our approach has been to build the professional skills of teachers and school leaders - which in turn has a ripple effect on school culture and instructional quality. 
Among our many offerings, CAJE’s partnership with the Jewish New Teacher Project (JNTP) has remained a constant. 
JNTP is a national Jewish day school program adapted from the New Teacher Center in Santa Cruz, California. Through JNTP, CAJE develops veteran teachers into mentors who work specifically with novice teachers in their first 1-3 years in the field. 
Mentors learn about the specific challenges faced by novice teachers and develop the skills and dispositions needed to guide them through their first years of teaching. In turn, novice teachers benefit from mentors who have a love and passion for teaching, as well as expertise they have developed throughout their professional teaching careers. As we tell Mentors teachers, they are impacting the next generation of teachers by setting up novice teachers for success!
In the midst of a tumultuous and uncertain school year, we are proud to share that we launched CAJE-Miami’s 5th Cohort of JNTP - a testament to the importance our schools place on ongoing professional learning and to the quality of the program we offer.  
Now more than ever, new teachers - and veterans alike - need all the support they can get so in addition to the foundational mentoring skills and practices that form the fabric of our program, participants are also integrating support for the specific challenges new teachers are facing this year.