Teacher = Hero

Posted on 02/19/2021 @ 07:00 AM

Tags: Jewish Schools & Educational Services

What's your superpower?

Close to a year ago, as our entire world was thrown into a new reality, the world of Jewish education was compelled to pivot into this new reality as well.
 
Our Miami Jewish day schools had to instantaneously become adept at new ways of teaching and learning. At first, the approach was “do the best possible,” given the situation and hope that things would go back to “normal” soon.
 
As the weeks stretched into months, it became clear that the 2020-2021 school year was never going to be “normal” and that schools would need support to educate in these new conditions. 
 
Enter CAJE’s Day School Department - our role is to strengthen the capacity of Miami’s Jewish day schools by designing and implementing professional development for educators. We focus on this work because research shows that coaching and mentoring school leaders and teachers has the greatest effect on school culture and the instructional quality that students and families experience. 
 
Yet, how does one small department in one small agency support a system of 10 schools with a total student population of over 3,500? By building strong relationships with our school partners plus leveraging local and national resources. 
 
In the midst of this tumultuous school year where just trying to stay afloat could have been their goal, Miami’s Jewish day schools are going above and beyond by partnering locally with CAJE as well as national organizations such as the Jewish New Teacher ProjectPrizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools, and the Jewish Education Innovation Challenge to support teachers from the newest to the most veteran as they navigate the challenge of education under these conditions.
 
One of CAJE’s signature partnership programs is with the Jewish New Teacher Project (JNTP). Through JNTP, CAJE develops veteran teachers into mentors who work with novice teachers in their first 1-3 years in the field to alleviate new teacher dropout and offer fresh opportunities for long-time educators.

Earlier this year, CAJE-Miami’s 5th Cohort of JNTP launched with 24 teachers from Temple Beth Am Day SchoolScheck Hillel Community School and Kesher LD
 
But what if a school has new teachers but cannot provide in-house mentors?
 
We are proud to share that in addition to teachers participating in CAJE-Miami’s JNTP cohort, CAJE was also able to secure “Virtual Visiting Mentors'' from JNTP in order to provide support for additional new teachers in Miami day schools. This program is made possible through a grant that JNTP received from the Jim Joseph Foundation.
 
Now more than ever, new teachers need all the support they can get, and we are grateful that through CAJE’s partnership with JNTP, we were able to secure additional mentors for our Miami schools.
 
Stay tuned for next week when we tell you even more about how CAJE is supporting quality teaching and learning during the pandemic...