Exciting Summer Work from Senesh Faculty

Many of our teachers have taken part in a variety of enriching professional development opportunities this summer. They are all looking forward to sharing what they have learned with fellow teachers and with their students!

Shelley Fogelson, our new Lower School Director, participated in a week long Reading Institute at Teachers College with close to a thousand teachers from across the United States.  At the Institute, teachers studied how children develop as readers as well as best practices in teaching reading.  At the heart of the curriculum is the Reading Workshop during which students are immersed in fiction and nonfiction texts and the teacher explicitly teaches strategies in word-solving, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency. The curriculum is assessment-based and teachers learn to differentiate through small group instruction and individual conferences.  Shelley is excited to collaborate with the Senesh faculty and experience the dynamic learning in our classrooms this year.

Lindsay Hameroff, eighth grade humanities teacher, also attended the Summer Institute on the Teaching of Reading, a contingent of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. The weeklong professional development focused on the implementation of the Reader’s Workshop model in middle school classrooms, as well as best practices for guided reading, curriculum planning, and staff development.

Lower School teachers Shira Becher, Amy Benarroch, and Miriam Kopelow, completed a Yoga Teacher Training through Breathe For Change, the world’s only wellness and yoga training designed for educators. The practice empowers both teachers and students to take care of themselves and their school community. They are excited to share this important, enriching program with Senesh colleagues and their new students! Read more about this exciting program with a spotlight on Shira in the The Forward.

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Perry Wargo, Middle School science teacher, attended a two-day professional development program with the Gowanus Canal Conservancy. Perry and a team of industry professionals developed a vision for a vibrant, open space network that reflects the needs and priorities of the people who live, work, and play in this neighborhood. Panelists contributed perspectives on timely and practical aspects of urban ecology from science, history, social science and professional fields through short, dynamic presentations and lively panel discussions.

Laura Marder, fifth and sixth grade Judaic studies teacher, attended the Summer Curriculum Workshop at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Israel. The collaborative program connected Judaics teachers from around the world. Teachers shared ideas on how to make text come alive for their students. “It was also such a treat to learn Torah for the sake of learning and it reminded me that I am on the same journey as my students as a life long learner,” shared Laura.

Third and fourth grade Judaic Studies teacher, Aliza Donath, also attended the Pardes Institute’s Day School Teacher Track this summer in Israel. She participated in an intensive course learning Talmud and Jewish law and developed a curriculum centered on Jewish laws and traditions for that she is excited to bring back to Hannah Senesh.

Lower School general studies teachers Claire Koshland and Rebecca Heus, spent three weeks volunteering in Mzuzu, Malawi at a community center (Kwithu Community Based Organization). They worked with pre-school teachers on differentiation, lesson planning, multi-sensory reading activities, and helped write curriculum for their amazing early childhood program. HIV and AIDS affect many of the students either directly or indirectly (some have lost one or both parents and are being raised by grandparents or neighbors). The program is the only one of its kind in the area; primary school is free, but very under-resourced and crowded. This program helps provide children in this community with the school-readiness skills they need to be successful in first grade.

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Adam Shapiro, fifth grade humanities teacher, attended a four-day Responsive Classroom Course for middle school educators. Adam found the experience to offer an exciting application of tools to create engaging academics, a positive community, and students with strong academic and social skills.

Also this summer, Adam was one of 500+ Fellows selected from graduate students and professionals nationwide for the Education Pioneers leadership development program.  As a Fellow, Adam completed a high-impact project for the Internationals Network for Public Schools, a nonprofit that trains schools in an innovative school model and curriculum for teaching English Language Learners. Read more about Education Pioneers and their Summer Fellowship program.