What do you teach at B’nai Shalom?
I teach science to Grades 3-8.
Why do you teach?
I have had many different career paths in my life’s journey. Many years ago, I took a step back from what I was doing to look at how I could contribute to society…how could I make a difference? I knew the answer right away which was teach what I love!
Why do you teach at B’nai Shalom?
When I walked into B’nai Shalom three years ago, I said to myself “this is home!” The freedom to teach in a loving, nurturing environment in which the whole child is taken into account is amazing. While test scores have their place, B’nai Shalom teaches to the child academically, emotionally, and religiously. It is a place where each student can feel unique, cared for and challenged. B’nai Shalom is a family and it is one that I want to be a part of for a long time!
What do you want students to get from having known you?
I hope that students take away from knowing me that I am here to support them and to help them no matter what. I want to help my students become the person he or she is meant to be. Developing a love for science, or at least a better understanding of it, is also a goal of mine. I hope they learn that everything is connected to science in some way.
What is the most important life lessons student will learn from your class?
Science is a fluid subject; constantly changing with time and as technology improves. The most important life lesson I would like my students to take away from science is that you learn from your mistakes. Thomas Edison did not invent a long lasting light bulb the first time he tried, but after a thousand attempts. Life is just that – try, try and try until you succeed.
What is the most important life lessons you have learned from your students?
My students have taught me to always keep my eyes open and to have a fresh way of looking at life. Adults tend to see things through a jaded lens – we have seen it, we have done it. But the students are seeing and learning things for the first time. They are so excited and see things that maybe I didn’t see the first time I looked or tried to learn something new. A fresh perspective on life every day, this is what the students teach me every day.
How do you teach to the way of a child?
I am a firm believer that everyone is smart, just in different ways. During a unit of study the students will explore the material we are covering through many means such as hands-on activities, note taking and technology based lessons. By doing rather than seeing is the best way for most students to learn. I let them make mistakes nor do I just give them a recipe to follow. Curiosity is a great tool for learning.
What types of professional development have you completed in the past year?
During the past year, I have taken several online classes to refresh and learn about topics I may be unfamiliar with in order to be a better teacher. Many of the seminars I attended at last year’s North Carolina Association of Independent Schools (NCAIS) program have encouraged me to enrich my classes through many means – from using technology to different ways to present projects. I have participated in a number of technology based seminars to help me keep up with the students’ knowledge. I am also a member of National Science Teachers’ Association (NSTA), which provides me access to a variety of teaching techniques, hands-on inquiries and the latest in science information.
In what ways do you collaborate with other teachers?
B’nai Shalom’s dual curriculum enables me to integrate science with Judaic Studies and other General Studies courses throughout the year, from the phases of the moon to the life cycle of a tree. Working with Edna Rubenstein and Boaz Avraham-Katz helps facilitate many opportunities for the subjects to intertwine. Currently I am working with Edna on a tree project with the 5th graders who are also working on a tree project with Susanne Settle and Sue Zaleon.
Many times in science the students ask me “Why are we doing math?” “Why are we writing papers?” I inform them that science is best friends with these subjects because you cannot be a scientist without a strong knowledge base in the other subjects.
The teachers at B’nai Shalom teach to the whole child. We work together to integrate our subjects so the child sees the connections throughout the day. It is through working together that we are able to provide the highest education for the students at B’nai Shalom.