Mechanchim who will be teaching at schools around the globe learned chinuch fundamentals and teaching skills at Igud Hamelamdim’s unique teacher training summer school.
By Malky Weinstock
When the school doors closed for summer vacation two months ago, forty-five teachers looked forward to beginning a unique summer school—Igud Hamelamdim’s teacher training school, which was held for its Eighth consecutive season, this year, from 26 Tammuz through 15 Menachem Av.
“The school’s three week, 35-hour course participants, included both new and veteran teachers, and even some principals,” says Rabbi Avrohom Bluming, director of Igud Hamelamdim Lubavitch chinuch organization.
Owing to the school’s popularity and supreme effectiveness, many out-of-town teachers, some from Sydney Australia, also wished to join. In response, each classroom was outfitted with a wall-to-wall screen and loudspeaker, to provide live interactive classes between the instructor and the online students.
The school has a staff of five elite instructors, a group handpicked as leaders of the chinuch profession: Rabbi Mechel Rottenberg, renowned principal and trainer who has thousands of teachers worldwide using his classroom management and lesson planning skills; Rabbi Michoel Gourarie, veteran mechanech and trainer, and noted expert in the Rebbe’s chinuch approach; Rabbi Yehoshua Lustig, principal of Oholei Torah Crown Heights, known for his leadership and practical communications approach with students and parents; Rabbi Mendel Klyne, principal of Cheder Chabad Detroit and master Gemara teacher; and Rabbi Shmuel Wagner, a skilled Mechanech and well-known presenter.
The teacher training syllabus included a curated selection of best methods that teachers were thrilled to gain mastery of. Topics included: eliciting active participation from all the students, essential needs of every student, communicating with every student in their “language,” setting the stage for classroom success on the first day and every day, Kriah for all ages, teaching Chumash effectively, the art of the student-teacher relationship, education differentiation to master success with every level student, preparing tests, parent-teacher communication, creating an environment of positivity, the components of a model lesson, rewards and consequences, effective elements of instruction, lesson planning, maximizing student’s potential, raising students to higher level of thinking and processing, teaching Gemara effectively, and ‘Bifnim’ learning techniques.
To the mechanchim’s delight, the 3-hour sessions were not boring lectures. The instructors, known equally for their charisma, wit, and humor, provided for lively, spirited sessions. Participants – both in person and online – engaged directly with the instructors throughout the class. Custom loose-leaf binders, including close to 150 pages of handouts, diagrams, and invaluable chinuch tips and tools, were provided to each mechanech.
Mechanchim felt energized by the training school and spoke of their excitement for going back into their classrooms with fresh enthusiasm and new ideas. Rabbi Zev Feldman, teacher in OP, was overly enthusiastic upon completing the summer school training. “I feel it’s the obligation of every single teacher to attend this school training,” he shared.
The teacher training summer school concluded with a grand siyum, joined by speakers, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Newman, veteran menahel, and Rabbi Yosef Simpson, principal of ULY. Representative of the participants, R’ Avrohom Shlomo Simpson, thanked Rabbi Bluming for his total devotion to teachers and chinuch, and then pointed out many highlights of the presentations. A special guest rabbi from Melbourne Australia, Rabbi Bentzion Melecki, then enthralled the crowd with wise and inspiring words. The siyum concluded with the participants each receiving a signed graduation certificate and being inspired to take on their chinuch mission.
“The air was heady with the pervasive sense of achievement and empowerment, says Igud Hamelamdim director, Rabbi Avrohom Bluming. “It was gratifying to see our children’s devoted teachers feeling confident and ready, armed with a host of newly acquired chinuch tools, to take on their classrooms with freshness and exuberance, newly committed to reach and transform each and every student in their care, in the upcoming school season, habbah aleinu litovah.”
Course graduates are Rabbis: Avrohom Simpson, Boruch Chaikin, Dovid Martinetti¸ Ephraim Paltiel, Hendel Serebryanski, Levi Chesney, Levi Gansburg, Levi Mann, Levi Shemtov, Menachem Feldman, Menachem Jacobs, Menachem Kleinman, Menachem Mendel Vogel, Mendel Blesofsky, Mendel Chein, Mendel Galperin, Mendel Spiero, Mendel Szmerling, Moshe Rubinson, Nissen Moscowitz, Nosson Kuperman, Reuven Mizrachi, Schneur Majeski, Schneur Polter, Shammai Eidelman, Shlomo Katz, Shlomy Ceitlin, Shmully Litvin, Shmuly Gurevitch , Sholem Blesofsky, Sholom Lever, Yaakov Eidelman, Yaakov Glassner, Yisroel Dovid Kastel , Yisroel Gerlitzky, Yisroel Goldberg, Yanky Werner, Zalman Pape, Zalman Spitezki, Zalman Teleshevsky, Zev Feldman, Zusman Oster
We wish them much success in their continued avodas hakodesh!
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