Teachers Discuss How to Make Upcoming Year Successful

Undeterred by the limitation of Covid, hundreds of educators joined the Chinuch Office’s annual conference, helping teachers be better prepared and children more successful in this upcoming school year.

Schools will open more safely; teachers will be better prepared and children more successful because of the Zoom kinus haMechanchim of 5780.

Undeterred by the limitation of COVID, the Merkos Chinuch Office sponsored a kinus through ZOOM which was attended by many hundreds of mechanchim (and mechanchos) in North America, Europe, and even Australia. 

Throughout the summer menahlim held a number of teleconferences to discuss the necessary response to the challenges they faced as a result of the COVOD-19 pandemic. They shared information, discussed mutual concerns; how to prepare for a new school year. It was not at all clear that there face to face instruction would be allowed, what should the “plan B be?

The education of the vast majority of our children suffered as a result of COVID.  Research has shown that that only a very small number of children did better a result of the distance learning, they have difficulty sitting and focusing in classroom. Some children were able to make some academic progress because of some excellent media centered lessons, though they may have suffered socially. However, most children were not so fortunate; they need face to face teaching in order to be able to learn optimally, and they have regressed. How do teachers deal with this reality?

Sessions at the kinus featured:  Dr. David Pelcovitz, the famed psychologist who guided teachers in understanding the current mindset of children how to help them adjust to the new realities and expectations they face. Dr. Norman Blumenthal, the lead psychotherapist it OHEL who offered guidance on the educational side of the same coin.

After a six month hiatus, too many children have forgotten how to act in a school setting. Rabbi Levi Feldman presented on the classroom management techniques teachers need to employ to get the school year off productively. And Rabbis Moshe Schwartz and Zalman Raskin presented on how to help primary grade children who have regressed in their Kriyah skills which are an essential prerequisite to ant future learning. 

Children have become familiar with all the benefits of using the internet but in the process, we have opened up a Pandora’s box. How can schools and homes maintain control of their internet access? Rabbis Sholom Kleinman and Menachem Tauber, of LEC in N. Miami Beach,  made a presentation to help schools and mechanchim deal with this new extensive exposure to the internet and mitigate its influence.

The kinus featured a number of sessions for principals, and executive directors by Dr. Chaim Botwinick, Rabbis M. Greenbaum Y. Lustig and Y. Garfinkel. As well as fund-raising session by Rabbi Yitzchok Wolf. 

Rabbi Yehuda Leib Schapiro spoke to melamdim, in an evening session about their zechus to get back to teaching Torah, and their achrayus

It takes months of planning to bring such an event to the Chabad chinuch world and the kinus committee never gets the accolades due them. They are: Rabbi Dr. Chaim Botwinick, Hebrew Academy, Margate FL, Rabbi Menachem M. Greenbaum, Cheder Chabad, Los Angeles, CA, Rabbi Levi Feldman, Oholei Menachem, Brooklyn NY, Rabbi Baruch Kaplan, NEHA, New Haven CT,  Rabbi Yehoshua Lustig, Oholei Torah CH, Rabbi Moshe Rodman, Desert Hebrew Academy, Las Vegas, NV,  Rabbi Dovid Rahmani, Cheder Levi Yitzchok, Melbourne Australia, Rabbi Yaakov Scheinberger HACS, Margate FL,  and Rabbi A. Wolowik, Cheder Chabad, Baltimore MD. Rabbi Menachem Kirschenbaum Brooklyn, New York. 

The marathon Kinus sessions ended Tuesday night but its help to mechanchim will continue. Mechanchim have already received updates from Dr. Blumenthal and OHEL, and recordings of the presentations will be up on the Chinuch Office website: www.chinuchoffice.org very shortly. 

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