Showing posts with label Senior Educators Cohort. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Senior Educators Cohort. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

The best use of my time ever
(for professional growth)

I should have posted this sooner. If you listen to me you only have two days to act. I hope you do. Like many of us in Jewish education, I have devoted a lot of time to my own professional development. I have always asked my teachers to attend conferences, online learning and other ways to build their professional tool box. Being a Dugma Ishit (personal example) has always been a core value to me, so I have done a lot of it. In addition to the learning, I love the networking and building relationships with colleagues.

Four members of SEC-4 with four 
Mstaff at the 18 x 18 Summit last week.

I won't list all of the conferences and programs I have attended, planned or even staffed. I will tell you about one though - and I have talked about it before.

In the late spring of 2019, I began a 10 month engagement with M2: the Institute for Experiential Jewish Education's Senior Educators Cohort. I was in Cohort 4 (SEC-4). Cohort 7 is now recruiting and the deadline is this Thursday, June 22. If you are a Jewish Educator do not pass go, do not collect $200 - go directly to the application form!

Sorry. I am a little excited about this program. You see, I have had a great time at a lot of the professional learning programs I have attended over the years. I have a lot of friendships that came out of them and I learned a lot.

SEC-4 was a on a completely different level. I was already doing a lot of learning about Experiential Learning and sharing it with my teachers, because I have believed for several years that it is the secret sauce to connecting the current and coming generations of learners. And IEJE has really created a new academic field for us to understand how to make it work in our different settings. And they have created a lexicon to help us understand it and to transmit it to our teachers an students.

When I finished the first five day seminar, I went up to Kiva Rabinsky, who is the Chief Program Officer and one of our teachers that week, and told him that I had never spent a week of professional learning where so many of my waking hours were spent actually learning. We all got to know one another and develop friendships - we still maintain and actively use our Whatsapp group, and the program ended in March of 2020! AND the learning was intense.

I had intended to complete the program and then begin sharing it with my faculty. After I returned from the first seminar, a few teachers asked me about it and I could stop sharing specifics with them. They insisted that I needed to teach it as quickly as I learned it - it made so much sense to them, I was so passionate about it and they did not want to wait. Thank God I did what they suggested. Because the final seminar ended just hours before the COVID-19 lockdown. It actually was ended two hours early so the Israeli staff and participants could board an earlier flight so they would not have to quarantine for two weeks on arrival.

Thank God I did what they suggested, spending the fall and early spring teaching my teachers what I learned at SEC-4 and helping them begin to use some of the ideas in their lessons. Because when we made the swing to Zoom on March 15, 2020, they were already thinking about how to make those Zoom classes less frontal and more experiential. I am certain they would have done an excellent job teaching online and later in hybrid mode without the M2 learning. I am convinced that it contributed a lot to how overwhelmingly successful they were in facing all that the pandemic threw at us as teachers. And they were awesome.

So stop reading my ranting. Sign up for SEC-7. You're welcome.