P R O F E S S I O N A L D E V E LO P M E N T
FINDING THE RIGHT PATH
Himel Branch Grade 3 Hebrew teacher Meirav Cohen describes the joy of becoming a student again
KOL BIALIK | WINTER 2019
he fact that I am a teacher is not a coincidence, but the fact that I became a student again is hard to believe. You see, I was never a model student. Sitting still was always difficult for me and still is. I only learned to read at the end of Grade 2. So who would have thought, many years later, when I was casually searching for information on second language instruction, I would come across Middlebury College in Vermont? Or that I would decide to work on my master’s degree in Hebrew proficiency? Coincidence? Perhaps. But there’s no question that I’m on the right path. Middlebury is internationally recognized as a school for foreign language instruction. It was not easy leaving my family for six weeks, living in a dormitory and sharing a room, and being part of an intensive master’s program. But I did it — and I feel fully invigorated! I am so grateful to have received the support I needed from my supervisors at Bialik — Kathy Friedman and Beverley Young.
I learned that a language is more than the words we speak; it incorporates all aspects of a culture. I learned so much from the other students as we studied Israeli authors, watched films, danced and sang. In essence, we did much of what I do as a teacher every day and what, at Bialik, we believe to be the correct methodology for language instruction. At Bialik, we have created our own units based on authentic language experiences. I grew to appreciate the way our school gives teachers access to best practice learning and the many opportunities we have to further our skills. I learned something else as well—that my students are my best teachers. Watching their enthusiasm and their learning inspires me to continue to seek out opportunities to improve my teaching methods. Coincidence or not, I am thrilled that I had the opportunity to explore best practices at Middlebury and to implement them in my classroom.
Here the Soul of the People is Forged |
פה בית היוצר לנשמת האומה