Courses I could teach to staff:

1) How to use the Arts in teaching even when you don’t “do” Art
Many times teachers have asked me: “How did you get your students to produce such meaningful artwork? You must be an art teacher!”. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I look at what I do as helping students tap into their inner spirituality. Art is just the medium. In this course I help teachers discover how they, too, can facilitate students to bring out their deeper connection to the topic at hand – whether it be American history or a perek in Tanach.

2) Independent work that works
Over the years, I’ve discovered that one of the most effective techniques to enable teachers to reach as many types of learners as possible, is to minimize the amount of time the teacher teaches, and to maximize the amount of independent work that the students produce. With this approach, teachers can focus on enabling students to produce work that uses their strengths, and to build on areas where students need more support. This course will feature how to design meaningful independent work that can accomplish these goals.

3) The importance of tests and how to give them effectively
One of the most common forms of assessments in school is the test. Tests that are designed well allow students to engage with the curriculum from multiple perspectives and stretch them to think about it from a new angle as well. Tests should be designed in such a way that they meet the academic needs of those students who have difficulty with test taking, and stretch the academic skills of those students who do well on tests with little preparation. This course will help teachers design tests that meet these criteria.

4) Project design: How to reach students at different levels using multiple modalities
One of the most common ways that teachers assess their students is through projects.
[Drawing on my Masters degree research in Educational Leadership (2022), I will offer teachers the skills to design meaningful projects that don’t only “look pretty” or “use up” valuable classroom time. Working with the Gold Standard Project Design as outlined by the Buck Institute of Education, I will help teachers design projects that meet the criteria of the most updated research on effective project design.

5) How to design a student exhibit across the curriculum
It is one thing to design an engaging project in a classroom, and it is quite another to design an exhibit that engages students in multiple modalities. This course will teach 2 teachers how to create an exhibit where students can learn about a topic from various angles and in different types of subjects. Here are a few examples of exhibits I coordinated by mentoring a wide range of teachers in cross curricular project design.

4th and 5th grade exhibit 2023

6) How to reach the defiant student or the student with a diagnosed learning difference
Many teachers become burnt out and frustrated because they can’t reach difficult and defiant students. One of the critical ways to help reach challenging students is to modify work for them and to reach them where they are at. In this course I will break down the steps to creating meaningful modifications for students who struggle to comply with the standard work being given to the class. Here is an example of a student reflecting on a project that was tweaked to match his interests. Here is an example of a project I designed using art as the primary modality for high school students in Jewish studies who were disengaged with the traditional teaching methods used in classes. Ultimately this blossomed into a full fledged course to help reach students who were disengaged from learning Jewish texts in the traditional way.

7) How to increase students’ motivation to learn
One of the most significant ways to inspire students to want to learn is by building meaningful relationships with them, primarily by giving them a voice to share their concerns and opinions. There are many techniques to bring this into the classroom. This course will focus on teaching techniques that foster student voice and agency in a meaningful way.

8) Teaching teachers about growth mindset
One of the big buzzwords in education today is the term “growth mindset.” This course will focus on what this term really means, why it is crucial for student learning, and how to foster this type of thinking for teachers and students alike.

9) How to make Tefilla engaging
One of the most complex topics to teach is Tefilla. This course teaches techniques that I used successfully to reach even the most uninterested and disengaged junior high and high school student in Tefilla. This case study on my website showcases some of the 3 incredible student engagement in Tefilla that I was privileged to be a part of.

10) Teaching Tanach in a manner that appeals to different learners
For over 20 years I taught a wide range of sefarim in Tanach creating curriculum using many of the techniques discussed above. This course trains teachers how to use this curriculum to enable teachers to focus on multiple skills and a wide range of learners. This course includes worksheets and all assessments from the courses I’ve taught with a focus on the methodology behind the worksheets and assessments to enable teachers to create their own curriculum moving forward.

11) Teaching American History, (1400s-1900s) and Ancient History (Sumerian, Greek, Persian, Roman empires)
Over the last 4 years, as the History department chair, I designed the junior high curriculum to cover World History and American history. These courses are designed to bolster the skills of very weak students and those who are gifted and need to be challenged. This course includes
worksheets and all assessments from the courses I’ve taught with a focus on the methodology behind the worksheets and assessments to enable teachers to create their own curriculum moving forward.