Monday, December 14, 2009

Teachers Teaching Teachers

This month, South Area Solomon Schechter hosted a professional development seminar for teachers. The focus of the seminar was 21st Century skills: Technology in Schechter Day School. When the idea was introduced, I immediately asked to be part of the planning community. I also asked if I could share the SmartBoard lessons I have been developing for my grades 3, 4 6, 7 & 8 special needs Hebrew classes.

The interest in the topic was high and I was thrilled to have teachers from around the New England Area as well as from New York and New Jersey come in search of ways to use the SmartBoard more effectively to reach all levels of Hebrew students.

More and more I am realizing that many Hebrew teachers are a little overwhelmed by the issue of using Hebrew in the SmartBoard notebook software. I have spent the year learning new tricks at getting around the problem of Hebrew text exploding into gibberish every time many of the interactive flash lesson are used. What was so exciting about teachers coming together at the Technology Seminar was the wealth of information we all have to share with each other. I learned so much from the participants, and I knew that they were just as pleased to be able to say "show me how you did that."

One of the chief problems of the SmartBoard is actually that many teachers are not willing to try something out of their comfort zone. I wanted to show them that it was a lot simpler than they expected it to be. Creating lessons on the SmartBoard keeps my creative juices flowing. One idea leads to another and the possiblies are endless. The problem is that there is just not enough time in the day for teachers to develop their skills and become more comfortable with the technology

--Sarah Shay-Davidson
--Hebrew Special Education Teacher

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