Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Judy visits JDS

I was lucky that my faculty check in during student teaching landed right in the middle of my student teaching. It is really easy to get overwhelmed (especially as a second year, in my case third) with teaching, but also interviewing and juggling life. 

Not only was Judy a great observer and gave wonderful feedback after my lessons, she helped me focus and reminded me of my goals I had set for myself before leaving Pardes. Take risks, have fun, learn, experiment, take advantage of the fact that I have a (wonderful) veteran teaching watching my lessons, etc. 

Judy and me in the CESJDS Rabbinics office!
Judy's visit was brief, and while she was at JDS she met with my mentor teacher, the Judaic studies department chair, the head of school, principal of the middle school, and of course, most of the time she was with me. Although I'm sure the interviewing process will only become more stressful, she really eased my anxiety and helped me re-focus.

Besides all the helpful things she did and the guidance she gave, it was simply wonderful to see a friendly loving face from Pardes. Can't believe I'm at the half-way marker! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

JDS hockey team plays Israel!

Last night, after school, I went with the Director of Jewish Life and her five year old son to watch a hockey game between JDS (the school where I'm doing my student teaching) and Israel. I didn't know that Israel had a youth hockey team, but they were touring DC all the way from Metula, Israel. The team is made up of male and female, Israeli and Arab teens. The stands were packed and it was an awesome match to watch. I have no idea about the skill level as it was the first hockey game I have ever been to, but I thought both teams played well. I was proud of my students and the teens from Israel. 

Israel is in white and JDS is in blue. 
Opening ceremony of the hockey game 

My friend's son with two Olympic medalist hockey players. 

Tshirt from the game.

I was also impressed by how many students, parents, administrators, and community members came to support both teams and came to support Israel. The DC area is a really nice place to be and I'm happy to be at JDS to experience these types of events in America. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

First day of student "teaching"

I put teaching in quotations because even though it was my first day at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (JDS for short) in Rockville, Maryland, I definitely didn't teach. I observed, a lot.

Entrance of JDS (still dark outside when I arrived)
I had a couple of tours of the school, met many wonderful people, half of whom I hope to remember their names tomorrow, and sat in on classes. Besides the Judaic Studies classes I sat in on, I went to a jazz class which was very cool (and impressive). 

After meeting the tennis coach after school, we agreed that I would coach with her until April with the boys team every Monday-Thursday.  

Shabbats are already being planned! This Shabbat Yaffa will be in Maryland and I'll get to spend time with her. Maybe I'll miss Pardes less when we're together. Although, everyone at JDS is so nice and welcoming, it's hard to not love every second and very hard not to be excited about going to "work" everyday.

First day!!! 
My first day of real teaching will be next Monday. Until then I will be doing more observations and prepping my lessons for teaching. (Also, there are a lot of Pardes alumni that work at my school which makes it feel very homey!)