Jewish Life Digital Edition June 2015 - Page 84

Know of a unique chesed idea going on somewhere in the world? Write to us at robert@jewishlife.co.za! We’re always looking for new ideas to share and spread. US A that work best for their classrooms I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS YOUNG HOW ALMOST EVERY GIRL wanted to be a teacher. We would play teacher-teacher with our chalkboards and our granny’s glasses perched on our nose, with our sternest voice and the licence to boss our friends around with gusto when our turn came to be teacher. As we grew older, for many of those little girls, the dream never wavered. Recently, I came across the most inspirational motto: Dr. Walder “Every child deserves the best teacher and every teacher deserves to be the best,” which I traced back to Rouand students, and take it to the next level.” hama Garelick, founder and director of the Walder EduAll the services provided, such as consultation and mentorcation Pavilion of Torah Umesorah in Chicago. ing, classes and workshops, and access to expensive machinery Previously a supervisor of schools for the Associated Talsuch as large-format printers and laminators, are all free. Teachmud Torahs of Chicago, Rouhama would go from school to ers can meet with the Walder Pavilion staff to get guidance and school visiting classes to observe teachers. Whenever she help with curriculum development and lesson planning. found a teacher with a great idea, she would get permission Teachers can come to the centre to network, brainstorm to share it with others, and eventually, she had an enormous and share ideas with their colleagues from other schools, collection of resources – reference books, workbooks, teachwho teach the same grade and/or subject. Teachers have acer-created materials, and projects. Her basement was soon cess to a vast assortment of curricula on every Jewish educaoverflowing with innovative Jewish educational resources. tional subject, developed by master teachers from all over the When she realised that Jewish educators were frequenting world. What is more, using the expertise of the centre’s onher home on a continual basis to enjoy these treasures, she site graphic artists, teachers can then pick elements of any of decided it was time for the next step in her vision – to find a these curricula they choose, and develop their own customcentral location and establish a home for these resources, so ised curriculum to their own specifications. The graphic artall Jewish teachers could benefit. ists will then lay out the custom curriculum to best showcase “The Walder Education Pavilion officially opened in 2004, it. They will also create bulletin boards, posters, activities with the help and single-handed funding efforts of its generand games to support and accompany the curriculum. ous benefactor and president, Dr Joseph Walder. He dedicatThe computer lab offers a wide range of free classes in the ed it in memory of his parents, Martin and Gertrude Walder, latest technology in education throughout the year, and it ofas a place for teachers to come and get educationally sound fers a host of professional development opportunities adideas and information on the most current best practices, to dressing the gamut of teachers’ needs, on topics such as bulsupport and enhance the learning process for each child by lying and engaging students through games. The creative assisting their teachers and schools.” studio and the early childhood department both develop in“Many people have dreams and visions, but it takes a Dr novative ideas, projects and activities for the classroom Walder to bring them to fruition. Without him, there would based on developmental milestones, with the aid of numerbe no Walder Education Pavilion and thousands of educators ous experts of all fields, supporting multiple intelligences. would be working in a vacuum,” stresses Rouhama. Jewish educators from all over the world benefit daily The Walder Education Pavilion services all Jewish schools from the Walder Education Pavilion website: www.walderedregardless of their affiliations, and thousands of teachers ucation.org, which offers access to thousands of innovative and schools benefit from the wholesale prices the centre reeducational materials for free download. The Walder Educaceives, making projects and activities within reach for tion Pavilion is where educators reach out for help and sound schools that are struggling with low budgets. It’s a teacher educational resources; they also get so much more, along resource centre that helps educators be as creative and suc