Twenty-six educators from seven Lakewood Schools have spent four days over the last two weeks building on their teaching knowledge while attending the “Al Pi Darko, Yeshivas Celebrating Neurodevelopmental Diversity” training. Principals and teachers from Tiferes Bais Yakov, Bnot Yisrael, Yeshiva Orchos Chaim, The Lakewood Cheder, Bais Tova, Yeshiva Keter Torah, and Yeshiva K’Tana participated in this intense training program.
The program, facilitated by Dr. Judah Weller of PTACH, trains teachers to recognize students’ weaknesses and address them within a regular classroom. Teachers learn how people think differently and are taught to develop their lessons targeting the different thought processes in the classroom. The child who can’t focus or pay attention does not necessarily have an attention deficit problem. The “lazy” or disorganized child may actually have certain learning differences that can be defined and strategies may be utilized to help the child. These tools will help teachers completely transform their classroom into a learning center for all types of minds.
Over the past eight years, more than 900 educators have participated in this exceptional training program. One principal who had taken a similar course commented that other programs leave you on your own. You need to figure out how to apply the lessons in your classroom. Dr. Weller makes a point of modeling the material with practical everyday examples from a regular yeshiva classroom to illustrate the ideas that he is demonstrating. The result is that the teachers can immediately implement the program in the classroom and are comfortable doing so.
Although the program is intense the atmosphere is very comfortable. Teachers are able to share from their own personal classroom experiences and brainstorm with their peers for solutions. There are group activities that allow the educators to apply what they have learned and test out their new knowledge. One teacher with twenty five years of experience remarked that as the program progressed, past students flashed in her mind and she was finally able to understand the struggles that they had been going through.
“The teachers were really involved and the feedback has been tremendous,” remarked Rabbi Noson Berman Co-Director of PTACH’s new Office of Institutional Advancement. “The teachers are excited to use the new knowledge in their classrooms.” One teacher summed up her experience. “I’ve learned so many real, specific ways to help different types of students – both in how to identify their struggles and concrete ways in which to help them learn.” For more information about PTACH’s National Educational Resource Center and the “Al Pi Darko” program, and to schedule training for your teachers contact the PTACH office at 718-854-8600 ext. 120