This has been our last day at Beth Tfiloh. We had the possibility to see how a week ends in the school. After Dvar Torah given by Rita Tuna we each had the possibility to say goodbye to the children and to our co-teachers. In the last few hours that we spent in the building we had some more time to observe BT. We cannot express how grateful we are to the leadership of the school. Rabbi Soskil, thank you for all the effort that you made, investing a lot of time in making the schedule on a professional level. Dr Schorr, we will definitely read the book you advised. All our co-teachers have done a great job, spending each and every moment to support our work, thank you so much for it. Special thanks to our kind hosts. Thank you, Dr Schorr, Phil and Lisa, Joel and Rachel, Robin and Rob for your kind hospitality. Robin, we will never forget the delicious breakfast and your behaving like our mother throughout the whole week. We could feel home in your homes. Last but not least we cannot express how grateful we are to our second parents Glynis Smith and Alan Reinitz for their caring for us each and every moment during the whole week. Without you and of course SOS International it would not have been possible. We are filled with experiences that we will definitely share with our colleagues in Hungary. We are looking forward to April, your visit in our school. From this very moment we are going to invest all our energy to prepare everything for your arrival. Kindly regards to all of you who have supported us in the past week. Sabbath Shalom for all of you
Starting our day with the Academic Support Team was another possibility to learn for us. As our school, SSG is a place where Special Need children are integrated in regular classes, it was really useful for us to get information about the way how it works in Beth Tfiloh. To perceive, check and diagnose a student with special need is really professional, that is something that we will certainly take and bring back home. The back up of these children works very efficiently here. We have also learnt a lot at the meeting with the team of the social workers who provided plenty of amazing resources for us to bring back home, special thanks to Rochelle and Vicky. Some of us were still able to get to know new colleagues. We have had extra help from our co-teachers as well on all the lessons today, which enabled us all to feel really pleased. Special thanks to the Physical Education Department to give us the chance to observe some lessons, we really appreciated their attitude. There were several things to adopt in Hebrew teaching, thank you for the extra effort for each and every co-teacher today. And we can’t express how much we appreciate Chaim’s effort to provide the most delicious kosher food we could have here in Beth Tfiloh. Each of us enjoyed the whole day in the school. For now we are absolutely aware of the places in the school. Thanks to Rabbi Soskil we also learned about the two main ideas to discipline children and this is also something that we are bringing back home. Either we or our colleagues think that the terms of discipline must be the following: we need to have a genuine sense of treating people appropriately and the other thing is relationship building. All of us think that the parents should also be educated. We could experience how charity works here in Baltimore and it made us feel proud of ourselves. Closing our blog let us do it with a quotation by Rabbi Soskil: ” Love your friend the same way as you love yourself.”
We started our day with a visit to full of all school administration meeting, which was fabulous. As Dr Schorr managed the whole meeting was absolutely effective and simply professional. As we see it, what she does is making the whole system work perfectly. She is a real leader in the literal meaning of this word, a leader who supports her managers the best way she can – that is what we all agreed on. Everybody “on her board” is a hundred per cent aware of the task they have to complete. She is a facilitator who facilitates her colleagues and provides them every way she possibly can. She and all her colleagues invest all their energy to make Beth Tfiloh the perfect place to educate, the perfect place to be educated in and the perfect place to remember for those who have graduated here.
About our lessons: for all of us it was the day when we were able to feel really confident and comfortable due to persistent support of all our co-teachers, due to the students who give us feedback on each lesson with their being cooperative and well-mannered. Their creative art lessons, which we could also be a part of, enable them to work better in their academic lessons – that is how art subjects can give a sense to the big whole. Besides teaching and due to the cancellation of our today’s seminar (which usually prevents us from doing observations), we had a bit more opportunities to visit other lessons. According to our experiences on some History lessons we could see how different it is to prefer teaching critical thinking to chronology. Thanks to Jeff, the leader of the Athletics Department we could take a glimpse at the sports lessons as well. It was very interesting to learn about the slight differences between the Physical Education in USA and Hungary. Special thanks to the librarian lady who helped our colleague get a resource that seemed to be impossible to get. The word that concludes the secret of efficient work in BT is STRATEGY which is: PLAN-DO-CHECK-FEEDBACK-CORRECT-PLAN-DO-CHECK-CORRECT…. We are all looking forward to the challenges of our following day..
Another day has passed. We started the day with an organized excursion with a ranger, who showed us around the Downtown of Baltimore, which was the perfect start of our day. Thank you guys again for the really delicious lunch, which we desperately needed after spending the time outdoors. After today’s seminar we can say that cooperation is one of the most essential thing that can make us go on and reach a positive outcome. Because of some technical difficulties, we needed to work together spontaneously and what I can say is that it worked. Thanks to our helpful and ready to help co- teachers. Each of us taking part in the seminar were trying to do the necessary changes to make the students become more and more interested. After having finished our today’s session of seminar, some students came to us and thanked us for the lecture they had been given – it made us really proud and satisfied. Thanks to our co-teachers again for the fantastic support they gave us today. Some of us can already find their way in the building easily. It was very useful to see your weekly meeting where we could meet the advisors, some teachers and the Principal of the school, who managed the meeting in a professional level. We also thank you for the amazing dinner that we were invited to. It was great to see the parents of those children who are coming to visit Hungary. All of us have had some extra positive experiences about today’s teaching. After having met the parents of the kids who are traveling to Budapest we can say that we got one step closer to the next step of the Morim project. We are really looking forward to hosting the children from Beth Tfiloh Community School.
Day 3 – Baltimore – Beth Tfiloh
After having had our first day to teach we now all feel much more comfortable and confident. We were all really nervous before today as it was the first time to have taught in another country. Thank you very much for all the students who took part in escorting us and showing us around the whole building. We have also had the possibility to observe some other lessons, which let us see the difference between a science lesson here and one in our school.
Thanks to our co-teachers and the kids for the support which helped us succeed in completing our job today.
According to what my colleagues said we all enjoyed this day very much. The students were great. It was amazing to collaborate with you all. There have been some philosophical moments in our lessons as well, discussing the concept mortal and immortal. It is wonderful that your kids are so good even at Hebrew language. We have gained many very positive experiences. All of our co-teachers were really supportive, special thanks to them. The children’s attitude to studying is amazing. We considered it as really important to have had an instant feedback from our co-teachers. And the common meeting after the sessions made us have common conclusions about the whole day. We are all sure that by the end of the week we will all have the most possibly positive outcome of our common work. We all agree that nowadays in our job it is essential to share our knowledge and all of our experiences, because this is the way how we will be able to get better and better teachers. We all looking forward to the following days and working with you.
Day 2 – Washington DC
What a fantastic day we have had. We all are so grateful to our dearest colleagues for showing us all the famous and memorable places in Washington. Beginning with the fantastic White House and all its surroundings including the Potomic River, all the monuments. Thank you for the excellent guidance we got from Debbie Friedmann, special thanks for the way she told us about all the places we were shown. It was unique. We were told about mostly those things that we had not known before and for this reason it was a very special day for us. Not telling about the the fact how energetic she was, so we could see the most places we possibly could. Thank you for Jeff, who we are going to call our sporty driver from this very moment. Special thanks for Rabbi Soskil and his family for having us for dinner, which was much more than we could expect. We will never forget how kind everyone was when welcoming us in Mordechai’s house. As Alan says, it is the beginning of a wonderful frienddship with all of you. What we think is the same and it is also a great possibility to go on cooperating with all the teachers we have in Beth Tfiloh. We can hardly wait to see your children tomorrow at school and start our common work here with you.
Day 1 – Our landing in Washington
We have arrived. We were all so excited to be here. Our journey was really pleasant and successful. Thanks for our dearest hosts , Glynis and Alan we had our first dinner in an authentic place, in Silver Diner, where we could try and listen to the so called duke box, which was a very funny experience. Not telling about the fact that it was really pleasant to have a welcoming chat together having our first dinner here in DC. After a 24 hour staying up we finally crashed out and had a relaxing nap in the beautiful Hilton hotel. Thank you so much and we can hardly wait our first day spending with you guys.