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Back to School

New Teacher Notes

By Rifki Orzech | Back to School | 0 Comments | 27 August, 2019

There’s nothing so fresh and rejuvenated as my child’s school bag and intentions on the first day of September. Files, textbook and copybooks are new, pencils are sharp, and erasers are clean. This isn’t because we’re wasteful; it’s because there was nothing left in his pencil case by the end of May. I learned to take a hands-off approach for backpack organization because of:

  1. Morah A and her grand plans for teaching organization by forcing them not to use their cubbyhole. It didn’t work too well.
  2. The “Tik Debacle” (Tik is school bag in Hebrew.) The last time I dove in I nearly vomited after touching discarded, moldy food.

So he walks around like a pack donkey from Elul to Pesach, because it’s Erev Pesach when he clears out the Elul and Chanuka projects and that’s the way he likes it. After all, he doesn’t want me going crazy, chucking the bag out and fumigating the house… again.

June 21st is when he pops everything left in the recycle bin or trash after venturing forth a second time into the school bag.

Eight weeks later, September 1st, they’re freshly shod and manes are cut. We’ve even had early nights starting from August 25th. Summer is a memory and he can’t wait to meet you, the new teacher.

I hope you’re feeling great and raring to go because as much as we looked grateful on that last day of school, there’s no group so appreciative as parents on a first day. I mean that quite literally, parental parole for us starts on September 1st. I know a mom who loves her kids dearly and will do anything for them, but that woman counts down the days and takes herself out for ice-cream on their first school morning.

While we’re happy for new beginnings, we’re also nervous. Will our children be stretched, or will they be overlooked, will they fall between the cracks or will they be challenged? (Sing the appropriate Rosh Hashana tune.)

What about you? Are you wondering if you’ll be teacher of the year or how the year of teaching different levels and needs will leave you feeling, despite your best intentions? 

Membership at Ji Tap could take a load off your mind. There are templates and tools that can be used online and offline with access to full collections of themes, sounds and animation. You can also use crowd-sourced content that other educators have already created and fit it into your own rubric and requirements. You’re safe in the knowledge that it’s educator-approved and you can then enjoy professional training and webinars to take you further.

If you’re teaching the magic age where plasters make everything better and stickers motivate, then we have the sticker packs and creation packs for you, accessible on iPad and mobile devices. Lesson plans, games, worksheets and sympathy have never been easier.  Maximize the year for all of us and go in for self-care and EdTech that works. How about a book voucher for your Pesach vacation? 

And with that, please don’t ask for book reports and projects that children can’t do by themselves! I can’t handle mommy homework. In return, I will be your cheerleader.  I’ll be even more vocal than your own mother and I’ll have your back on those WhatsApp groups.

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Rifki Orzech

Written by Rifki Orzech

Rifki Orzech is an olah, a mother of three and a content writer with five years’ experience. She is passionate about women learning Torah and has completed the Susi Bradfield Educational Leadership Programme for Jewish women at the London School of Jewish Studies.

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