The teachers were smiling as they encouraged students to build landmarks in Israel, compete in a fun trivia game, create their own versions of Chagall windows, and develop solutions to real world STEAM problems. As I stopped into the many virtual activities that the Schechter Manhattan faculty had prepared for Yom Haatzmaut last week, I witnessed another remarkable expression of the professionalism and care that our amazing teachers display day in and day out. The move to distance learning over these past weeks has put on full display their creativity and commitment. Seeing the daily routines, rich academic experiences, and meaningful Jewish community building that the Schechter Manhattan teachers are planning and implementing reminds me daily how proud I am to work with such talented, dedicated educators.
The Schechter Manhattan teachers are not only exceptional on special days, like Yom Haatzmaut. Long before the move to distance learning, they were making a positive difference in the lives of our students every school day. They nurture positive and trusting relationships with their students, so that students feel safe to take risks in their learning. They work tirelessly to bring the school’s mission to life. The Schechter Manhattan teachers make it happen: the student centered learning activities, opportunities for reflection, community building, sharing ideas, asking questions, and doing good that make up our days at Schechter Manhattan.
This week was Teacher Appreciation Week and it is a good time to say thank you to our teachers. Thank you for creating engaging lessons that spark your students’ curiosity. Thank you for being ready with the next question to help your students move along their path of learning. Thank you for gathering lots of assessment data about your students, so that you know them really well. Thank you for developing differentiated learning materials, so that students can engage at the just right level of challenge. Thank you for encouraging your students to look at their work carefully and to aspire ever higher levels of quality. Thank you for facilitating respectful classroom dialogue, so that your students learn to treat each other with care, especially when they disagree. Thank you for greeting your students each morning with a smile. Thank you for offering your students compassion and the opportunity to learn when they make mistakes. Thank you for leading your students in helping others through community service activities and the tzedakah roundtable. Thank you for partnering with your students’ parents by communicating with them about their children’s progress and writing those extensive and in-depth reports. Thank you for being role models of menschlichkeit and ethical behavior. Thank you for being there for your students when they need you. And thank you for rolling up your sleeves and adapting to teach in these unforeseen and unprecedented circumstances.
I invite all of the members of the Schechter Manhattan community to join me in thanking our faculty for all of the amazing work that they do.