Hand in Hand Teacher Training
The bilingual and integrated nature of our schools makes our pedagogical needs unique and complex. As such, each Hand in Hand teacher receives pedagogic support, supervision, and training to effectively implement Hand in Hand’s bilingual and multicultural model.
To this end, there is a team of Jewish and Arab pedagogic supervisors assigned to each school, who meet regularly with the teaching staff, sit-in on classes, discuss problems that arise, and suggest ways to optimize pedagogic techniques. Our advisors offer up strategies for improving co-teaching and second language proficiency, and helping teachers design, prepare and implement innovative and multicultural curricula and teaching methods. They also assist teachers as they engage in reflective practices to improve their work.
Teachers report that they find this training extremely valuable:
“As a new teacher, I benefited tremendously from the pedagogic training I received. They helped me and my co-teacher divide up our presentation to parents so that each of us had an equal presence. They made me feel comfortable raising any and all topics. My perspective and worldview has become wider.”
With the help of the intensive training provided by our in-house Education Department, our teachers can instill Hand in Hand’s vision and values in students, whilst providing an excellent bilingual education. As co-partners in our mission, and role models for our students, we believe it is crucial that we continue to provide training that is tailored to teachers’ and students’ needs, thus creating the optimal learning environment.
Multicultural Preschool Training Program:
In mixed cities, there are many public preschools with de facto mixed Jewish-Arab populations. However, these schools officially belong under the umbrella of the Jewish public school stream, meaning only Hebrew and Jewish religion and culture are taught in the classroom. This means the Arab students do not have the opportunity to learn their own language, culture, and religion, and leads to a learning divide and lack of proper cultural representation in the classroom.
To address this issue, Hand in Hand’s education department recently launched the first ever Multicultural Preschool Training Program in two mixed areas where public preschools serve a mixed population—Jaffa and Nof HaGalil. As part of the program, Hand in Hand advisors provides multicultural training to teaching staff in these public Jewish preschools which serve a large proportion of Arab children. Drawing on our expertise, Hand in Hand equips the teachers of these preschools to better serve the needs of their diverse student populations.
The program aims to increase public school teachers’ multicultural competence, enabling them to work more effectively and sensitively within the complicated reality of a multilingual and multicultural student body, enable students to feel represented and included in the classroom, reduce students’ stereotypical thinking and fear of those coming from different backgrounds, and increase positive interactions among Jewish and Arab students.
The program has seen great success in its first years, and has now expanded to 15 mixed non-Hand in Hand preschools in the current school year. We hope it will continue to expand, bringing multiculturalism to the wider education system.