Continuous education, love of learning and improving our work with the children are important values for MJDS faculty. The recent Professional Development Day was dedicated to enhancing our practice and thus enriching our students’ education.
The MJDS Jewish Studies teachers, led by Sarit, had a productive PD day filled with discussion and activities. We began the day by reviewing plans for the upcoming Jewish holidays, end of the year celebration, and discussing both immediate and long term goals.
We were thrilled to have Michael Rubin join us for a talk to address pluralism and its role in the Jewish community. As an institution for whom Jewish values and knowledge are paramount, it is important to us to continuously review and examine our objectives and educational practices as a non-denominational Jewish school. Michael’s session allowed us to learn more about the many types of Jews in the world, and provided opportunities to discuss our continuing endeavours to extend positive interactions and learning experiences to our students and community. The session reaffirmed our values and determination to continue providing high quality Jewish education in a respectful and inclusive environment.
The Montessori teachers and Regina joined 400 colleagues for the CCMA (Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators www.ccma.ca/ ) PD Day focused on neuroscience, research on Montessori pedagogy and real-life applications in our daily work with children. Led by presenter Laura Flores Shaw, editor and creator of the Montessori White Papers http://www.whitepaperpress.us/ we discussed educational principles that are critical to the development of our students and that do indeed prepare them for the 21st Century.
One of the key principles we explored is our role which goes well beyond the use of the academic materials. Our most important work is that of supporting each child’s individual development of self-regulation, concentration, personal engagement, independence, creativity, problem solving and critical thinking skills. These traits and skills lead to proven academic excellence; they also lead to a deep love of learning. What a marvelous and magical concept: through joyful learning of Judaic principles and using Montessori materials and concepts MJDS children learn how to learn!