June has been a busy month for our Ivrit department. PaJeS have been exploring various options in response to the recruitment process for Ivrit teachers in the short and long term. PaJeS works both reactively and proactively to the challenges schools are facing in terms of Ivrit teacher recruitment and below is some of the things we are working on to not only recruit new teachers but also to ensure our existing community of Ivrit teachers is sustainable.
Last week PaJeS hosted a conference for Modern Hebrew teachers held across two days in London. 45 Ivrit teachers from both Primary and Secondary schools from London, Leeds and Glasgow, attended the conference as part of their continued professional development in their field. Dr. Vardit Ringvald, one of the world’s leading scholar of Hebrew pedagogy and Director of the Middlebury School of Hebrew in Boston flew in from the United States to give the training sessions for the teachers at this conference. The purpose of the conference was to promote retention and ensure a sustainable community of Ivrit teachers.
The conference is extremely important to the existing community of Ivrit teachers and to Jewish schools to ensure the high standard of Ivrit teaching is maintained. The sessions focus on identifying individual students learning skills and variables and how teachers can masimimise each students learning of Hebrew language.
PaJeS works in partnership with LSJS’ Secondary School Direct Programme which trains Ivrit and JS teachers. In 2015-2016 LSJS 5 secondary JS teachers and 2 secondary Ivrit teachers trained through the programme. This year, 2016-2017, they have trained 4 secondary JS teachers through the programme. So far for 2017-2018, they have at least 3 trainee Ivrit teachers and 3 trainee JS teachers confirmed with the possibility of even more signing up.
This is one key way in which we are actively addressing recruitment, although with a significant number of new schools having opened in the last 7 years, and allowing for retirement and people moving (sometimes back to Israel) it remains a challenge to recruit sufficient numbers. School Direct produces skilled and qualified teachers and one of the Ivrit teachers who trained last year won this year’s Secondary Ivrit Teacher Jewish School’s award.