I’ve just returned from three days touring Philadelphia and Lancaster County with the 6th grade. When I checked in with the chaperon’s from each trip, I heard three things. The first was, of course, that the faculty staffing the trips was a little tired. Spending three full days touring and supervising an entire grade is an exhausting experience and I am grateful to the following teachers for giving up time with their families to provide our students with such an incredible educational experience:

Mrs. Motroni
Coach Kurz
Mr. Schlank
Mrs. Pitschi
Mrs. Gadon
Ms. Dubow
Mr. Hirsch
Mrs. Polen

The second was that the students were having an incredible time in Washington and Boston and I saw the same thing in Philadelphia. The third is something that we saw evidence of throughout the trip. Our teachers regularly heard from our hosts and other tourists that our students were so respectful and well-behaved. At each stop on the three trips, students asked questions that were an outgrowth of their curiosity and desire to understand the world around them.

It is these last two items that make these middle school field trips, as well as our other experiential learning programs, like our Shabbatonim, Israel trip, and our Tzibur club programming, so powerful. I watched something similar occur on Monday in the high school when students experienced the Four Faces of Israel. With each persona that Helen took on, our students responded with respect and well-thought out questions, even if they did not agree with what they were hearing.

We have a rich curriculum taught by skilled teachers, but these opportunities to deepen our learning and understanding enrich us, whether it is a workshop from American Jewish World Service or next week’s programming with Beit Tshuvah.  Learning outside of the classroom helps facilitate pulling a grade together and making the connections between students stronger. These experiences create opportunities to put the tools for derekh eretz into practice. Finally, they create lasting memories among our students that they will recall and treasure for years to come.

I know I will.

Shabbat Shalom!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This