Meet Rabbi Gershon Reisenberg
Rabbi Gershon Reisenberg won the Kohelet Prize for Learning Environment, as part of a team of six at Lamplighters Yeshivah. Check out their winning entry, The Conscious Learning Environment, here:
In your experience, what is the greatest challenge facing students/teachers today?
Adjusting to what success is for each student. It varies for each child and many successes cant be “tested” but still should be celebrated.
In implementing your winning project in the classroom, was there a moment when you knew that you had hit upon something really powerful? If so, describe that moment.
First day of school, having the bond already formed with each student led to a joyful return. The students had a confidence in the environment (even though it was a physically different space) that I haven’t seen on any other “first day”. The new students were ushered in by the old ones who really felt at home already.
What advice would you give teachers who want to attempt something new and different in their own classrooms?
Allow 6-7 school days for the idea to become second-nature for the students before assessing its success.
What’s your favorite part of your teaching day and why?
Interacting with the students outside of academics, It centers the teacher to think of them as real growing people (not just students ) and creates a really great dynamic.
How do you ensure that you’re always growing professionally?
I try never to do the same lesson twice, review is good but the bulk should be a different perspective of added information.
If you had one piece of advice to share with a new teacher walking into his/her classroom for the first time…
Plan, If even in point form. but always be comfortable to change the path if needed.
What are some ways in which you motivate your students to become lifelong learners?
By supporting them to find their own answers and acknowledging/showing/suggesting they have the skills they need to do it.