About the Prize Winners: Robin Gluck

Meet Robin Gluck

Robin Gluck won The Kohelet Prize for Learning Environment as part of a team of two at Jewish Community High School of the Bay. Check out their winning entry, EVERlab 2.0: A Next Generation Beit Midrash, here:

In your experience, what is the greatest challenge facing students/teachers today?

Conceptualizing a relevant, meaningful educational experience for students whose jobs and life experiences will be so different from our own.

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.

In year three of EVERlab, we saw the pieces that we had piloted one by one come together to create a cohesive whole. The space really actually did impact the learning. We talk about this idea of space being essential to learning but it is different when you experience it really happening.

What advice would you give teachers who want to attempt something new and different in their own classrooms?

Listen to the students, watch them as they learn and adapt what you are piloting according to the feedback and observation you make. Be an excellent student of students. And make sure your admin supports you in failing forward.

What’s your favorite part of your teaching day and why?

Everyone in education (pretty much) agrees that we need to be trying new things. Our high schools aren’t working very well and need to be rethought. Experimentation is encouraged. The schools are laboratories.

How do you ensure that you’re always growing professionally?

Asking for feedback and reflecting on my practice as much as I can. I also seek out professional development opportunities so I can see what other people are doing.

If you had one piece of advice to share with a new teacher walking into his/her classroom for the first time?

Create a structured environment for students in which they can have agency over their education. They need as much choice as possible so they will take responsibility for their learning and engage.

When I’m not in the classroom I love to…

practice yoga. This strengthens my teaching by encouraging mindfulness.