Parenting is complicated. I remember how naive I was as a younger parent and less-experienced educator, thinking that it was simple—wondering how parents could do this or their children behave like that. Over time, though, I’ve grown to appreciate how nuanced parenting is and how many variables are at play. The typical complexity of parenting is only compounded further when there is disability at play. In general, it is acutely difficult to generalize good parenting advice, all the more so to share meaningful suggestions for parents of children with special needs.
Posts by SINAI Staff
The feelings leading up to Pesach---or any family and holiday meal---can bring either excitement or trepidation and fear, all depending on the lens you have and your particular cast of characters.
At SINAI’s Maor High School at the Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School, an important part of our students’ growth is in the social/emotional domain. While our Maor students focus most of their day on academics covering a college preparatory high school curriculum, they benefit significantly from our social skills program that addresses their challenges in navigating social interactions appropriately and effectively. Both Mrs. Pesha New and I use our training as social workers to implement Maor’s social skills curriculum in group and individual settings.
As an educator, I strive to think about the actions I have taken in the past and how they have affected my students, fellow teachers and myself. I previously thought that my talents and abilities were simply fixed traits. If I am talented in a certain area, why do I need to work to improve it? Further, if I do try and fail, then what? For instance, I have a passion in using educational technology to engage, enhance and extend student learning. I have had the pleasure of working as the director of educational technology at SINAI Schools since August.
I was honored to be invited to the Bat Mitzvah of one of our students a few weeks ago, a girl who has the most beautiful face and angelic smile. She has tremendous difficulty making eye contact—I wonder how the photos will come out, because she usually can’t even look at a camera to take a picture. And she has a lot of difficulty putting her words together. She speaks very softly—at just over a whisper, and often struggles to find the words she is looking for.
This year we started the "Givers’ Club" at our school at RYNJ, as a way to work with our students on their social skills, pragmatic learning, and speech and language skills. The students discuss what it means to do Chesed, and the different ways to be a Giver---donating money, working for a cause, visiting an old age home, cleaning up a park, etc. Ultimately, as a group they will pick a few projects to follow up with over the course of the year.
Many students from Modern Orthodox High Schools choose to spend a year learning in Israel after graduation, commonly known as the “Gap Year.” This is no different for our students at SINAI’s Maor High School, although we spend extra time helping them find a program that will be sensitive to their learning differences or social difficulties. The year in Israel provides a really important capstone to the learning our students have engaged in while in high school, and the love for Israel that we strive to instill in them.
It is widely known among educators that students learn through a variety of modalities. Some students’ learning styles are obvious to the observer taking a sneak peek into a classroom setting, while other styles take some creativity to unwrap and discover. The most common modalities through which individuals best learn are: visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic. By determining the styles through which students best absorb content and skills, educators can tailor lessons to allow for optimal learning and success.
Forget DudePerfect, Rabbi Goldstein of the SINAI Shalem program at TABC created this TuviaPerfect video and we love it!
As the recent school year drew to a close, for my future students joining us in the inaugural year of the SINAI Shalem High School for Boys at Heichal HaTorah, the excitement of summer was mixed with emotions as they began to actualize the meaning of their past four high school years at SINAI Shalem at TABC.