by Brian Sostek, Tiferet Bet Israel

The two most important lessons I have learned from attending the TAP Program apply to life inside and outside of the classroom.

  1. Patience

From the first day I worked with a student with learning disabilities, I knew patience was a teaching method I had to take into account. When I achieved success with my student, I tried to figure out a pattern to why I was so successful. After the first week of TAP, I realized that the only constant of success was patience. However, patience in this case was not all on my part, but success also required the student himself to be patient. I had to be patient when the student struggled to learn something, but the student had to be patient as I tried to solve the consistent barriers the student was running into. Once a mutual bond between the student and I were formed, we learned to be patient with each other, which led to mutual success.

  1. Get to Know Your Student

The next important lesson that boosted the results of my students was the strategy to get to know your student. If you have a student whom you know little about, it will be hard to achieve success, especially if they have a form of a learning disability. A role as a teacher is to understand the unique learning styles of your students. In addition, it is important to learn what the student enjoys doing, so these desires can be incorporated in daily lessons. For example, I learned that one of my students enjoyed to play games, so I used a die to make the student feel as if learning Hebrew was as fun as a game. I learned that another student of mine enjoyed music, so we would sing the Hebrew letters, which the student truly enjoyed. It also helped her remember Hebrew mnemonically.