by Noa Cutler,

Beth Am Israel

Being a TAP teen has provided me with valuable strategies and skills for connecting with students and meeting their individual needs. During the first few weeks of class, I mostly concentrated on learning about my students themselves. As a teacher’s aide, it’s important to understand the students’ habits, likes and dislikes, outlooks and limits. I noticed one student in particular, while engaged in the lessons and stories, kept trying to stand up and move around as class went on. I talked to him one on one, and then reached out to the teacher about taking breaks from class when necessary. Another student continually looked frustrated and stressed while the kids were reading Hebrew independently. It turned out that the voices of other students reading different pages in the book were overwhelming, and she was having trouble focusing. I suggested moving into a quieter room, which improved her concentration greatly.

As my year with Beth Am’s third grade class draws to a close, I can take pride in knowing that I’ve helped the kids learn and grow, and provided them with an environment full of people who are attentive to their needs.