by Rosie Ackerman
Being in TAP has been a pretty incredible experience for me. I was a teacher’s assistant at my synagogue last year, so I already knew about working with kids, but I didn’t know that much about working with students with disabilities. I was very excited to learn – and learn I did!
One of the most important lessons I got from TAP was that everyone learns in different ways – whether it be visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. Because of TAP, I’ve been paying much closer attention to my 4th graders, how they act and how they learn. It’s very important for me to get to know them individually if I want to be a good helper. It’s also easier for them to learn effectively when I know their specific learning preferences are.
I have one child in my class who has autism and TAP has taught me how to be patient with him, how to talk to him calmly and clearly and so much more. I know that what I’ve learned in TAP will help me this year as a teacher’s assistant, but also for the rest of my life. I’m very grateful for that.
Best of all, I’ve made a lot of amazing friends in TAP – all very different, but amazing people.
Rosie Ackerman is a teen assistant at Beth Am Israel.