by Andrew Salkin,

Tiferet Bet Israel

I am most proud to be a TAP teen because I now am able to help kids more, specifically kids with disabilities. As a teen assistant, I want nothing more from my students than to see them gain knowledge more and become better people. Thanks to the TAP program, I am able to help that goal come true for many of these kids.

At TBI, the synagogue I am an assistant at, I work with the youngest age group consisting of both preschoolers and kindergarteners. Since all of the kids need extra assistance, being so young, the things I learn in TAP help me work with all of the kids in my class. This is my second year working at the synagogue with the age group; and through my time at TBI, I have grown more and more. Learning different methods, strategies, and tricks for working with kids has helped be a better teacher and role model for my students.

I have learned many different ways of working with kids, but it is the TAP program that opened my eyes to a whole new path of how to work with children that need an extra push. Learning how to maximize objects and their use, things like die, pencils, and papers, helped me improve my creativity as an instructor. I also had the chance to learn about the use of games. Kids tend to learn best when they are having fun. Even if they don’t realize they are learning, they pick up new ideas that they never knew. In many instances, when we ask the kids what they learned before they leave, most of the kids talk about the fun, engaging activities that we devised. These things, among many others, highlight what I learned in the TAP program.

The TAP program opened my eyes to a new world of teaching, and I am so excited to continue using what I learned in my classroom and help the kids get to our desired goal.