by Lucas Bennett,

Beth Israel of Media

Over the last year, I have learned incredibly valuable skills through my experience with the TAP Program. Through various exposures and learning opportunities with this fun and educational group, I have learned so much about how to work with children–in classroom and real world settings–who may have physical, intellectual, or behavioral challenges in their lives. My understanding on various issues and styles of learning has increased dramatically, as I was able to leave with ideas and a new mindset about how to increase the educational experience of the children who I work with. It was great to be given tools that I could bring back and use in my work at Hebrew School.

One of the most important things that I learned was that everyone learns in different ways. While some people may see themselves as visual learners, and others as auditory learners, some people need different and more specialized attention in their studies, and this was important for me. I was able to go back to synagogue and identify students who were not learning at their highest levels, and spend some time with them in a different setting, one on one, in order to assist them in their work. I also tailored some of the content of the material in slightly different ways to make it easier to understand for the students. This small step of identifying a concern, and actually being able to combat it in an effective way would not have been something achievable for me in this setting without my work in the TAP Program.

Patience is another major thing I got out of the program. Because of the fact that not everyone learns the same way, it is important to understand this, and be sure to respect all children and their desires to learn, no matter at what pace they are able to achieve it at. Because of these things, it is important to be able to adapt to any situation that occurs in the classroom, whether it falls in the educational side of things, or the behavioral side. Overall, I was able to gain so much valuable knowledge, and leave the TAP Program more educated and equipped to work with any type of student in any kind of educational or real world setting.