by Lauren Selden, Beth Chaim

My name is Lauren Selden. I am a junior and a part of Beth Chaim. Sunday August 28th I had the privilege to start my first ever workshop with TAP along with other Jewish teens.

We spent some of the workshop discussing the difference between our role as madrichim in our classrooms and getting a better understanding of how to best communicate and help our students feel connected to Jewish learning. We also spent time preparing bags with items that would assist in our teaching and our students’ learning. The items included: a whiteboard, a dry erase marker, a dry eraser, wikki stix, pipe cleaners, a fidget tube, a notepad, a golf pencil, and a pen with different colored ink cartridges. The group discussed various ways to engage students with the items we were given. Another activity we did was especially important to me. We were given verses from the Torah and questions and we would each write what we think it might mean. It was insightful to hear other people’s opinions and the way that Torah discussed including others and people with disabilities or who are deemed not normal by society. Another activity that we did was creating sensory bottles. We discussed different ways to use them in the classroom and helped each other think outside the box. The activity as a whole helped us understand our roles as a madrichim, how to expand our normal thinking, and how to include others and take the time to make sure everyone in our classrooms feels like they are understood.

The whole workshop helped to ignite creativity in the way I can work with others. The workshop gave all of us in the group an opportunity to form a community as Jewish teens. TAP’s workshop also gave us the tools to assist those who may struggle to form a community. I feel more prepared to teach my students regardless of how they learn and to other Jewish teens who share the same love for teaching Jewish children.