|Principal Miriam Schiller reads with a student.|
Couldn’t all that be gleaned from observing in the classroom? “No – when you observe there is a buffer: You’re not interacting with the child; you’re observing someone else interact with the child.”
Mrs. Schiller has taught all Akiba-Schechter students how to read, and she feels particularly fortunate because she gets to know them at the very beginning, in first grade: “Reading is the window to learning. It is the basis for everything else, and I love helping children acquire this critical skill. Teaching first grade also gives me a unique perspective as students grow up because I know where they started. I can speak to parents about their child not from up above, but from having taught their child.”
|Pre-School Director Carla Goldberg (center) sings with the parent/tot class.|
Mrs. Schiller and Mrs. Goldberg also find that teaching makes them more relatable for their staff. “My foot is still in the trenches,” says Mrs. Goldberg, “I can advise from my own classroom experience.” – “If you don’t teach,” adds Mrs. Schiller, “you don’t experience the children as students, and you can’t really appreciate that vantage point. You can also better advocate for the child vis-à-vis parents because you know what you’re talking about. You’ve been in the classroom, you’ve taught that child.”
And that’s what it’s all about: each and every child.