Pardes Teachers Present at National Jewish Day School Conference

Four Pardes Jewish Day School teachers had the unique opportunity to present at the Prizmah Center for Jewish Day School National Conference January 8 – 10 in Denver, CO. Over 1,000 Jewish day school leaders and educators attended the conference, celebrating the spirit of creativity and exploring the creative competencies that can positively impact students, schools, and communities.

Middle school teachers Laurie Burckhardt, Sarah Ettinger and Nicole De Palma, presented their sixth grade Agents of Change Project Based Learning at a session centered around “Envisioning Change.” The middle school teacher team participated in the Teacher Tech @ MIT Institute and worked together to design an innovative Project Based Learning (PBL) opportunity. After exploring a year-long cross-curricular theme of change agents in which students were introduced to mentors within the greater community, students reflected on the driving question, “How can we make change happen within our community?” Each student followed their interests and explored ways to make change happen in their community. The final products were shared during a showcase in the spring, which highlighted the students’ effort, vision, and hard work. 

Sara Abrams, sixth grade humanities teacher, presented on teacher leadership during a session entitled “Enhancing the Faculty Experience.” Having participated in the Teacher Leader Fellowship at Brandeis University, Abrams discussed her newly-expanded leadership role at Pardes, now serving as a literacy coach in addition to her teaching responsibilities. “It was an honor to present on teacher leadership, so that the impact the Brandeis program has had on me as well as Pardes in my role as literacy coach, had the opportunity to impact others,” shared Abrams.

Several members of the administrative team also joined the faculty members in attending the conference.

“We were honored to represent Pardes at the Prizmah conference where we shared our successful PBL with colleagues from all over North America. We also enjoyed connecting with other Jewish day school professionals and learning from each other. It was an empowering experience!”

 – Laurie Burckhardt, Sarah Ettinger and Nicole De Palma