The term mechanechet (or mechanech for men) is difficult to translate precisely. While technically, a mechanechet is a homeroom teacher, the term represents much more than just taking attendance at the beginning of the day.
She is an eduational leader responsible for the well-being of her students, educationally, personally and spiritually. She often teaches several subjects (usually Judaic) to the class, and serves as a point-person coordinating between students’ different teachers, as well as the school administration and the parents. In addition to her formal teaching hours, she also coordinates social interaction and activities both inside and outside of school. She must be aware of her students’ educational progress, personal and familial situations, as well as their emotional and spiritual well-being. More than anyone else in the education system, a mechanechet plays the most important role in her students’ educational and personal progress.
Many of Orot’s graduates serve this critical role in classrooms across the country. Yet, to date, no formal program exists to train future teachers to fulfill this critical educational role in the field. To meet this pressing need for a holistic training program that will arm future mechanchim and mechanchot with the broad range of tools fundamental to this unique educational role, Orot has established a Mechanechet Training Program, under the leadership of Rabbi Yona Goodman, that will serve this unmet need in teacher training.
During the course of studies, students in the program will study an additional 200 hours related to the unique role and skills critical to serving as an effective mechanechet in the Religious Zionist classrom. The program will include:
• Academic courses focusing on creating and actualizing educational vision with the classrom
• Meetings with leading educators as well as with leading personalities from across Israel
• Sessions with mechanchot working in the field, to learn from their wisdom and experience
• Conferences focusing on individual topics related to the unique role of the mechanechet
• Personal field-work and indivualized study
• Courses related to the culture of young people growing up in the Religious Zionist community today, enable the mechanechet to better understand, apprecaite and educate her future students
Upon completion of the program, Orot students will earn a Certificate of Completion identifying them as ideal candidates for the critical educational position as a Mechanechet in the field.