Teacher Training During a Corona Year: Challenges and Successes



Yael Tamir, Internship Coordinator & Lecturer in the English department at Orot Israel College

“I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn”

            -Albert Einstein

The internship workshops at the College are held once a week. The interns’ mentors and I do our best to support the interns emotionally and professionally, to provide suitable conditions to grow and be empowered to fulfill their educational mission. In the workshops we strengthen their sense of competence in teaching, establish effective and professional work habits, raise conflicts, and connect between theory and fieldwork.

To help them in this journey and to soften their entry into the educational system during a Corona year, we instituted the following new initiatives:

Digital and Emotional Tools for Distance Learning

As part of our staff meetings with the internship mentors we used different digital and emotional tools to build knowledge and socio-emotional learning (SEL) into distance learning. This way the mentors provided modeling for optimal teaching in the workshops. In addition, the interns received training kits with innovative tools that enabled them to integrate into distance learning.

Internship Coffee Meetings

Twice a semester I meet interns from the various workshops in an informal meeting to discuss their feelings and needs both within the college workshops and in their field placements. These meetings provide the interns with an attentive ear and help them progress with their initiatives.

Internship Knowledge Meetings: “InternKnow"

The success of the Internship Coffee Meetings led to creating “InternKnow” meetings. In these meetings the interns receive enrichment workshops in areas connected to their personal lives and their educational work. Some examples include how to manage work-life balance, what is an educational figure, and best practice tools for classroom management.

Emotional Support by Counselling Graduate Students as Part of the Practicum

In this project the interns received emotional and training support during this very challenging year. The project was created in a college-wide collaboration between the Unit for Entry into Education under the direction of Racheli Bartov together with the Master's Degree Program in Counselling under the direction of Dean of Students Rabannit Idit Shila. We presented this project at the Ministry of Education’s Internship Forum and it was received with great enthusiasm. The project was even adopted by Kay College, and b”h, we have had the merit (zchut) of Torah coming out of Orot College.

Adapting to preparing teachers during Corona has been a huge challenge that we have met with significant success. Watching our interns grow into educators who are ready for today’s challenges has been rewarding and exciting.