From Participating Teachers

“Since I’ve been working in the Hidden Sparks program I confront the challenge of teaching a weak student instead of ‘running away’.  I actually feel enthusiastic about helping students find their strengths.”

S.S., second grade teacher, Bnos Yaakov of Pupa

“It’s great to move away from labelling..to look at children through the Lenses and apply strategies rather than looking at the label on the IEP…. trying to figure out what we need to do based on observing our students is the greatest thing I learned.”

Morah at Yeshiva Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch

“Hidden Sparks has helped me look at my students differently.  I now become less frustrated when they are having a hard time and rather try to think of strategies to help them.  I love the fact that I am encouraged to think about my students strengths and not to only think about their weaknesses.  Dr. Reichman has been a great motivator and teacher and having her in my classroom observing my students has been very helpful.  I also enjoy our meetings and the chance to discuss my students more fully.  Thank you for bringing Hidden Sparks to my school!”

Morah T. at Bnos Bais Yaakov

“The Hidden Sparks concepts have helped me to understand that children learn differently from one another due to differences in strengths and weaknesses.  Now I know that when a child experiences difficulties in the area of memory, challenging them to complete a vocabulary exam by just writing the definitions would be difficult, instead I offer multiple choice definitions which is more effective and enables the student to see success.  I was surprised to discover that students whom I previously thought did not study for vocabulary exams actually knew the material once assessed in this fashion.”

Mrs. B., Shaare Zion Ohel Bracha Boys School

“As a result of Hidden Sparks, my teaching has become richer.  I can be more thoughtful about teaching.  I think more about the things I have been doing for years and wonder: Is this the best way to do it?”

Rabbi Z. at Yeshiva Har Torah

“Something I’ve learned through Hidden Sparks is to stop and evaluate why a child is acting out.  Children are not ‘bad’.  If a child is misbehaving, let’s evaluate what need is not being met.  By addressing the root cause together with demystifying the child, he or she can shine and be a ‘class star’.  Furthermore, when we can demystify both parents and children, they can utilize their personal learning strengths in other areas and future classrooms too”.

Morah S. at Bnos Bais Yaakov

“Among teachers there is so much burnout…it’s so important to refresh yourself and get excited again..and there are so many instructional techniques that I want to bring into my classroom…Rather than label, it is so important to be able to give definition to what is holding the student back…I look forward to bringing more metacognition into my classroom and encourage a more refreshing attitude among my colleagues.”

3rd Grade Teacher, PTACH

“The Hidden Sparks program has specifically impacted my students because I try not to allow anyone to ‘fall through the cracks’.  My coach emphasizes that we must focus not only the bright and weak students but on the ‘non-descript’ student who seems to fade from our focus.  One very capable student who was on the verge of becoming ‘labeled’ a class clown became more secure in her own abilities and academically successful through the guidance of Hidden Sparks.  For years afterwards, he would greet me in the halls with appreciation.”

Morah A. at Bnos Bais Yaakov

From Our Coaches

“Hidden Sparks has helped bring about a culture of change and growth within the school.  Teachers are interested in moving beyond what they’ve always known.”

Tamar, Coach, Shaare Zion Ohel Bracha

“After working with a Hidden Sparks coach for two years, the Judaic Studies Principal has introduced lessons on social cognition into the entire school’s curriculum.”

Esther Fradel Schwartz, Coach, Bnos Yaakov Pupa

“Teachers have begun to speak in nonjudgmental ways about students and are quicker to use strengths in their description of students.  Additionally, teachers are more willing to speak with students about issues that they (the students) are facing. There is greater comfort around discussing students strengths and weaknesses directly with the students”.

Tamar, Coach, Shaare Zion Ohel Bracha

“A first year teacher was struggling with transitions in her 3rd grade class.  The coach helped her break down the instructions, and present them in a more usable way (shorter instructions with signals), place herself where she wanted them to be next, and use a transition that the students respond to more quickly.  The teacher’s transitions have been much smoother – she is much calmer and so is her class.”

Judith, Coach, Yeshiva Har Torah