11th Annual Retreat a Success
This year, at the Hidden Sparks annual retreat held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, over 70 educators from partnering schools came together for a full day of learning on the topic of “Building Emotionally Healthy, Welcoming and Caring Classrooms.” Teachers, administrators, guidance and special service personnel from all over the metro area, Chicago, Baltimore and Florida, reflected on the action steps that they can take to continue to build socially and emotionally healthy classrooms.
The morning address at the retreat was presented by Dr. Rona Novick, Co-Educational Director of Hidden Sparks and Dean of the Azriel Graduate School at Yeshiva University, on the topic of Welcoming and Caring Classrooms, where she explored the importance of social emotional learning and teaching in our classrooms and the contributions teachers can make through language and tone, conscious teaching and modeling, advance planning, and daily activities, as well as pro-active approaches that build a sense of community and caring in the classroom.
Later in the day educators participated in additional workshops by Dr. Novick as well as a workshop presented by Claire Wurtzel, Co-Educational Director of Hidden Sparks and prior Director of Faculty Development for the Churchill School and Center in New York and Faculty Development for the New York City Schools Attuned initiative for All Kinds of Minds. Networking occurred throughout the event and participants came together at the end of the day to brainstorm next steps to be taken in their schools.