PoP Update: Winter 2023
We are so pleased to share our Winter PoP Update with you! This issue highlights the breadth and depth of PoP’s impact on school communities across the country. From the classroom to the board room, PoP helps schools deepen teaching and learning; you’ll see two exciting examples of this in the articles about the work of the Board at Oakland Hebrew Day School and the learning opportunities for parents at Boston’s Jewish Community Day School. Our Impact Spotlight focuses on the thoughtful approach of PoP teachers at Chicago’s Rochelle Zell Jewish High School. As always, our PoP school leaders and coaches are working diligently to support the work of teachers in all our schools – read on to learn about this month’s Leaders & Coaches Institute!
Allison Cook & Orit Kent
Co-Founders and Directors
Pedagogy of Partnership
Interview with Tania Schweig, Head of School at Oakland Hebrew Day School
PoP School Partnership Manager Deena Messinger spoke with Tania Schweig, Head of School at Oakland Hebrew Day School (OHDS). Tania described the ways she brings PoP to the OHDS Board. Read on to learn more about PoP’s powerful impact on the school’s stakeholders.
PoP has a vibrant, living presence in so many classrooms at OHDS. This year, you brought PoP to the school’s board. Tell us about that.
Instead of a d’var torah [a short sermon] as we had done in the past, we started havruta learning at our board meetings. I taught them about PoP. I shared PoP tools for them to use to guide their learning together. The board was very excited. The board president receives regular positive feedback - people are asking me to make the learning time longer because everyone loves PoP!
What are the benefits to doing PoP learning with your board?
I feel like it is really positive on many levels to bring it to the board. It helps them be involved with something that’s happening in the school. They are able to speak about PoP. They see that there is something meaningful being done with intention.
How does PoP address the goals you have for your school and your school community?
At OHDS, we have a design-based strategic thinking plan that includes many things PoP addresses. One of them is joyful inquiry. We see that PoP can help kids access this. One of them is sensitivity to kedusha [holiness] - we know PoP helps with this. Others include connectivity to others, awareness of the outside world and academic readiness. I would say the vast majority of our goals are served by PoP. We really believe that this approach is an incredibly important one, not just because it's good teaching and learning, but because it plays a role in addressing some of the challenges we see in the world we’re living in.
PoP Leaders & Coaches Institute 2023
Over 40 PoP school leaders and PoP coaches from across the country gathered virtually this February for the Leaders & Coaches Institute. It was wonderful to foster a PoP professional learning community while deepening our collective understanding of relational learning skills and practices.
Impact Spotlight - PoP In Action at Rochelle Zell Jewish High School, Deerfield, IL
Teachers often ask themselves: What do we tell our students and what do we let them discover? PoP strategies help educators address this dilemma, as Jewish Studies teacher Rabbi Natan Hason reflected during a recent PoP visit to Rochelle Zell Jewish High School. Rabbi Hason noted that by helping students closely read a text and notice its many details (a core element of PoP), students uncover the very themes he seeks to address. By giving students the experience of discovering the themes, the students start to own their learning process and are motivated to continue studying the text.
Parents at JCDS Boston Learn with PoP and Project Zug
By Michelle Janoschek, PoP Senior Coach and Instructional Coach at JCDS
Parents at Jewish Community Day School of Boston participated in havruta learning this winter. PoP directors, Allison Cook and Orit Kent, led a kick-off learning event and a culminating siyum celebration. Utilizing PoP learning strategies and a course from Hadar’s Project Zug, parents learned together once a week in havruta for 4 weeks. In this meaningful endeavor, parents were able to get a taste of their children’s learning experience in PoP at JCDS. Many parents expressed their appreciation for this experience. In the words of one parent, "We had serious and thoughtful conversations that connected to the text, ideas that we each raised, larger meta questions, and concrete examples from our lives. It felt powerful to carve out time to meet and intentionally engage with Jewish ideas that have persisted for generations while making them resonant to our lives today.”
PoP’s Online Introductory Institute
PoP’s Online Introductory Institute will be held on June 26-28, 2023. This 3-day online training equips educators with techniques to support students in developing sharp critical thinking skills and deep social-emotional capacities.
The PoP Calendar
PoP Foundational Webinar: Challenging, Supporting, and Celebrating: Introduction to Unit 3
Tuesday, March 14 at 8:00 PM Eastern / 7:00 PM Central / 5:00 PM Pacific
Experienced PoP Educators Webinar: PoP Reflection and Formative Assessment
Tuesday, March 21 at 8:00 PM Eastern / 7:00 PM Central / 5:00 PM Pacific
PoP Informational Session
Interested in learning more about PoP? We’re holding a PoP Informational Session! Join us on Zoom on Wednesday, March 15.
PoP’s Online Introductory Institute
PoP’s Online Introductory Institute will be held on June 26-28, 2023. This 3-day online training equips educators with techniques to support students in developing sharp critical thinking skills and deep social-emotional capacities. Led by Dr. Orit Kent and Allison Cook, developers of this relationship-centered pedagogy, the Institute is suited to both Jewish studies and general studies teachers alike.
You can learn more about the Introductory Institute in this flyer.
For more information contact Lauren at [email protected].