HOT TOPIC: Is it possible to come into an established school and change it?

Dorothy C. Herman


Making changes in an established institution is challenging, especially when you are the new Education Director.  I had worked at one synagogue as a madrikha (community leader or counselor), teacher, department head, and finally education director. When I changed positions to a new school in a different city, I experienced culture shock.  There was no curriculum, written or stated.  The teachers could teach whatever they chose.  The pay scale was not competitive with neighboring schools.  The school budget had not been increased and was inadequate for the number of students.  Unused new textbooks were stored in a closet.

Religious School shared space with Early Childhood, and bulletin boards and cabinets were not made available to the Religious School.  Classroom management was a big issue with middle and high school students.  There was much to be done.

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