Meet the Mentor: Rachel Klein

This week we meet Rachel Klein, 2nd grade teacher at Brandeis Hillel Day School in San Francisco, CA

BHDSIn 2002, my Head of Campus at Brandeis Hillel Day School in San Francisco, Chaim Heller, invited me to participate as a mentor with the first cohort of DeLeT interns. When I heard about the specific purpose of DeLeT – bringing well-trained teachers to work in Jewish day schools, I said “how visionary, sign me up!”

I was new to mentoring, but after a weeklong intensive summer training at HUC with Michael Zeldin, Luisa Latham and Jennifer Abrams leading the way, I was ready to take on my first intern. I was ready to “unpack” my teaching, integrate General and Jewish Studies and give effective feedback!

That first year of DeLeT and my first year of mentoring were packed with tremendous challenges and triumphs, headaches and accomplishments.

Since that first year, I have been privileged to serve DeLeT in a variety of capacities, classroom mentor, induction mentor, contributor to mentor training, clinical educator and mentor meeting facilitator. Working with my interns, Rachel Fishman, Esther Cohen Levy, Leah Ticker Hiller, Alexandra Braunstein Schroeder, Isaac Jacobs-Gomes, Brian Roth, Yael Cushman and Sara Goldrath, and my Hebrew and Jewish Studies teaching partner/mentor Orit Solomon, has been a highlight of both my professional and personal life.

It is apparent that DeLeT strives to provide a comprehensive experience for new teachers. The work that interns study is cutting edge and highly applicable to their lives in the classroom. With the integration of the Multiple Subject Credential, interns are more prepared than ever for the rigor of classroom teaching. Thanks to DeLeT, I have learned all about Understanding by Design, Responsive Classroom techniques, Ruth Charney, Elements of Instruction, Integrating General and Jewish Studies, unpacking my teaching, and much, much more, all to the benefit of me, my students and my interns.

What continues to strike me 11 years later are the people of DeLeT. The interactions I have had with every intern, mentor, staff member, faculty member, coordinator and administrator, lead me to believe that we share a common goal, bringing excellent teachers to Jewish day school classrooms. With this unifying goal, these special people give 110% and their hearts are in their work every day. I am privileged to be among these special people.

I would like to dedicate My Mentor Story to my first intern, Rachel Fishman, who passed away this year at the young age of 32. Her warm heart and strong work ethic were an inspiration to me during our year together and will be forever after.

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