Distance Learning Taskforce

When COVID-19 began, TALMA acted quickly to convene a task-force of  experts to guide our approach to supporting our teachers and shifting online.

Virtual Trainings for Teachers

TALMA's pedagogy team supports alumni & educators in tackling the new norm of distance teaching through virtual training initiatives.

TALMA Online

English Lessons 

In response to the pandemic, TALMA partnered with municipalities and education authorities to provide students with critical online English support.

Virtual Exchanges for Students

As the pandemic continues, TALMA Fellows are partnering Israeli & American classes in virtual exchanges that will hopefully lead to in-person exchange.

TALMA's DISTANCE LEARNING TASK-FORCE

Shortly after the pandemic began, TALMA recognized the need to pivot, adapt our programs to virtual formats, and create a support system for educators in our network. We quickly reached out to alumni and friends of our program to develop a task-force of subject matter experts - then, leveraged their insights to launch the initiatives outlined below.

Virtual Trainings For Teachers

Distance Learning Trainings

Supporting TALMA alumni around the globe

In a direct response to COVID-19, TALMA's pedagogy team and distance learning task-force partnered to create and deliver multiple training sessions for teachers that offered all interested alumni with tips, tricks, and best practices for distance teaching.

 

Special trainings were offered to teachers willing to volunteer teach with TALMA's online English program and Bagrut (matriculation exam) prep for underserved students in Israel. More than 250 alumni participated in the trainings and ultimately volunteer taught with TALMA Online.

Israel Defense Forces: B2Gether

Supporting IDF diplomacy education initiatives

Within the Israel Defense Forces is a special unit that focuses on public diplomacy and foreign relation initiatives. Under the leadership of Col. Moshe Sofer, the unit includes a pilot initiative in which English speaking soldiers serve as volunteer English teachers within underserved schools of minority communities - in particular, the Bedouin population in the Negev and Israel's North. TALMA is serving as a training partner to prepare the soldiers to deliver English education through distance learning, collaborating with Col. Sofer to establish this initiative as a formal program of the Israel Defense Forces.

Haredim Teacher Trainings

Serving Haredim in Jerusalem & Beit Shemesh

TALMA staff are leading a revolutionary program that trains Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) educators to teach English as a core subject within Haredi schools. Established by TALMA in 2019 with assistance from the Gerald Schwartz & Heather Reisman Foundation, the program began as an in-person initiative and shifted online with the pandemic. Currently, TALMA's Haredim projects serve teachers of grades 4-8 in more than 30 Haredi schools throughout Jerusalem & Beit Shemesh. Classes are also offered to older students at yeshivot, seminaries, and community centers.

Virtual Programs for Schools, Municipalities, and Students

TALMA Online

English and Bagrut prep for underserved youth

In a direct response to COVID-19, TALMA's pedagogy team and distance learning task-force partnered to create and deliver multiple training sessions for teachers that offered all interested alumni with tips, tricks, and best practices for distance teaching.

 

Special trainings were offered to teachers willing to volunteer teach with TALMA's online English program and Bagrut (matriculation exam) prep for underserved students in Israel.

 

More than 250 alumni participated in the trainings and ultimately volunteer taught with TALMA Online.

Fellows Lead Flipgrid Exchanges

TALMA has matched Israeli & American schools

Pre-pandemic, TALMA was leveraging virtual Flipgrid exchanges between TALMA students in Ein Gedi and the 8th graders of Hebrew Public Charter Schools in the US as a way to build rapport before they were set to meet in late February of 2020. Fortunately, the exchange was able to take place before COVID took over the world - and the beautiful connections made between Hebrew Public's diverse group of students and the middle schoolers of Ein Gedi inspired a continuation of the exchange in response to the pandemic. Now, TALMA Full-Year Fellows spanning Ben Shemen to Eilat are leading virtual Flipgrid exchanges between their TALMA students and Hebrew Public school students spanning NYC to San Diego, California. 

Alumni-Led Pen Pal Exchanges

Alums connect their US & Israeli classes

TALMA's summer fellows build incredible bonds with their co-teachers...so when the pandemic hit, it's no surprise that many turned to one another. 

 

Some US teachers collaborated with their Israel co-teachers to establish pen-pal programs, others collaborated in virtual activities and ZOOM exchanges, and everyone tried to find beauty in bridge-building. 

We are spotlighting below one of these partnerships between TALMA alum Atlee Silk in Bartlett, Tennessee and her co-teacher and summer school students in Yarka, a beautiful Druze community in Northern Israel.

A Spotlight on Atlee & Jomana's Student Exchange

"Last summer, I had the most incredible privilege to team up with Jomana Hallaby at Al Nahda School مدرسة النهضة يركا  to build English proficiency and global citizenship with an amazing group of TALMA students.

 

Jomana and I wanted to make sure that this learning didn't stop at the end of the summer, so we started a pen pal program between our groups in Bartlett, TN and Yarka, Israel. Over the course of the year, our students each sent 5 letters to their new friends to learn about and from each other.

Unfortunately, like so many programs last school year, the pen pals were cut short; however, Jomana and her students reminded us that we could still maintain a virtual exchange by reaching out to our class with an outstanding video to show their pals here what life is like in their city.

 

Thank you so, so much Jomana for putting this together. I can't wait to continue building bridges across the globe with you! תודה חברה–شكرا يا صديقي" - Atlee Silk (TALMA '18, '19)

"המורה אינו הסוכן של המדינה ואף של החברה, הוא סוכן רק של הילדים שהוא מופקד על פיתוח יכולתם האינטלוקטואלית והמוסרית.

כשהתלמידים שלי כולל את בני והתלמידים של תניסי(ארצות הברית) מתחברים בעולם המודרני."

-Jomana Hallaby 

“The teacher is not the agent of the state or even of society, she is only an agent of the children, in charge of developing their intellectual and moral capacity....When my students - including my son -  and the students of Tennessee (United States) connect in the modern world. " - Jomana Hallaby