photo of a teen and student standing reading from a binder together

Teen Madrichim Training Curriculum

Inclusion: Addressing the Synagogue School Dilemma

Many synagogues and congregational schools are making great strides in including individuals of all needs and abilities. However, the reality is that some learners require more support than their educators can provide, and synagogue schools may lack the resources, such as a trained paraprofessional or educational aide, to help these students succeed in the classroom. The result is that without proper support, some children may struggle to have a positive religious school experience.

Our Approach

Gateways is here to help Hebrew schools meet this challenge, with our comprehensive training program for teenage volunteer teachers’ assistants, also known as madrichim, that will empower them with the tools to become highly effective classroom aides. When assistants become true educational partners in the classroom, inclusion of diverse learners becomes possible, as students who are struggling can now have someone by their side equipped with the skills and strategies to help them engage more deeply with the learning.

The Gateways Teen Madrichim Training Program

The Gateways training program has four components:

  1. A series of 13 units designed for education directors to use in training teen aides/madrichim to be effective supporters of student learning, especially for students with learning challenges. Each unit focuses on a specific technique madrichim can employ to help students focus and engage.
  2. An accompanying Trainer’s Handbook binder that provides detailed lesson plans and PowerPoint presentations for each unit, explains the pedagogical background for each lesson, and provides tips for the trainer on how best to ensure learning.
  3. A live, interactive training session with Gateways staff. Using a train-the-trainer model, staff will introduce each lesson and help trainers to understand how best to put the strategies into use in the classroom.
  4. Follow-up coaching for trainers from Gateways experts.

The Lessons

The series is designed as independent lessons that trainers can use in any sequence and combination, depending on the needs of the aides who are being trained.

UnitDescription
Building Rapport with StudentsWhat madrichim need to know about creating strong, meaningful relationships with students and how that can influence student behavior and work output.
Communicating with CaregiversLanguage and vocabulary to use when engaging in communication with parents about positive and negative instances or actions in the school setting.
PromptingA skill for madrichim to use when teaching both academic and Jewish rituals to students in order for them to be successful and, eventually, independent.
Token SystemsA way madrichim can help motivate, encourage, and increase positive behavior in the classroom setting for individual students.
Why Are Students Doing That?Ways to assess and understand why students may be engaging in challenging behavior in the school setting and how madrichim can help teach positive replacement behaviors.
Behavior ReinforcementThe value of positive praise and other ways to increase the likelihood that a student’s positive behaviors will continue to occur in the future.
When Students Say “No!”Strategies and supports that madrichim can implement when students are resistant or non-compliant towards work completion or following directions in general.
Adapting & Modifying Work TasksWays in which madrichim can adapt and modify assignments, tasks, and activities in-the-moment for students who are struggling to start, continue, or complete their work.
Visual SchedulesThe implementation and use of schedules in the classroom to help navigate the day and make it more predictable.
Social StoriesA creative strategy to help illustrate and outline the expected behaviors of a certain routine or environment and/or provide predictability for upcoming events or circumstances that may cause a challenge for students.
Social SkillsWays that madrichim can encourage, teach, and foster Social Skills (mensch-like behavior) in the school setting.
Contingency MapsThe implementation of a creative visual support to help illustrate for students the positive and negative outcomes of engaging in specific behaviors.
Group ContingenciesA way madrichim can help motivate, encourage, and increase positive behavior in the school setting for many or all students in a classroom setting.

Bringing the Teen Madrichim Training Curriculum to Your School

There are several options for purchasing the Teen Madrichim Training Curriculum for your Hebrew school. Contact us to discuss customization and for help selecting the option that best meets your school’s needs.

Boston-area Schools

  • Train-the-Trainer Model: Schools purchasing an advanced membership in our educational consortium can register for a group training session, where multiple schools come together to learn as a cohort for a 90-minute workshop.
  • Training for Teens: Gateways will run four, 90-minute, in-person training sessions for teen madrichim. These sessions are based on the same trainings available in our train-the-trainer curriculum and those provided to the Gateways teen volunteers. However, in this option, Gateways trains the school’s teens directly along with an appropriate member of their staff. Teens will learn and practice the skills they need to support diverse learners in a supplemental school classroom.

For more details on these options, read our Supplementary School Professional Development Guide.

Beyond Boston

Register for a virtual group training session, where multiple schools can come together to learn as a cohort. Additional follow-up consultation may be purchased. For more details, read our “Beyond Boston” Professional Development Guide.

Contact Us

Email Gateways' Center for Professional Learning to find out more about how we can support you in your journey to becoming a more inclusive school for all Jewish learners.

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