Professional Development

Professional Development for Improved Pedagogy and Personal Development

Educational Staff are the Heart of the SAE

Our educational staff – principals, teachers, counselors and all partners in the educational endeavor – they are the heart of the SAE. They are the ones who have daily contact with students, who respond to their needs and help them cope with their difficulties. Their work is important, complex and at times exhausting. Therefore, investment in their professional development is substantial and significant.

We aim for constant improvement for our professional teams in the areas of education, teaching and guidance, through high-quality, effective, internal organizational professional development.

A Learning and Teaching Organization

As an organization that deals with youth education and growth, we believe that all partners in educational achievement, in all fields at all levels, must themselves be involved in constant ongoing learning and practical educational research, as part of the regular work system. Belonging to diverse learning frameworks contributes both to ongoing improvement of education, to feelings of well-being, to the sense of belonging and personal development of each educator.

The schools, residences, educational projects and the headquarters of SAE function as “learning organizations”; staff learning is part of every institution and takes place in joint learning frameworks for educational staff of the various learning institutions and projects.

From Theory to Practice and Back Again

The approach to professional development is based on movement between theory and practice, between enriching theoretical knowledge and making use of knowledge gained in the field. Conceptualizing work processes and practices helps enrich practice, and studying practice makes theory relevant and applicable.

Practical learning takes place in the framework of forums that meet regularly and is aided by the analysis of case studies, reflection on work processes, and on organizational dynamics and structures. In addition, theoretical learning takes place in workshops, lectures by experts, tours and other in-service trainings.

The contents of professional development are built in dialogue with the learners and are adapted to their needs and to the needs of the schools and residential facilities.

Seminar on Educational Equality

Regular and Varied Learning Frameworks for All Staff Members

Professional development frameworks at the SAE include dedicated forums for principals, administrators, social workers and guidance counselors, coordinators of different educational program, residence advisors and teacher communities that meet regularly with professional facilitation around particular issues or topics including:

Principals’ Development Forum
Principals of the SAE institutions meet once a month for a concentrated day of learning facilitated by an organizational psychologist. The forum deals with a variety of topics including: managing staff, motivating workers, feedback processes, boundaries and conflicts. Along with theoretical learning, there are peer learning, case studies and educational tours to inspiring educational venues.
Principals and Headquarters Staff Forum
Consists of a series of meetings between school and residential facility principals and senior SAE headquarters staff. The forum deals with clarification of common issues, identifying and improving interfaces, learning and enrichment.
Management Teams Development Forum
Takes place on two tracks:

• Internal Institutional track (at each school or residential campus separately), with professional facilitation: the forum deals with subjects such as teamwork, task division, reporting responsibilities, boundaries, developing management language, innovation and creativity. Learning takes place mainly through case studies.

• Association-wide track (intended for groups with similar roles and middle management from the different institutions): several workshops and meetings are held each year that deal with innovation and educational projects and spiritual enrichment.
Social Workers and Guidance Counselors’ Forum
Consists of monthly meetings facilitated by a clinical psychologist. The forum deals with theoretical learning and case studies from the field, and with developing and fostering adolescent emotional health and well-being.
Coordinators of Niot Learning Centers’ Forum
The forum deals with developing the unique model of the learning centers for the students of the SAE, in the residential and regular schools, with the goal of advancing their learning. Among the topics that the forum studies and develops: ways of supporting students, implementing methods of learning and testing, teaching and learning strategies, motivation and more. A body of unique learning is created through a broad process of peer learning.
In-Service Training for Residential Counselors
A course of 16 meetings throughout the year accompanies the residential counselors and staff of the different residential schools in shaping their role, coping with difficulties and dilemmas, constructing a model of a significant adult, educator and counselor, and with different needs that arise in the field.
Developing Teacher Teams – Communities of Teachers
Internal school in-service trainings take place in the SAE schools around topics relevant to the school or other subjects. The programs follow a workshop format and learning integrates external theoretical knowledge with practical knowledge, reflection and learning from experience. The trainings are intended to improve teacher professionalism, to establish an organizational culture of constant learning and knowledge sharing, to strengthen teacher well-being and their feeling of connection and belonging to the school.
Community-wide Study Days
Each year several community-wide study days are held for all the workers, at which participants hear about up to date educational knowledge and inspirational experiences from trailblazers in their fields
Professional Development Frameworks
Some of the professional development frameworks are intended to provide deeper exposure to important values among our staff, to strengthen familiarization among the educators, who represent a wide spectrum of values-based perspectives, to develop the inclusive, pluralistic approach that characterizes the SAE. Among these are “Gvanim at SAE” and the “Racism Awareness” program.

Touched by the Soul – Management Development (2016-2017)

Professional Staff Advances Professional Development

Michal Shavit, Director of Pedagogical Development at the SAE, leads the professional development staff. Each learning framework is facilitated and directed by first class professionals, among them experts in fields of education, organizational development and consulting, group facilitation, counseling, learning disabilities, psychology and more. Over the years SAE has accumulated knowledge and experience in operating these professional development frameworks.

Among the facilitators we work with are the staff of Zofnat Institute: Dr. Yisrael Katz, Tamar Belitz, Yuval Piurko, Naama Goldberg, Eden Israeli, Roxana Neiman and many others.