“I always thought I had perseverance and a desire to help others. They really needed me more than their children,” she recalled in a recent interview.

However, she will be graduating cum laude from Touro University in June 2022 with a Master’s Degree in Jewish Early Childhood Education and Special Education and will be among over 1,300 other Master’s degree applicants at Coney’s Amphitheater. I didn’t expect to be giving a commencement speech. small island.

As Trachtenberg recalled in her remarks, on a recent summer day the school sometimes presented challenges and taught her the importance of self-advocacy, hard work and understanding oneself as a learner. She envisioned being a teacher who would motivate, empower and advocate for her students.

“I often dreamed of a good teacher who would teach me in the best way and at the same time make me feel confident and happy at school. I strive to be that teacher,” she said with the audience. shared.

road to success

Special education gave her that opportunity. This fall, she will join The Shefa School, a multi-disciplinary Jewish day school in Manhattan for children in grades 1 through 8 with language-based learning disabilities. Start a year teaching job.

The journey to Shefa and Touro has been a combination of luck, hard work and the pursuit of her dreams.

At Muhlenberg College, Trachtenberg took courses in primary education, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology, and made the Dean’s List.

During her senior year of college, a family friend invited her to join Yeshivat Haerted in Teaneck, New Jersey as a substitute teacher. She joined the faculty full-time the following year as an assistant teacher.

At Yeshivat-Herted, a “mainstream” school where students study in small groups within large classrooms, Trachtenberg explores how we can support struggling students with and without learning disabilities. I was thinking a lot.

“It was clear that there were kids in the class, diagnosed or not, who had something going on that prevented them from learning. I understand,” she said.

Two years later, she joined the Shefa Teacher Residency Program where she taught and mentored as an assistant middle school teacher for two years. At that point, if she had enrolled in the Master of Special Education program, she could apply for the lead teaching position.

Road to Touro

When Trachtenberg was applying to a graduate degree program in New York, she learned from her supervisor at Touro that Touro was launching a new degree program in Jewish early childhood and special education. The program was in step with Shefa’s curriculum and philosophy, and seemed to fit perfectly on many other levels as well.

She felt that studying at Touro would help her bridge the gap between her Jewish education and her knowledge of Hebrew. After all, she had not been a student in a Jewish environment since her fourth century.th School year. She attended school part-time for her three years and was able to continue a full-time teaching job at Shefa. She also liked the possibility of building relationships with her new colleagues as part of her program’s first class.

“One of the great things is that I have built a network of educators outside of work. [from whom] I can really learn,” she said. “We have become a community of learners that I don’t want to trade with the world.”

At Touro, Trachtenberg worked hard and improved his Hebrew with the help of his teachers and classmates. She learned new curriculum her model along with new classroom management techniques. More importantly, Trachtenberg says she remembered her experiences during her school days.

“There’s nothing better than a good teacher. Both good and bad teachers affect us longer than we spend in the classroom,” she told the Coney Island crowd in June. I looked back. “For the past three years, I have been reminded of my experiences as a student … that have made me a better, more empathetic teacher who knows that I must continue to learn from my mistakes and my triumphs.” became.”

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