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Who are they really?(Interviews with our new teacher)

Margot Englander

Features and Games Editor

This year Barrack welcomed a slew of new (and not so new) teachers. These new hires include master educators of all subjects, from science to Jewish Studies to everything in between. With the school year well underway, the Chronicle decided to reach out and find out a little bit about our favorite new teachers!

What has been your favorite part of being a teacher at Barrack?

Rabbi Nadiv, a middle school JS teacher, says that an experience he has enjoyed most is taking part in “Tea With Teachers” (a new SA initiative for teachers to connect with students). He says that he enjoyed having a chat with students in a non-classroom environment, and he was happy that students could learn a little more about him personally. Mrs. Goldstein, a JS/Tanakh and Science teacher, shared that her favorite part was teaching a full classroom for the first time. She was impressed with the maturity of the students and how polite everyone was, saying thank you at the end of the lesson! Dr. Spevak, a highly respected high school science teacher, says she enjoys the different strengths that different students have. She is able to see students shine in different ways, such as labs, asking questions, presentations, current events, and projects. She likes having students able to conceptualize concepts and get them across in another, non-traditional way. Mr. Mitchell, a returning middle school science teacher, is most impressed with everything outside the classroom. He enjoys seeing students in out-of-school activities, clubs, and leadership roles – which he says are especially vital this year! Ms. Neuman, a universally loved resource teacher, shared a moment where she was able to take a walk with her advisory. With all the hubbub that normally accompanies advisory, she enjoyed being able to relax and get to know her students in a casual way. Finally, Ms. Yontef, the middle school guidance counselor, simply says that the community (the staff and students) has been her favorite part of this year!

What has surprised you most about joining the Barrack community?

Mrs. Goldstein and Dr. Spevak can agree that what surprised them most was the sense of kehillah that fills the air each day. Everybody is happy to be here, and there is an overall upbeatness among the students and staff. Also, Dr. Spevak notes that she was happily surprised to see teachers and students talking together and having a feeling of openness. On a professional level, Mr. Mitchell says that all of the teachers are really upbeat and team players who are happy to collaborate, leading to a great curriculum and activities for the students.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

This age old question revealed the history behind three of our favorite teachers' choice of profession. Rabbi Nadiv shared that he grew up going to Jewish day schools, and school was central to how he experienced a Jewish community and Jewish life. The centers of his Jewish life were based around school and his connection to Israel, and he wanted to give that back to the next generation, in the form of being a JST teacher here at Barrack! Both Dr. Spevak and Mr. Mitchell, our resident scientists, expressed how important science is! Dr. Spevak mentioned that she has loved science since she was young and thinks that it is important to think about the future of science and the world. She’s focused on reaching kids and pointing them in the direction of science! Mr. Mitchell said that he cannot think of another job where you get to do something different every day. Even if he teaches the same lesson three times in a row, it’s always a different experience. For him, teaching is mentally stimulating.

If you could teach any other subject for a day, what would it be?

Finally, our new teachers shared what class they would love to take over for a day. You could find both Mrs. Goldstein and Rabbi Nadiv down in the kitchen, teaching cooking. But, Rabbi Nadiv would also have a blast teaching computer science. Mr. Mitchell would take on the theater! He happily shared that he loves the arts and would gladly teach a drama class. Finally, Dr. Spevak would join the English department, taking on literature as opposed to the sciences.


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