Wed, April 23, 2014 /       View Shabbat / Jewish Calendar

JewishBoston.com

A Labor of Love

I cannot emphasize enough how much we appreciate all our GBJCL volunteers, returning and new. Please know that we truly value each and every volunteer’s contribution. This month, I would like to highlight one specific group of volunteers; educators.

At GBJCL, we are delighted to find that a number of our volunteers are retirees returning to their lifelong profession. Recently, I received an email from my now retired fourth grade teacher, Susan Bloom, welcoming me as GBJCL’s new program coordinator. “That's one of the things I miss most from my teaching days,” she wrote to me about her time helping students at the Potter Road School during writing time. And she isn’t the only one.

A large number of our volunteers taught or worked in schools and find their years of experience and knowledge of education valuable resources in tutoring with GBJCL. Elaine Wiesen explains, “As a retired teacher, I enjoy working with the teachers and children and being able to use my expertise doing something I love.”

New volunteer Elisabeth Rubin, after being a kindergarten teacher for 5 years and a school librarian for over 20 years, really missed interacting with students. She and others are drawn to return to that school environment almost immediately, in a volunteer capacity.

For those who taught older children, such as longtime volunteer Rita Hettinger, spending time with elementary school students is a chance to continue to learn. “I was a middle & high school teacher prior to retirement. I thoroughly enjoy working with first graders. It's a challenge and a wonderful learning experience for both the students and myself.” What a wonderful illustration of the notion that the best way to learn is to teach!

I am impressed and humbled by the teachers who, in retirement, share their time, energy, and skills gained from a lifelong profession. We at GBJCL are further honored by their endorsement of our program and want to take this opportunity to say. . . . Thank you teachers!

GBJCL Tutor and Team Leader, Elaine Wiesen, a retired teacher from Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston

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