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Mrs. Seema Gersten
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Emek Hebrew Academy
Class Information:
Room Number: 130
Students per Class: 40
Class Description:
I am the proud teacher of 40 rambunctious, rowdy, spirited, intelligent, vocal kindergartners. I absolutely love my job! I have been teaching kindergarten for over 25 years... It is never dull when you work with Kindergartners. Every moment of every day is an adventure in my classroom! I have 2 classes with 20 children in each class. This translates into 40 personalities! Every child adds something new and exciting to the class. When parents ask what my expectations are for the children I laugh... Every child enters my room with a different set of skills, talents and gifts therefore my expectations and goals are different for each and every child. Some children come to school on the first day reading chapter books, other children can print their first and last name perfectly while others just found out what their first name looks like in print! Every child brings something special and valuable to our group and I treasure every single on of my students!
Position:
Mentor Teacher
Needs:
I have a HUGE bulletin board filled with photos of my students over the years. I have former students graduating high school and college that come visit my classroom to see Mrs. Gersten's "Wall of Fame". Their faces light up when they see a picture of them dressed as a Pilgrim or building the White House out of wooden blocks. My only rule is all pictures remain on my board for everyone to enjoy and appreciate. Unfortunately, my digital camera is archaic and I need to update desperately! I could also use a printer, ink and photo paper to develop photos in my classroom. It is incredibly empowering for the young child when someone finds their work "important" and valuable enough to be documented with a photo! My students LOVE having photos taken of their block building, theselves dressed as the President of the USA, a really cool tangram design, a fabulous artistic rendering of their home etc. Can you help keep my classroom dynamic and exciting by providing us with some up-to-date electronics? THANKS! :-)
Personal Information:
About Me:
I was born and bred in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn New York. I received my BA from Touro College and my MA from Brookly College School of Education. I am the proud mother of three wonderful children and I am married to a terrific man who keeps me balanced and sane. We currently live in Los Angeles and I am teaching 2 all boy kindergarten classes in Sherman Oaks California. There is a lot of testosterone in our classroom, lots of positive energy, great karma and wonderful active learning going on. Every day is an adventure in our classroom. I believe that children are in a constant state of growth and have an inate thirst for knowledge beyond mere books, pencils and paper. Some afternoons, after countless hands on math lessons, reading activities, science experiments and cooking we opt to lay on our backs in the athletic field scanning the sky for Red Tail Hawks. Other days we are involved in a rousing game of soccer or dodge ball! Never a dull moment in our day!
College and Degrees:
I attended a private all girls school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York. Following high school I attended Hebrew Teachers Seminary and received a degree to teach Judaic Studies in the Early Childhood classroom. I recieved my Bachelors in Education and Psychology and a minor in English Literature from Touro College in Manhattan. I received my Masters in Education from Brooklyn College School of Education. I am a certified facilitator for Dr. Mel Levine's All Kinds Of Minds, Schools Attuned Institute. I train teachers, guidance counselors, resource room specialists and child psychologists on how to best utilize Dr. Levines Schools Attuned methodology when working with children of all ages. I am a firm believer in Differentiated Instruction to help each child maximize his/her learning potential.
Activities:
I am a certified guide with The Children's Nature Institute. I take families with young children and introduce them to nature in the Santa Monica Mountains. I lead many nature walks every month. I am also a trained actress and stand up comedian. I have performed in assorted tv commercials, pilots as well as The Comedy Store and The Improv. I have been a MC at many charity fundraisers and have also performed in musical theater to raise money for charity. This November I will be MC at a charity even in Beverly Hills to raise money to help young women in need get back on track and established in an apartment. I have published numerous short stories and articles in teaching journals. One of my favorite short stories has been featured in Chicken Soup for the Teachers Soul. I love swimming and biking with my kids. I am a decent cook and make an amazing bowl of chicken soup with matzo balls! AND... in the last 18 months I have taken up knitting! In the past months I have knitted an assortment of fantastic projects: hats, scarves, shawls, purses,sweaters... I just finished a stunning cotton and silk hat for my friends 16 year old niece who is struggling through chemo. With Gods help she should have a complete recovery. Knitting is a great way to unwind (sorry about the pun...) and I also get to meet all sorts of interesting people from all walks of life as we sit around a table in my local yarn store and knit, knit, knit and talk, talk, talk.
Favorite Books:
I am constantly reading 2 - 3 books a week. I have dozens of favorite books! I just finished Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress--very funny! I also reread Of Human Bondage because my youngest son was diagnosed with severe bilateral clubfoot. He was treated in Iowa City by Dr. Ponseti and he is doing great!
Interests:
Knitting, reading, cooking, talking, comedy, writing, hanging out with my husband and kids, biking, laughing swimming and schmoozing!
Employment History:
I taught in Springfield Massachusetts, Brooklyn New York and 14 wonderful years at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy in Beverly Hills California. I am currently happily employed 2 miles from my home at Emek Hebrew Academy. The commute from Sherman Oaks to Beverly hills was a mere 12 miles but with traffic it could take an hour or more! The traffic in LA is brutal so I am thrilled and delighted to be teaching children in my own neighborhood. There is nothing I like more than running into a student while at the supermarket. They are always shocked to discover that teachers actually E-A-T!
Why Do I Teach?:
I teach because I am passionate about education. I am perpetually enrolled in on going classes because I believe education is an on going process. The day I think I don't need to take any classes is the day I am done with teaching! I do have a very long page I send to the parents during the summer that introduces myself and my philosophy on education. I would be delighted to email you a copy of my philosophy because it is too long to squeeeeeze into this tiny box!