What do teachers really do during summer break?
For many Israeli teachers, summer vacation isn’t only about beach parties, traveling abroad or relaxing. In fact, for the second consecutive summer, scores of Israeli teachers spent their summer vacation at the National Library of Israel.
Many educators, recognizing the value of the array of educational treasures housed at NLI, spent the summer learning how to locate and analyse primary sources and incorporate them into lesson plans. Teachers were exposed to the ways in which original source items can be used to excite the technology-savvy 21st century pupil and help their students engage with primary sources.
In June and July, NLI hosted a range of professionals: educators from the Heled Group, an organization that prepares and develops primary school curriculum; enterprising school software developers; and staff of school districts throughout Israel, including principals and teachers.
NLI education staff also presented lectures at education forums across the country. At Orot College, NLI staff met with over 50 history teachers at a special seminar on using primary source items related to the State of Israel's first decade. NLI education staff also appeared as part of the annual Principals’ Forum in the Golan Heights.
And what about their students?
For the first time, this summer, NLI hosted students as well, through the Young Researchers Summer Camp at NLI. The program, for children ages 10-14, involved five encounter sessions to introduce the major features of NLI through fun and entertaining programs. The participants enjoyed workshops in the music and map collections, explored historical newspapers and had a hands-on tour of the NLI archives. The program was led by the NLI education staff with guest lectures from NLI content and services experts. The Young Researchers’ Summer Camp culminated in a day-long scavenger hunt with clues and solutions using NLI resources. Orly Simon, Head of Public Services, remarked, "Because we are continually engaged with improving the library experience for our users and visitors, who are usually adults, we sometimes forget how much NLI appeals to children as well. The Young Researchers’ Summer Camp was a huge success. The participants were so excited and enthusiastic, particularly about interacting with the librarians and educational staff; they almost forgot that they were 'learning' during their summer break. "