REMINDER YOM KIPPUR CLOSINGS: Both JCCs will be closed from Tues, 10/4 at 3:30pm thru Wed, 10/5. Blue Gym in OM closes Mon. 10/3 at 7:00pm, and reopens Thurs. 10/6 at 9:00am. Find future closings: jcc.org/hours

Shabbat candle lighting: 6:21pm

My Bashert in Becoming a JCC Teacher

By Pam Solomon, Stoler ELC Teacher

Bashert is the Hebrew word meaning “meant to be.” I believe it was Bashert that I became a teacher at the JCC.

About 3 years ago, the company I was working for announced they were going out of business and I knew I would be looking for a new job. I had worked in retail for almost 30 years and I felt I was ready for a change, but I didn’t know what.

My daughter, who was in her fourth year of teaching, told me I should think about becoming a teacher. She thought I would love it, reminding me how much I enjoyed volunteering in her classes when she was in elementary school, and serving as PTA President.

I barely had time to give it any thought, when I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a post from Kim Davidson that the JCC was looking for Preschool teachers.

Kim and I had been neighbors years ago, and were friendly when our children were younger. I hadn’t spoken to her in a long time, but I called her, and she got so excited that I was interested in the position. Anyone who knows Kim, knows how much she loves working at the JCC, and her enthusiasm was contagious! She introduced me to Dani Frye, and the next thing I knew I had joined this incredible team!

From the first day here, I knew I was among some of the most caring and dedicated people. I instantly loved working with the children, but I had so much to learn. Dani and Kim both encouraged and supported me from the very beginning. They have guided me along the way, helped me believe in myself whenever I’ve had doubts, and they continue to challenge me every day to learn and grow as a teacher.

I am also surrounded by such talented and experienced teachers. We share ideas, borrow materials, encourage each other, and share lots of laughs. I don’t think you can find a more supportive team anywhere!

Finding ways to connect with each child, and helping them thrive, has been the most rewarding part of this job. It is amazing to see the children truly blossom throughout the year.

I love having fun and laughing with the kids each day, hoping to instill a love of school and learning!

A bonus perk of teaching at the preschool is getting to know all the families. The best feeling is when a child who has moved up from my class sees me, and excitedly runs over to tell me everything they’ve been up to! I have also formed many lasting relationships with parents, whom I now consider friends.

I feel very blessed to be able to say that I look forward to coming to work each day!

Pam Solomon was the 2022 recipient of the Michael S. Saxon Award for Educational Vision which recognizes a member of the Stoler Early learning Center (ELC) who through creativity, vision, innovation, and enterprise promotes and advances our JCC.