DSLTI fellows have been selected to learn in a community of committed colleagues and outstanding heads of school from across North America.
To take advantage of DSLTI’s unique opportunities, fellows have agreed to find the time in their busy work and personal lives to engage fully in all the following elements of the program:
1. Full participation in all sessions during summers and retreats.
DSLTI sessions are active laboratories, filled with group exercises of all types: case studies, simulations, role plays. Each fellow and each mentor brings the classes alive by constructing individual learning in the context of group collaboration. The sessions aim to be models of the kind of professional development fellows will be able to encourage in their own schools.
2. Commitment to Mentoring
The objective of the mentoring relationship is ongoing contact and support between fellow and mentor during both summers and the intervening year. During the summer session, a private weekly meeting will take place. During the intervening year, it is incumbent on the fellow to initiate contact with the mentor twice a month via email and/or telephone.
3. 360° Evaluations
Dr. Jeffrey Kress, assistant professor and chair of Jewish Education at JTS, will be using a psychometric assessment test to identify areas of strength and challenge for each participant. Each fellow will be asked to complete a questionnaire and have one superior, three peers, and three direct reports complete the same form. Each participant will receive written feedback and schedule two appointments with Dr. Kress to review the data and receive follow-up suggestions. The fellow will then share the results of the evaluation or write a summary that he or she feels comfortable sharing with the mentor. The results of the 360° Evaluation will provide a developmental path for each fellow’s leadership growth, and will become a central theme of the mentoring he or she receives.
4. Leadership Development Plan
Each fellow will create a Leadership Development Plan based on the 360° Evaluation and the Vision of a DSLTI Graduate. After gathering and interpreting the data about their leadership performance, the Fellow, in conjunction with his or her mentor chooses a few specific, measurable goals and creates a plan which will be implemented in his or her school.
5. Book Club
Getting deeper into the professional literature of Jewish study, education, and leadership is a key part of DSLTI. Fellows and mentors continuously share with each other readings from the professional and popular press, from research journals and books, and from the traditional texts of Judaism. During the first summer, fellows are expected to read a book connected to each of the weekly summer themes. A book list will be compiled for each theme, and fellows will have a choice of the book they wish to read. A session at the end of each week will be set aside to discuss these readings. View a list of reading materials and online resources.
6. Reflective Leadership Journal
Reflective writing is one of the educational methods heavily employed at DSLTI. Fellows are expected to keep a journal of their ongoing reflections. These journals will be shared with the mentors through Google Docs. A session at the end of each week will be set aside to share weekly reflections.
7. Mentor School Visit
During the intervening year between the two summers, Fellows are expected to visit the schools of their mentors. During this visit, they will have the opportunity to see a well-functioning school, shadow the head, meet with the leadership team, and attend a board meeting.