Introducing Robin Feuchtwang, our wonderful Kindergarten assistant teacher. Robin has worn many hats at Hausner, teaching various subjects and even substituting for different grades. Her highlight of the week is connecting with her students and witnessing their intellectual and emotional growth. When she's not at work, Robin enjoys walking her dog, having cozy Shabbat dinners with her family, and creating hilarious iMovies. Read on to learn more about Robin.
1. How long have you lived in the Bay Area, where did you come from and what brought you here?
My husband, our two daughters, and I moved to the Bay Area 16 years ago (Our son was born two years after our move here). I had lived in the Chicago area for 40 years (minus the four I spent in Ann Arbor, MI), so this move was a big deal for me. We moved to California for career opportunities that my husband couldn’t pass up. I agreed to the move because he once had an adventurous opportunity to work in Japan for three years that I put the kibosh on. When this second exciting opportunity arose I decided to go with the flow. While I miss my Chicago family and friends, our California chapter has been among the happiest phases of my life.
2. What is your role at Hausner and how long have you been here?
I have been serving the Hausner community as an assistant general and Jewish studies teacher since the 2019-2020 school year. That first year was in 5th grade and in addition to assisting general and Jewish studies, I had the chance to teach a monthly Rosh Chodesh (new month) unit to the fifth graders. Then came the first crazy Covid school year (‘20-‘21), when all faculty and staff found themselves in very new conditions requiring all kinds of flexibility. In that year I wore many hats. I created and taught a weekly middle school Jewish studies elective on T’fillah (prayer) and social justice. I served as an assistant Hebrew teacher for third and fourth grades and ran a special outdoor activity class for second grade. I served as an assistant 3rd grade Jewish and general studies teacher, and an assistant 4th grade Jewish studies teacher, and for a number of weeks, I substitute taught 3rd grade general studies and kindergarten general and Jewish studies. The following year, in addition to beginning my two-year run as an assistant teacher in kindergarten, I briefly assisted in 1st grade Jewish studies classes.
Because of Covid and all it demanded of the faculty, I had the blessing of working with every grade! I know so many of our wonderful students across all grades and have been able to work alongside many of our incredible teachers.
3. What is the highlight of your working week?
It is ALWAYS the personal connection with our students, seeing and cherishing each of their unique personalities, and being inspired by their growth intellectually and emotionally. I guess that means every day is filled with highlights!
4. What do you do when you're not at work?
Walk the dog with my husband, enjoy weekly Shabbat dinners with my husband and kids, volunteer at my synagogue, watch lots of YouTube, Netflix, and HBO, create and edit iMovies, occasionally read a good book, and obsessively listen to podcasts (The Jewish Story by Rav Mike Feuer and WTF with Marc Maron are my two favorites).
5. What do you think you would do if you weren't a teacher?
I can’t imagine it! But if I had to do something else it would definitely be volunteering at my synagogue.
6. Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I have made some very funny iMovies for birthday parties, b’nei Mitzvah parties, and other events.
7. What is your favorite Hebrew word?
Hineni—Here I Am. Abraham and Moses used this word to communicate not only their presence but more importantly, their availability mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I try to “be Hineni” in my relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and students.