People say “April showers bring May flowers”. Well, it’s almost May and my flowers are struggling with our current weather, but I’m still holding out hope that my tulips will pop out of the dirt and show up by Mother’s Day.
I will never claim to be a gardener, I even struggle with fake plants, but I do understand children and this saying got me thinking about them. As parents, we know, although we have to keep reminding ourselves sometimes, that by enduring some unpleasantness (late-night feedings, tantrums, arguing, carpools…etc.) our ultimate goal is to see our children become strong leaders and caring individuals in their pre-teen through adult lives.
As educators, we feel the same way. By sticking together and continuing to provide “water”/knowledge and “sunshine”/compassion, our goal is to nourish future generations. Teaching and reteaching our students how to interact with others in-person, speak and listen to others behind masks, read and comprehend a new and unfamiliar language, engage in deep and thought-provoking discussions, all while social distancing in an ever-changing environment has been difficult, but, if these past few years have taught us anything, it’s that we are stronger than we ever thought possible. Watching our students blossom into true Jewish scholars has made it feel worth it.
Observing our students over the last half of the school year, to me, has been like watching flowers bloom, some slow and steady, not sure if they will ever make it through the dirt, others pop open quickly revealing all the hidden colors in their petals. Students who couldn’t recognize letters of the alphabet are now reading and writing 3-4 letter words and 5-6 word sentences. Children who sat alone at snack time are engaging in conversations and games with their peers. Kids actively participated in Seders and are showing off their knowledge of Torah stories, prayers, and Israel consistently. Teachers who were concerned that a student would never understand, are celebrating the successes and all those “aha” moments that occur every day in and out of class. And we are celebrating the teachers that searched through their resources to provide students with the experiences that provide a foundation and the lifelong tools for learning about and living an intentionally Jewish life.
In the past month alone, Jews around the world have retold stories about being slaves in Egypt all the way up to Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day, 4/28) and the upcoming Yom Hazikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day, 5/4) which show that the Jewish people have always had to endure hardship. This history also reiterates how we continue to come out of these setbacks feeling stronger than ever. I look forward to finishing off this year strong with the 8th grade trip to Washington, DC (5/1-5/3), celebrations of Yom Haatzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day, 5/5), 2nd grade Yom HaSiddur (5/15), 8th-grade graduation (5/18), and many more celebrations and learning opportunities in the coming weeks. Then, I eagerly anticipate us moving ahead and emerging next year as a stronger, healthier, and even more robust Talmud Torah community (be sure to register before June 1st for early bird perks)!
Please know that I am always here for you and reach out with any questions.
Head of School