Over the past week in Seattle, fundraising galas, dinners and luncheons have been cancelled at a dizzying rate due to the state mandate against gathering in large groups in the hope of curtailing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Purim services were held online or outdoors, Shabbat kiddushim were canceled, congregants were told to practice “social distancing.” Schools prepared for distance learning. All this came about while we were contemplating two of our local Jewish schools’ efforts to eliminate their fundraising galas.
HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal
This issue looks at ways that school stakeholders experiment to use their time more effectively or in service of particular goals. Time is considered one of the “commonplaces” of education, something assumed to be as unchanging as the classroom walls and the sports field. There are the daily schedule, weekly schedules, and annual calendars; calendars for development, admissions, sports, assemblies, and more. And then COVID-19 burst into our lives, ripping up all of those calendars, throwing our best-laid plans out the window and challenging us to recreate them as best we can, in the eye of an ongoing storm.
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The Sfat Emet has a beautiful teaching, in which he compares Shabbat to Noah’s Ark. While during the week we are preoccupied with worldly business, on Shabbat we can find the space to let go of this worldly business, and can take shelter in God’s sukkat shalom (shelter of peace), just as Noah took shelter in the ark. And within Shabbat’s shelter, we can connect to the root of our vitality and “receive new vital force from the Source of life.” (Noach , Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan)
I write this article about time as we are all on coronavirus lockdown, when time has come to be something weird and strange. Jokes abound about canceling the days of the week, since it’s starting to feel as if each week is one long day.
In all my years of work in Jewish education, the one thing I never heard anyone complain about is having too much time. Education is a field deeply enmeshed in time. We study in semesters, prepare for class periods and schedule countless meetings. But even as time defines the framework of our professional lives, every administrator I know struggles with finding enough of it to accomplish everything we need to do.
The most accurate predictor of long-term student achievement is not socioeconomic status, innate ability or even attendance at a prestigious school. The best predictor of student success is the extent to which parents are engaged in encouraging their child’s learning and the extent to which they involve themselves in their child’s education.
Based on the recent volume that they edited, Beyond Jewish Identity: Rethinking Concepts and Imagining Alternatives.
Remind people why Jewish identity became the mantra in 1990, and why Jewish day schools were seen as the solution.
Language is history, and it is worldview. It is the connection to the present moment, even as it is a view to the future that is not yet come. Language is memory [zikaron] and becoming [hithavut]. S. Yizhar, One Hundred Years of Spoken Hebrew
Think about your past year of service as a board member. Is there a special project, a task or a goal related to your service that you wish you had achieved but did not? For example, did you hope to update the board handbook or do some legwork for the launch of a capital campaign in 2021?
Burnout is the result of too many demands, too few resources and not enough time to recover. When you consider this definition, it’s easy to see why teachers are at high risk for burnout.
Researchers who study school leadership use time-use research to understand in what ways school leaders spend their time and the degree to which their time continues to be administration-bound, unpredictable, reactive and fragmented. This literature in general education research makes clear that how school leaders spend their time matters, in terms of school culture and climate, teacher effectiveness, and student achievement.
In today’s culture, students are feeling more and more pressure to perform than ever before. Competition is no longer an intrinsic motivator to be the best that you can be, but rather extrinsically to be better than everyone else. Thanks to the rise of technology and social media, peer pressure has skyrocketed. As a result, school guidance counselors are busier than ever. The tendency in many institutions and homes is to make every effort to remove the pressure.
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