February 16, 2017
20 Sh'vat 5777
Dear AJA Community,
You’ve heard me say that this is a special place. You’ve read my posts about the wonderful things that happen under this roof. Many of you have witnessed this firsthand at the numerous events and family programs we have had at the school. But...there is magic that happens here that you really haven’t seen. It is what happens in each of our classrooms, the gifts that our teachers share with the children - every. single. day. It’s no surprise to me that visitors to AJA (most recently two educators from a very progressive NY Jewish Day School) are blown away by the love, attention and education our teachers give to their students.
We often have our eyes on the big picture. I mentioned many of these in my recap of the 1st 100 days of the school year and weekly in these emails. I’m here to tell you today that the holiness and sacred nature of our work happens when you are not here. It’s the little things at 8:01 am, 8:02 am, 8:03 am… It’s when the people who are truly on the “frontlines” as our “soldiers” are in the trenches. It’s at 10:04 am, 10:05 am, 10:06 am… Our AJA teachers insure that these precious minds under our roof receive the social-emotional and academic focus they need and deserve. It’s our teachers who make the student’s challenges their own, and help the children tackle what they think are HUGE issues. And they are huge to a child. 12:07 pm, 12:08 pm, 12:09 pm.
Teaching happens in the classroom. It happens at recess. It happens at lunch. It happens while our students are navigating interpersonal relationships and interacting with their peers. 1:10 pm, 1:11 pm, 1:12 pm.
We talk about L’dor V’dor (generation to generation) from the perspective of Jewish continuity - that we are all links in an ongoing chain. I ask you to consider this...one of the most important links in the chain is the connection your child has to Judaism during every school day - via their teachers. Without that link, simply put...there would be no chain. 2:13 pm, 2:14 pm, 2:15 pm.
Here’s a thought - this week, let’s all show appreciation to our teachers. How can we do this? Well, I have some ideas:
1 - email your child’s teacher this week. Share your gratitude or a lesson your child has shared with you that they learned at school.
2 - post something positive on your Facebook page or your class page...and tag the teacher!
3 - ask a teacher “Is there anything I can do to help YOU?”
4 - talk to your child about how THEY can uniquely show gratitude to their teacher(s).
5 - take a glance at some of the specifics that our teachers have done with their classes this school year, and if something resonates with you, tell them!
So, here’s to our teachers.
And, I’ll leave you on this note from Talmud: “Whoever teaches his (child) teaches not only his (child) but also his (child)'s (child) - and so on to the end of generations.”
3:16 pm, 3:17 pm, 3:18 pm.
Rabbi Ari Leubitz