web analytics
July 7, 2015 / 20 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Back To School: Make This Year The Year

Front-Page-082914

But the land, to which you pass to possess, is a land of mountains and valleys and absorbs water from the rains of heaven, a land the Lord, your God looks after; the eyes of Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year – Devarim 11:11-12

 

The above verses describe our holy land and the special divine providence it enjoys. What is curious is the final segment, which details how such oversight will occur “from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.” While the translation may not reflect any inconsistency, the original Hebrew states that it will occur “from the beginning of the year (“hashanah”) to the end of year (“shanah,”omitting the prefix hei).

Rabbi Paysach Krohn explains that this change of expression can be understood to reflect what one might call our new year’s resolutions. As we approach the yamim noraim, we begin to reflect intently on the outgoing year. We think about past errors and ways by which we will improve ourselves and our lives. “This year will be the year,” we tell ourselves.

For most of us, however, such remorse and resolve tends to be fleeting. Following the days of inspiration and introspection we begin to lapse back into the behaviors and attitudes of yesterday, converting “the year” into just another “year,” leaving our resolutions for change behind.

* * * * *

Throughout the Jewish world, tens of thousands of children and young adults will soon be heading back to the classroom for another year of schooling. The excitement is palpable. Children and parents are busy purchasing and labeling school supplies, clothing, lunchboxes, and other related items. Teachers have been working diligently to ready their classrooms, organize materials, and foster an engaging, productive learning environment. Administrators have toiled throughout the summer to have everything in place for day one, including back-to-school programming for students and professional development for teachers.

The first day finally arrives. With great eagerness, children rise early for school, ready to reconnect with friends and meet their new teachers (assuming they haven’t yet done so). They learn new routines, begin to understand expectations, and set off on a new journey ripe with opportunity. They come home smiling (for the most part), in anticipation of more learning and activities in the days ahead. Parents are relieved that their children are happy and have begun a new cycle of learning.

Teachers may come home drained, but their first day has also been energizing. They’ve met a new group of children they will engage for the next ten months. They’ve enthusiastically shared plans, dreams, and expectations, all with the hope of achieving much success.

But a funny thing happens along the way. Our initial enthusiasm often dissipates, sometimes within a few days. We start to think of school less in terms of growth potential and achievement and more in terms of the daily grind – an endless process of work, discipline, assignments, and the like – that for too many converts opportunity and passion into burden and indifference (if not outright contempt or despair).

So what can we do to make this school year the one that fulfills all of its promise? How can we make this year the best one ever?

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

Adjust your mental paradigm. Too often we think of tasks and processes as sprints. Our goal is to get off to a quick, strong start and we don’t anticipate having to sustain our effort for all that long. To succeed at school requires a different approach. Children as well as the adults who teach and support them need to take a long-term view of things. This may include general persistence and strong study habits. It also refers to a mindset that we are in it for the long haul, with much to do before we can say we’re finished (at least with this year’s work). Frequently we become disillusioned because we feel we should be done and we resent the fact that we still have a considerable way to go. If we can program our minds from the outset to think in terms of distance and long-term goals, it will be easier for us to keep going until the very end.

About the Author: Rabbi Naphtali Hoff is an executive coach and president of Impactful Coaching and Consulting (ImpactfulCoaching.com). He can be reached at 212-470-6139 or at president@impactfulcoaching.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Back To School: Make This Year The Year”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Yeshiva boys learn Torah together at Beit Midrash Derech Chaim.  Due to their participation in a pre-army intelligence program, the IDF requires their identities to remain secret.
Exclusive: First IDF Cyber-Defense Program Opens at Yeshiva
Latest Indepth Stories
Terms of Surrender

Dear Pres. Obama, A “deal” in which one side makes all the concessions is, of course, a “surrender.”

Michael Oren, Israel's Former Ambassador to the United States

ALLY is a terrific read because Oren has a mission: Defending&protecting the Jewish State of Israel.

George Soros: No friend of Israel

George Soros: “European anti-Semitism is the result of the policies of Israel and the United States”

President Obama

Sources say seemingly irreconcilable differences between the 2 main parties, Washington and Tehran.

Instead of accepting reality, the President is trying to hold on to an illusion.

Those who suggest further capitulation to Iran are wrongly harming the interests of the West.

Few Arab Israelis found anything positive in the decision of its MKS to join any Gaza flotilla.

US Jews prefer to be like their non-Jewish liberal friends complaining about “settlements” and Bibi

New Israel Fund & its supporters must be countered; Israel’s in the midst of an unprecedented storm

PM Netanyahu this week identified ISIS and Iran as Israel’s primary threat. It is a planetary threat that carries the promise of peace.

Haym Solomon, overlooked hero of the Revolutionary War, was America’s “Funding Father.”

Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

More Articles from Rabbi Naphtali Hoff
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff

In addition to the palace’s tremendous size it was home to the “hanging gardens,” which were counted among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Rabbi Naphtali Hoff

The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.

We must create an atmosphere of complete intolerance for such conduct, while reminding our children that we can take pride in our unique and distinctive purpose without knocking others.

In which specific respects are we to attempt to “relive” yetzias Mitzrayim?

Until recent times, every powerful nation that has ever ruled the world has been fundamentally anti-Semitic.

The Holocaust was the latest attempt of Amalek to destroy the special bond that we enjoy with God.

A central concept in any discussion about happiness is achieving clarity. “Ain simcha ela k’hataras hasefeikos” – there is no joy as that experienced with the removal of doubt.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/back-to-school-make-this-year-the-year/2014/08/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: