web analytics
September 24, 2014 / 29 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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 & Consulting (www.ImpactfulCoaching.com). He can be reached 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”

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
NY rally against Met Opera's 'Death of Klinghoffer' opera. Sept. 22, 2014.
New York City Site of Huge Rally Against Met’s Klinghoffer Opera
Latest Indepth Stories
William Safire

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Particularly galling was the complaint by one Jo Anne Simon about Judge Dear’s supposed “mobilizing on behalf of apartheid and his insensitivity to minority communities.”

Whatever one has to say about Iran, it does have clout in the Middle East and the Gulf region and could play a key role in addressing the ISIS threat.

Rav Shlomo Wolbe states that every member of Klal Yisrael is dependent on the entire nation just as a leaf depends on the tree from which it grows.

“Israel must prepare for waves of immigrants from Arab countries, which may endanger its existence”

“I pray that fellow Jews open their eyes & connect themselves to the national side of being a Jew”

The big service ISIS is doing the West right now is checking Iranian power, just as the Sunni rebels inside Syria are keeping the Iranian agent Hezbollah in check, and just as the PLO is keeping Hamas in check, at least to some degree.

Research shows that high doses of marijuana can produce acute psychotic reactions, lower IQ in teens

The current missionary problem in Samaria is still relatively unknown throughout Israel&to most Jews

Rosh Hashanah is a universal, stock-taking, renewal and hopeful holiday,

No mutual clash between parties, it was Jews repeatedly attacked by Arabs, not the other way around.

Israel would love to be in the coalition,but it’s never going to happen, because, in the end, most of America’s allies would walk away if Israel were on board officially.

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

More Articles from Rabbi Naphtali Hoff
Front-Page-082914

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.

Battling the Amalekites

“If Israel’s offering of land, economic improvements, and even autonomy will not help, what will?”

For breaking his oath of allegiance, Tzidkiyahu was forced to witness the death of his sons before he himself was blinded and exiled to Babylon.

It’s as if Hamas has pulled a page out of Pharaoh’s handbook.

As a guide to others and a foremost member of the Great Assembly, Ezra provided strong leadership and a moral conscience to a people that had lost its way.

For our children, technology is not just another activity that is forbidden on Shabbos.

I can testify from experience, however, that despite such experience and/or training, top-tier leaders often begin their tasks unprepared for the rigors of their new position, particularly when the experience and training focused on instructional leadership (such as classroom observation and curriculum) rather than organizational stewardship and management.

Humility is perhaps the least understood quality a person may possess. Often it is perceived as a form of meekness, a reticence that stems from a lack of self-confidence or an unwillingness to stand up and assert oneself. But that is far from what true humility is.

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: