Today was a day of full-circle turning in the evening. It had me returning to something that I never would have thought about returning. But, the mind of a 13-to-15-year-old is completely different than the mind of a 30-year-old. (Hmm… one of the few times that I directly cite my current age!)
What was I doing?
Teaching Hebrew school!
Earlier this summer, I was at services at Beth Hillel Temple in Kenosha, and the Rabbi was impressed with my knowledge of the Hebrew in the service, and recruited me to be a Hebrew school teacher.
Teaching Hebrew school is a completely different teaching context than college, for many obvious reasons. The age of the students, the maturity thereof, and many other things.
Yet, seeing what it was like on the teacher’s side made me realize how insufferable I probably was when I was in Hebrew school, 18-ish years ago, with the hiding in the nooks and crannies and the spacing off during class (especially the non-Hebrew parts).
In class today, we spent most of the time with vocabulary (pronouncing and translating), and the classroom was split into two sides: each side with a correct answer got to play trashketball. I don’t remember games like that in Hebrew school, and my co-teacher Terri said that if they’re not having fun, they’re not learning.
I can agree with that idea, and although I don’t incorporate games like that in my college classes, I still try to make the students participate actively.
One of the students was goofing off quite a bit, and I’m glad that my position is more of a co-teacher than a lead teacher. I wouldn’t want to be directly thrust into this position when I had no previous experience with teaching or really being in the presence of children.
The fact that I am teaching Hebrew school this year really shows the full-circle that I have taken… or maybe just the 180-degrees.
Naturally, people change, and I’m really happy that I found my way back to the synagogue after becoming the Three-Times-A-Year Jew post-confirmation. Take a look at some of my other posts that are tagged “Religion” to follow other parts of my story!
ראש השנה: 7 ימים
Green Bay/St. Norbert: 51 days
Minneapolis: 58 days