All Teaching is a Sacred Act

One of my favorite books is Teaching & Religious Imagination by Maria Harris.  It is a wonderful book and I am grateful to my doctoral comps for forcing me to become familiar with it.  What I love about it, is how it describes secular teaching in religious language.  The very act of teaching – regardless of subject or location – is a religious act.  This is not just beautiful imagery, which it is, but an important truth to acknowledge as we head back to school.

Those of us who have been charged with the sacred task of providing a child with an education recognize and are humbled by that holy responsibility.  It matters not in a school whether we are the teacher of prayer or the teacher of tennis.  Education is interactional and God can be found in the quality of our relationships.  How we treat our students and each other matters.

Teachers officially report for duty come Monday morning.  The sun rises on a new year.  I am as anxious and excited as anyone to see how it will all play out.  “Man plans; God laughs.”  We’ll see who’s laughing next week…

…a restful Shabbat and weekend to all!

Author: Jon Mitzmacher

Dr. Jon Mitzmacher is the Head of the Ottawa Jewish Community School and co-founder of edJEWcon.  He was most recently the VP of Innovation for Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools.  He is the former Executive Director of the Schechter Day School Network.  He is also the former head of the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School, a K-8 Solomon Schechter, located in Jacksonville, FL, and part of the Jacksonville Jewish Center.  He was the founding head of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Las Vegas.  Jon has worked in all aspects of Jewish Education from camping to congregations and everything in between.

3 thoughts on “All Teaching is a Sacred Act”

  1. Here I am!! My very first attempt at commenting on a blog! Kol HaKavod to our new Head of School!! It truly feels like what we’re accomplishing this week of pre-planning is “holy work” and I am very grateful & excited to begin once again another amazing school year! We’re all laughing ….or at least smiling….even though the preparations seem endless.

  2. Where does the quote come from ‘Man plans; God laughs’?
    Teaching is a holy act and learning is as much or more so. A teacher cannot teach if he/she cannot learn. A rabbi is a learner and a synagogue is a school, presumably for rabbis and congregants, according to the Hebrew language.
    We all have to learn and teach in order to be considered menschlich (sp?). I am happy to have a leader of our school who appreciates that.
    So, where can I sign up for the tennis lessons?

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