Life does move on…
A friend who came last week to pay a shivah call who had recently lost a parent of his own, shared with me that although you would think the goal of shivah is to provide the mourner with ample quiet time to grieve, reflect and reminisce; that, in fact, it is to exhaust the mourner to such a stark degree that any return to normalcy is welcome. I do not believe that explanation is sourced in Jewish tradition, but I do second the emotion.
And so I have returned to school, to work, to synagogue and to life. Return is bittersweet – I am glad to be home and welcome the opportunity for meaningful work to fill the void grief left behind. But it also makes it way too easy to forget that I am still grieving. I am embracing Jewish grieving rituals – continuing to wear the keriah after transitioning from the shivah to the sheloshim, attending minyan daily to recite the Mourner’s Kaddish, refraining from participating in overly social or joyous occasions, etc., – because they provide opportunities to remind me that I did, indeed, lose my father and to reflect upon all that that means. And after sheloshim comes the rest of a year of mourning…and I will explore how I intend to commemorate that phase when I enter it a few weeks hence. But now it is time to turn my attention back to matters at hand and what is at hand is the beginning of an exciting school year at the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School as faculty and staff prepare to return on Monday (!) for an action-packed “Pre-Planning Week”.
The Transparency Files: Pre-Planning Week
At the beginning of the summer, I blogged about our expectations and plans for faculty to use their summertime for professional growth. I blogged about my summer reading and how it has impacted my thinking heading into another year. In the spirit of transparency, I would like to share with you what we will be thinking about and working on next week – a week dedicated to ensuring the first day, week, month, etc., of the 2013-2014 school year is full of wonder, discovery, meaning and success for our students.
Here’s the scoop:
Monday, August 12th
9:30 – 10:00 AM Continental Breakfast & Welcome Activities
10:00 – 11:00 AM Team-Building Activities – The Transition Cafe
11:00 – 12:30 PM Work in Classrooms
12:30 – 2:00 PM PTA Preschool & Day School Lunch & Teambuilding
2:00 – 3:30 PM Lower School & Middle School Faculty Meetings
Tuesday, August 13th
8:45 – 9:00 AM IT
9:00 – 9:30 AM Student Advisory
9:30 – 11:30 AM “7 Habits”
11:30 – 12:30 PM Student Advisor Meeting & New Faculty IT
12:30 – 1:30 PM Lunch & Learn w/Rabbi Olitzky
1:30 – 2:00 PM HR w/ DuBow Preschool Faculty
2:00 – 3:30 PM Work in Classrooms
Wednesday, August 14th
8:30 – 9:30 AM Brunch & Learn w/Rabbi Lubliner
9:30 – 10:30 AM Summer Book Club Groups
10:30 – 11:30 AM “Square Peg” Alum & Mom
11:30 – 12:30 PM Lunch [JS Faculty Working Lunch]
12:30 – 3:00 PM Hebrew Faculty Webinar
12:30 – 3:30 PM Work in Classrooms
Thursday, August 15th
8:30 – 9:30 AM How to talk to parents about “Square Pegs”
9:30 – 10:15 AM “Wonder”
10:15 –12:00 PM Work in Classrooms / MS Faculty Meeting
12:00 – 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 – 3:30 PM LS “Meet the Teachers” & MS Work in Classrooms
Friday, August 16th
8:00 – 9:00 AM Final Nuts & Bolts
8:30 – 11:45 AM Middle School Orientation
9:00 – 9:30 AM Final Fine Tuning
9:30 –12:00 PM Work in Classrooms
A few things jump out at me…
You can see that Square Pegs has taken on a life larger just one of the books from the Summer Book Club. A number of teachers and administrators have read it and we believe its message has great resonance for our school.
You can see our belief that the 7 Habits may provide a common language for students and teachers to continue our 21st century learning journey .
You can see in “Student Advisory” the first tangible fruit of having an in-house Community of Kindness Coordinator.
You can see our ongoing commitment to Jewish learning through our “lunch and learn’s”.
But more than anything, I hope you can see our dedication to lifelong learning, our desire to be our very best, our devotion to our craft, our love for children, our passion for education, our acknowledgement of our sacred responsibility to teach, our respect for the whole child, our emphasis on personalized learning, and our promise to deliver “a floor, but no ceiling” for each child we have been entrusted with.
I say it each year, but only because I sincerely mean it. This year is going to be our best year ever. And that is because of who comes walking through the door Monday morning.
Welcome back MJGDS Faculty & Staff.