Friday, October 8, 2010

Whole Person Learning--Plan it out session 2

Blog advice I’ve gotten: be pithy, passionate, fashion forward
This is as close as I'm gonna get..back to real.

Whole Person Learning--the Big Ah Ha
The biggest ah ha I hear from LOMED educators is around "Whole Person Learning."
Jewish Educators get it in a big way---Nurture the head, the heart, the hand and feet (belonging).
Jewish educators get that
**Having fun on Shabbat doesn't last long without rich content...knowledge
**Knowing about Shabbat is not the same as experiencing Shabbat...doing
**Experiencing without thoughtful reflection doesn't clarify values and beliefs.
**Without relationships and community, Shabbat is a lonely place without role models..belonging.

I'm thinking each child needs a unique combination, like a fingerprint, of knowledge, experience, reflection and relationships to walk in the world as a Jewish adult. I don't know the mystical combination for each student, but I can try to discover it.

Plan it Out--I get it, now I have to do it

Like thousands of Jewish educators I'm asking myself what am I doing with the parasha Noah this week? I could google it. I could do some good activities.

But I'm taking the LOMED challenge. So like LOMED educators I'm Beginning with the end in mind.

A review of my noticing targets/learner outcomes tells me I better attend to relationships first. The big idea this week should connect to the big idea last week. A tree of life..which is different than a tree of perfection. I'm thinking that's a good big idea for teens in this suburban community where personal value and 100 percents go hand in hand.


Go back to last week..back to a tree of life. Role of madrichim: help students grow rooted in Judaism.

So..first What did you do with your plant. What did you do to nurture it?

Did you have a chance to "nurture," take care of your students? How?

Hey here is my plant, stuck it in the ground there

was lots of rain.

Core Discussion One:
Big idea Torah: the Tree of life...Jewish growing vs perfection.

Teach us your Torah wisdom.

Think to your bar/bat mitzvah
Line up with one another based on your Torah portion. Genesis to Deuteronomy get in the right order. Ask each to share one thing he/she taught the community in her/his d'var Torah.
If they can't remember, if there was one piece advice you'd have to give someone ..what would it be?

I also had put on the synagouge listserv request for Torah advice for students. I have three wisdom pieces to share. My cynical side notes there were more responses to "What's better boscov's or BJs" then my question about wisdom to share with teens.

Ask students to stand themselves in line from the most difficult advice to follow to the easiest advice to follow.

What makes it hard to follow the advice/ Torah teaching? Every generation finds it hard to do.

Every generation finds it hard to live by Torah.
Judasim Not looking for perfection...not valued by your trophies

it is in the growing, the striving.

Noah was a righteous man; he was blameless in his age.
Not so perfect.

Compare and contrast commentary on Noah the guy that was righteous in his age

  • Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra: Noah was righteous in his deeds.
  • Nachmanides says: Noah was neither a person of violence nor a person who cheated and lied, he didn't participate in the cults of astrology, enchantment or soothsaying, nor did he worship idols

on the other hand
  • According to the Zohar Naoh was out of save himself and his familly. He did not intervene or speak up for the people of his generation when he was told that they would be destroyed.
  • Rabbi Morris Adler says, a great leader is not only a person of ideas, not only a person of personal integrity and devotion but also a person of tenderness, a person of compassion..if he is insensitive to the sorrows of people
Speak it out..why is the Torah giving us such a flawed fellow and calling him righteous in his age?
Students in small groups present response.

Give students donuts. Is there some connection between having holes/imperfections and being whole? What's the Torah telling us about being imperfect and being righteous/whole? somewhere between bezelem elohim and dan lichaf zichut..we are made in God's image (we read that last week) and we shouldn't judge so quickly..

Last week we were made in God's image
this week we see our many flaws...

In one pocket we are from dust and return to dust, and the other pocket the world was created for me...striving...balance

Reflection: As a madrich what's this notion of growing and striving vs perfection have to do with your work with students helping them grow? Why bother getting that point across to your students? What's the value?

Next Steps: Put it in action...ways to do help grow and not ask for perfection...