Friday, October 22, 2010

Vayera, fifteen teenagers and me

Up to session three with 12 to 15, 8th-12th graders.

Resist temptation! I want to go forward and teach something new. Turn back the clock!

Deep understanding that results in transfer to real life says go back, go deep, keep building on the same big ideas.

What are the big ideas we started with?
a. Torah is a tree of life
c. Torah guides decision making
d. Torah guides how to act as a madrich

Can I go back and see if they are holding on to any of that?
Can I make sure this week's learning builds on those big ideas?

CHALLENGE: On Shabbat not so easy to gather data. I'll make a survey, no more than
10 questions. They can put stickers next to multiple choice answers. (no writing on Shabbat in this shul).

To know what to put in the survey I have to turn the clock forward and see what I'm trying to achieve at the end of the unit,

I'll be successful at the end of the unit if learners:

Key values from each weekly Torah portion (content an
d Hebrew)
A Jewish way to make decisions (consider this and this and then..)

Regularly mentor/role model/ interact with their own students

Name key values and name the Torah value that they "decide" to apply in those interactions
Implement one teaching experience for their students enabling their students to live a Torah value

Reflect on and express observable benefits and challenge
s of decisions guided by Torah

Engage with peers, elders and children about how to apply Torah to daily life Be in conversation with their ancestors (e.g. Eve and Rashi) about Torah values Speak it out with God

Survey for tomorrow:

Remembering Our Time Together
(all questions can have more than one answer)

1. The primary purpose of being a madrich

a. earn credit for school and/or for resume

b. help out the teacher by being extra hands

c. be a Jewish role model

d. help the students grow to become madrichim in their teen years

2. Torah as a tree of life (aytz chayim).
Which of the following do you think best explains what that phrase means?

a. Torah grows and changes over time

b. Torah is the root for how to live today (knowledge, action, beliefs, sense of belonging)

c. Torah is an ancient book originally written on thin sheets from trees *known as paper

3. Torah is a resource for how I can help my students grow
(put a dot next to your choice)

I strongly agree I agree somewhat I"m not sure I disagree I strongly disagree

4. We studied parasha Noach. He was righteous and he was flawed. He was like a donut, he had holes and he was whole. We talked about
the value of rachamim, compassion. Dr. Arnie Feldman told us it is arrogant, according to the rabbis, not to have compassion on yourself for mistakes. None of us our so righteous we don't make mistakes. (put a dot next to your choice)

I strongly agree I agree somewhat I'm not sure I disagree I strongly disagree

5. When we studied parasha Noach we also talked about the value of
dan l'chaf zichut, to give the benefit of the doubt. We have to understand that we all have holes and we are trying to be whole, so we should give someone the benefit of the doubt before rushing to judgment. (put a dot next to your choice)

I strongly agree I agree somewhat I'm not sure I disagree I strongly disagree

6. I can tell a story about a time I extended rachamim, compassion to myself for something I did that didn't go as I would have liked.

I can I can't recall No

7. I can tell a story about a time I extended the benefit of the doubt, dan l'chaf zichut and didn't jump to judgement about myself.

I can I can't recall No

8. I can tell a story about a time I extended the benefit of the doubt, dan lchaf zichut and didn't jump to judgement about one of my students.

I can I can't recall No

9. I'd like to have adults from the congregation join us another time to share a song or a story

that's fine doesn't matter No

10. I went back and checked my d'var Torah at my bar/bat mitzah. I can say one piece of wisdom that I said back then from the Torah.

Yes No Next time I can

Okay I'll have to figure out how to get the HEbrew in the survey. I don't know how to do that on my computer so I'll probably hand write it in.

Now to the planning the hour.

Connection: where you been?

How's it going... the Phillies...anything good happen to you since last we were together, any challenges coming up for you as madrichim?

Yeah, I'm thinking just be relaxed and go to the relationships.

Goals today...Bible Diving...can we go in to today's Torah portion and find some wisdom that can help you in your role and as a madrich and nurture the students.

Before we do that pause and reflect.
We ended last time with a song
oh zee, that Shelly (a congregant who is a rabbinic intern sang with us)
we'll start that way.

Just to recall where we were we'll fill out a survey.
We'll keep them in folder so you can see over time if your learning or thinking changes.

Do the survey
talk through it with them
including if they have stories and teachings from the d'var Torah we can share.

Core Discussion: 2
New learning
Bereshit, (five books, repeat them in English and Hebrew, not everyone knew them before)

verses to review ..the value that can help us with our students (goes hand in hand with compassion and giving the benefit of the doubt..hatikva, hope, and emunah, faith, seeing the light, focus on the whole not the hole, yes I'll serve donuts again.

When I was an ed director I had a verse taped to my computer.
I'm going to draw it on for this session:

Our spiritual task is to discover the divine sparks in each person and situation
we encounter, to become aware that every single thing we do, se, touch or imagine, (has the possibility of being laden with holiness.) Raising the sparks is a powerful metaphor. It transforms religons from a list of do's and don'ts or a list of dogmas into a spiritual adventure."
(Daniel Matt)

From the following Torah verses
name the moments where one could see the light, have faith, and hope (emunah, tkvah) or
miss the sparks.

Role play a pivotal decision- the internal monologue if you exhibit tikva and emunah or miss the sparks.

Genesis 18: 1-6 (Abraham has unexpected guests..a moment of decision how to treat them

Genesis 18: 10-12 ( a promise of a child after so many years, believe it or not)

Gensiss 18: 20-21 (towns to be destroyed, accept it or look for the light)

Genssis 21: 9-13 (Sarah worried about Ishmael)

Benefits/down sides of exercising tikvah and emunah in these cases

What implications for working with your students.
What is a scenario to help them, pause, consider and access tikvah and emunah.

What stands out for you

Next steps
try this week in your role as madrich
emunah, tikvah, dan l'chaf zichut and/or rachamim
come back next week with a story.