As this is my fourth year teaching third grade at BJEP, it’s hard to surprise me. Thirty-two third-graders? Been there. Brand-new family programs? Done that. A morning filled with nervous, shy, or incredibly enthusiastic eight- and nine-year olds? Sounds like a way to spend my Sunday … in fact, almost every Sunday since I entered Brandeis as a freshman.
But there’s one thing at BJEP that’s always limited: the time I get to teach my students. I share my students every Sunday with the many specialists who also teach my students. Thus, with my limited time, I have to think carefully about how to squeeze in a lesson from Bereshit (Genesis), or cover all of the many Jewish holidays we experience. So it was a rare occasion that this past week, my third-grade class had no “specialty” activities during the day. I had two wonderful uninterrupted hours to spend with my third graders!
In Judaism, time is a sacred fourth dimension. We mark its passing with time-bound rituals, observance of the holidays, and by celebrating each new month as its start. Though a day at BJEP passes quickly, the lessons and ideals that we explore have relevance to each day of our lives. And so we made sure to use the most of our full day in the classroom. We discussed the challenging story of Sodom and Gomorrah, explored our identity as the “Children of Abraham”, and played a great review game to start wrapping up the semester.
It’s amazing how time can pass so quickly, and hard to believe that I am rapidly approaching the end of my time at BJEP. I want to thank the BJEP community all for making my experience here so meaningful, and look forward to the end of a great year together.