In Ontario, Canada where I grew up, the changing of the seasons are drastic and much more obvious than they are here in California. As winter ends and the snow melts, the grass gradually turns green and the flowers and trees start to bud. People put on shorts well before they should, desperate to shake off the winter months. In California, we are so fortunate to have moderate weather all year long, and therefore the changes are more subtle.
Like the seasons here in our sunny state, the changes in our children might not be noticeable on a day to day basis, yet when looking back over time, we notice the change more considerably. It’s amazing to think back to when the school year began; students were hesitant, and still finding their place. We’re now at this moment in time where we can notice the growth and reflect on how far they’ve come academically, socially and spiritually. When God seeks out Abraham’s leadership, his response, “Hineni” indicates his absolute presence. Similarly, our students, like the flowers in spring, have come into being. They are here, they are all in.
Many classes have already embarked on their milestones, demonstrating their knowledge and exhibiting the confidence that they have gained over the past several months. I’ve had the pleasure of watching our Gan and Alef students rehearse for their upcoming milestones. Their enthusiasm is infectious. They take such pride showing all that they have learned and look forward to showing how they have blossomed over the course of the year. Friends and family will come together to watch as the students’ hard work comes to fruition.
Each week I participate in Monday morning Tefillah. With our 6th-8th grade students away on journeys this week, it was wonderful to see our 5th grade students take on a leadership role as a few representatives led the school in the opening of our service with confidence. While I participated in prayer and song, I couldn’t help but notice a few Gan students looking over my shoulder as I followed along in the siddur. It was heartwarming to observe their enthusiasm and interest as they prepare for the next step in their Jewish path.
Spring illuminates growth. As parents and educators, we continue to nurture the growth in our children as we look ahead to the coming months and get excited for the new challenges and opportunities that present themselves.