March 13th. Do you remember that day? Do you remember the last person you hugged? Saw in person? Do you remember the last place you went, not thinking about if you had your mask with you or if you could access hand sanitizer nearby? In just under 2 weeks we will hit the 6-month mark of living in this new reality and just a few days later we will be celebrating Rosh Hashanah the beginning of the Jewish New Year. A time when the Jewish calendar requires us to focus on the changes and transformations we need to make in the coming year.
Since that day in March, COVID-19 is not the only global or national issue to touch our lives and exhort us to be deeply reflective about how we choose to live each day or about the world we want to leave for our children. Some days it all feels manageable and some days it is so disorienting and upsetting that it’s hard to figure out what to even do with ourselves. If you haven’t yet, it is time to ask yourself how have you trained to meet this moment so that we and our children and our community and our world can survive and thrive?
Just like an athlete trains their physical muscles to perform when game time arrives, have I trained myself in the ethical, moral, and social-emotional attributes I find myself most needing to call upon right now? If we don’t train our muscles they atrophy, and when we most need them they are not there to call upon. So what are the fundamental building blocks that we and our children can learn to not just survive this unprecedented time but even perhaps thrive and contribute to making it better? That is the focus of this year’s Keshet of Kavod.
As you may know every year the students, parents, and teachers select seven Middot (character traits) that we collectively focus on as individuals and a school community. This year, the Keshet of Kavod program feels more pressing than ever. With so many events in our world being out of our individual control, the one thing we can control is how we react and respond. Those reactions are shaped by our character strengths and weaknesses. In the coming weeks, the students will be exploring the Periodic Table of Middot in class and nominating their choices by considering questions such as;
~Which Middot are most pertinent to their lives at this very moment?
~What are the social-emotional and spiritual skills they need to be successful learners during a pandemic and online school?
~Which character traits will help foster a deep understanding that their wellbeing is inexplicably tied up with and dependent on the wellbeing of their immediate and global community?
We hope you will choose to participate as well because character education is a whole community affair, it needs all of our voices. Click here to nominate your choice for this year’s Keshet of Kavod.