If you had the powers of Dr. Strange to turn back time, would you go back to before the pandemic started? This has been a hotly debated question in my house over the last 6 weeks. You see, in an attempt for some family bonding, we decided to watch all 23 Marvel Cinematic Movies over winter vacation. Popcorn and screen time aside, watching these movies and analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of every character’s superpower (I’m partial to Ant Man’s) has been deeply meaningful. While the ability to have these fantastical superpowers live only in our imaginations, it has also led us to discuss the superpowers we do actually possess that are helping us get through this time. Namely our own abilities that make us uniquely ourselves, our, if you will, human super powers.
At Yavneh one of our guiding educational beliefs is based on the verse from Proverbs 22:6 חֲנֹ֣ךְ לַ֭נַּעַר עַל־פִּ֣י דַרְכּ֑וֹ גַּ֥ם כִּֽי־יַ֝זְקִ֗ין לֹֽא־יָס֥וּר מִמֶּֽנָּה׃ Educate a child according to their way so when they are old they will not depart from their learning. We work hard at Yavneh to make sure each child identifies their own strengths and challenges so that they can each develop into their individual authentic selves making the most of their personal superpowers, so they can become confident and authentic to who they are and who they are becoming.
Confidence and authenticity are essential to developing leadership skills and student leadership is a critical component of a Yavneh education. Thanks to the creativity and determination of our students and teachers this essential element of our school has continued to flourish this school year. For example, all year the 8th graders have been studying, creating and learning how to be role-models and teachers of the middot of the Keshet of Kavod and now they are deep into their preparation for leading the school in our Purim celebrations. Many of our younger students are currently in the midst of learning about different Jewish rituals and finding their own voice and confidence to master the performance of these rituals which they will then teach their families at their class milestones.
While holiday celebrations and milestones will look different this year in our virtual school world, the goals and process remain the same, because leadership is more than physically standing in front of others to lead an assembly, leadership is being able to walk through the world as your authentic confident self in whatever form the world is currently taking. We are so proud of your children and love that we are able to continue to learn from them and be led by them as we journey through this uncertain time together. Because, just maybe we are each the superheroes we’ve been waiting for.