What makes us unique?
Take away Hebrew, prayer and Jewish Studies classes. Take away holidays and field trips too. Pare down a Jewish day school to its core General Studies classes and then ask “What makes these classes unique for a Jewish Day School?”
One could be forgiven for thinking that our General Studies is the same as the public school, we just do it all in less time. This is true but not the whole story. Yes, our kids graduate with the same skill sets as students from the finest public and private schools. Sure they are ready for college. But that’s not full picture.
The core of who we are and what we believe is this: We believe that children are - by their very nature - curious and creative. We believe they want to be successful. We believe our faith gives us a mandate to make the world a better place. We believe in developing the power of our intellect to its fullest capacity in order to change the world. Skills are only half of our story. The other half is purpose.
In Daniel Pinks’ best selling book, Drive, he examined the attributes that gave the most successful people their drive. What gives some people seemingly limitless energy and intrinsic motivation, while others can’t seem to get moving? Some people need to be motivated by extrinsic motivation: carrots and sticks, rewards and punishments. Pink identified three pillars; autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
By maintaining our relentless focus on character, values, and improving the world, we offer our students something they can’t get anywhere else...the chance to be part of something bigger than themselves; the chance to move a people; and the chance to move the world.
I can’t wait to share some of these classroom stories in the coming weeks and months ahead.