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Malkie Herson's Blog

Thoughts from Malkie Herson


Dear Families,
Last night, we had our bi-weekly curriculum meeting. The holiday of Purim is coming up next month, and we challenged ourselves to mine the holiday for its deeper message, to see beyond the story and rituals of the day. It is that message that we take to the children, in an age-appropriate way, helping them see the world through a lens of values and big ideas.
So, what is Purim’s deeper message? At the face of it, Purim celebrates a victory we had as a people when, despite a terrible decree from the political ruler of the day, disaster was averted. As it turns out, the Jewish people had a sympathetic queen at the right place, at the right time, and she used her influence to save us. A series of lucky breaks.
And that is the Purim message. Purim celebrates…well, it celebrates the miracles in regular life. Miracles that we may take for granted. It helps remind us that life may not be filled with blockbuster miracles – like Passover’s story of the Ten Plagues and Splitting of the Red Sea, or Chanukah’s miracle of oil remaining kindled longer than it is naturally possible – but, life is filled with miracles. We just need to open our eyes to see them.
It’s easy to gloss over the miracles of the average day.
So often when we ask each other, “What happened today?” the response is, “Nothing.” 
But is that really true? What was special about today?
It is a tremendously beneficial to our mental health if we are able to notice and appreciate small things/small moments: My apple tasted so sweet at lunch. The sun feels amazing on my face as I get out of my car. My friend looked at me in a way that made me feel good.
We walk in miracles every day.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the miracles we have in our classrooms, with our teachers, every day. I feel incredibly grateful both in my role as a Zimmer mom, and as Educational Director. (Whenever I run staff development meetings for other preschools, as I drive home, my urge is to call each of our teachers and to tell them how much I appreciate them!)
An example: The other day, Morah Janice was with Pre-K in the playroom. Two children were on the tricycle together. One child tipped. Immediately, the other child jumped off the trike and said, “Are you okay? I think I was driving too fast. I’m sorry you got hurt.” Such an instinctive display of empathy, such ownership! Morah Janice was amazed. She told me, “This ability for a young child to first consider someone else’s needs before his own, is incredible! This is not something you see everywhere!”
- Thank you, Morahs, for interacting with my child in a ‘language’ of  respect and dignity; due to your modeling, that is the language he learns to use when interacting with others.

- Thank you, Morahs, for dialoging with my child in ways that train him to think for himself, for not stifling his creativity by merely telling him what to do, what crafts we’re making, what songs we’re singing, etc.

- Thank you, Morahs, for creating immersive learning environments that expose him to things that he wouldn’t have otherwise.

- Thank you, Morahs, for trying so hard to communicate your ways with us parents, so that we can offer our children consistent messages.
The list can go on and on…indeed, my boys and I walk in your miracles every day. As a mom, I feel it. As the director, I know it. Thanks for your commitment, passion and efforts.

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