|Why do we educate? For some the answer is simple. To help students learn and grow; to help young citizens become critical thinkers, and innovative problem solvers. Many hold to a vision of helping children fall in love with reading. In a Jewish setting, the answer may take on additional aspects: to grow the next generation of Jewish families and leaders, and to connect us to our shared history and each other. The calling to teach is unique to every educator. |
At its core, we teach so that children will grow to be happy. Every morsel of information, every creative encounter and challenging tidbit from our classrooms is in service to their future selves, a hope that all that we have shared with our students will offer them tools and resources to seek, find, and enjoy being happy adults.
But a careful look at happiness polls reveals a worrying failure. Just 38% of American adults report being happy (click here to learn more). To be educated and miserable is no way to be.
So this year, the teachers of our ECC and Living Judaism Religious School have a grand task ahead – teach the Big Five. In a study conducted by positive psychologists Jessie Sun, Scott Barry Kaufman, and Luke D. Smillie, five key personality traits (click here to read more) were strongly correlated to individual happiness:
יסוד (yesod) enthusiasm
נצח (netzach) grit
גבורה (gevurah) industriousness
תפארת (tiferet) compassion
סקרנות (sakranut) intellectual curiosity
Here at TST, we strive to create joyful Jewish experiences. We teach joyfully so that children may learn joyfully. To know happiness is the start. We then look carefully at each moment in our classrooms, creating experiences that strengthen each child’s Big Five so that they may know happiness and learn to sustain happiness and Judaism in their lives.
Wishing everyone a very happy 5784.
Patty Goldstick, Director, ECC
Stephanie Ben Simon, Interim Director of Lifelong Learning