I want to go on record here: Sixth graders are a blast to teach!

Until they’re not.

For you see, it seems that my two male students have opted out physically—either by simply not showing up, or by respectfully notifying me that sports have suddenly reconfigured their lives.

And the five young ladies technically come to class; and mostly pay attention. However, they

–sit as far from the teacher as is physically possible

–speak in subdued tones often too soft for these old ears to catch

–tend to lose their place on the page as their classmates read aloud

But look again…

The Kaddish Challenge has worked miracles!

Yep, with only 6 sessions left on the Hebrew School calendar, I put it out there:

“Who among you can master the long Kaddish, the Kaddish Sheleim?”

And they are doing it!

Little by little, line by tongue-twisting line, they are overcoming their fear, or social stress or boredom—whatever has been damming their forward progress—and I couldn’t be more pleased with this little group.

Because, after all, sixth graders are a blast to teach!


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