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Monday, September 15, 2008

Aseifat Horim

I wouldn't even begin to know how to say Aseifat Horim in English!

In the beginning of every school year, every educational framework in Israel, from Gan (kindergarden) through High School, has an aseifat horim.

At the aseifat horim, parents meet their children's teachers for the first time. It is also an opportunity to meet the other parents.

For kindergarden, the aseifat horim is relatively simple. Parents arrive, are given some sort of cardboard shape (eg. a flower), and are asked to write their child a bracha (blessing) for the upcoming year. Then, the ganenet (kindergarden teacher) invites the parents to introduce themselves, after which, she explains everything a parents should know about kindergarden. At the end, the ganenet asks for volunteers for the va'ad horim (parents committee).

In the beginning of our journey into the school system, I was impressed that parents were invited to be more involved. With time, I learned that the main job of the va'ad horim was to collect money.

In elementary school, in addition to meeting with the teachers, the aseifat horim includes greetings from the principal.

In Junior High School, we are also introduced to other staff (guidance counselor, vice principal, etc).

Last night, we had our first High School aseifat horim.

The first thing that impressed me was that it began on time!!

Good thing, too, because there was a lot of talking! Greetings from the principal, the Rav, the vice principal, the pedagogical coordinator, a second pedagogical coordinator, the administration manager -- whew!

Admittedly, some of it was a little boring.

Nonetheless, overall, everyone who spoke was really excited about the school and about all the special programs. Their enthusiasm was contageous.

Finally, we divided into our individual class meetings. It was nice to see some familiar faces among the parents.

Y's teacher exuded positive energy, and was very articulate. I discovered that this teacher would teach my daughter for both 9th and 10th grade. I was pleased.

I could tell why my daughter was happy to go to school every day.

When we got home, Y was in bed, but still awake.

"Did you meet my teacher?" she asked, right away.

Y looked up at me, her sweet, innocent, eyes shining.

In a soft voice, she continued, "She's nice, isn't she?"

I looked at my beautiful daughter, who is growing up so fast, and whose independence is emerging as a strong force in our household.

I wanted to hold onto that moment forever.

I bent down, and kissed her on her forehead.

"Yes, she is," I assured my daughter, as her eyes closed, and she drifted off to sleep.

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Baila said...

We had our aseifat horim (in America they called them open school night) last night for our high schooler. Very nice teacher, but I find that there is a great deal of self-back-patting by the administration (in all schools I've been to) at these performance nights. I've become pretty cynical about all the promises.

Batya said...

These meetings really are important, but it's good to bring something for the boring moments. Like crocheting or needlepoint, better than dozing off.

TikunOlam said...

We call them "back to school night" where I live.