The following definition of Rosh Chodesh was taken from Judaism 101, a site I think I will be consulting frequently: “In Hebrew, Rosh Chodesh means, literally, ‘head of the month’ or ‘first of the month.’ Rosh Chodesh is the first day of any new month.”
It used to be a great festival, but it has diminished in importance. Tomorrow, my students will have a longer session in Tefillah, or prayers, because it is Rosh Chodesh. It seems to me like Rosh Chodesh is a miniature version of New Year’s (or Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year). It’s a time for celebrating beginnings, for blessing the new month. If I looked at the calendar right, that means that the month of Av is passing into the month of Elul, which will culminate in Rosh Hashanah. This is a very busy time for my students.
I like the idea of celebrating the beginning of each month. I’m celebrating a beginning myself. I love my job. My students seem very conscientious. They worked so quietly this morning. I’m not used to that. Isn’t that sad? That it would be weird for me to expect quiet and hard work? I love my colleagues. The students seem to be very interested in doing well. Truthfully, I think most of them work hard. We have a computer gradebook. One of the History teachers was showing me how she uses it, and I noticed there were no grades below a C on her roster. I used to have high failure rates even after compromising my standards and dumbing down my curriculum. I knew I would be blamed. It’s a real crisis in education, if you ask me. People wonder why teachers inflate grades. Well, because everyone pressures us to, from parents to administrators. The only people I had encountered up until now that didn’t seem to care overly much about grades being too low were the students.
I put writing about school in a category I call The Joy of Teaching. I used to mean that somewhat (okay, totally) sarcastically. It looks like that may be changing.