Recently, I began taking Hebrew lessons. A Hebrew-speaking friend wanted to learn Spanish and suggested we trade skills, taking turns teaching each other. I thought it was a wonderful idea and agreed. I am currently working my way through the alphabet (completely new to me) and the different sounds that particular dots make when used with the letters. It is challenging to know so little about something that seems like it should be so simple – an alphabet! Over the last few months as I’ve worked through the  Aleph-Bet song, singing it again and again with my son, and, as I’ve stumbled through memorization and phonics practice, I’ve realized that I’m learning so much more than just Hebrew. This new adventure has also gifted me the opportunity to remember the joy and vulnerability of being a student. It has reminded me that sometimes, no matter how well you thought you knew something, you can forget it. It has helped me to feel, once again, the warmth of an encouraging remark from a teacher. My Hebrew lessons have allowed me to learn an exciting new language and culture, yes, but they have truly given me so much more. They have given me a chance to be the student again, a gift that I know will cause more empathy, grace, and appreciation as I interact with my own students in the classroom.

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