by Robyn Lindenberg
Defining success is not a straightforward process. There are millionaires tossing and turning during sleepless nights spent listing the items they have not checked off their life’s to-do list.
Meanwhile, down the street live struggling artists who could not be happier spending their days chasing a dream they know may never come true.
Part of the Jewish conversation includes the idea that success is less a point than a direction.
Though a person can and should set tangible goals and benchmarks, achieving those goals or hitting those benchmarks does not necessarily predict long-term success. Many argue that success is better predicted by attitude, intrinsic motivation and clarity of purpose. In other words, success is influenced by the factors that keep us growing and moving in the right direction.
Every year, Austin Jewish Academy has a guiding theme, and this year’s is measuring success. AJA’s theme is less a static point than a direction for productive exploration.
An AJA education provides a rigorous, whole-child experience that prepares graduates for success. Parents and educators must ask: How does one define success for him or herself? How does AJA determine success? Can success be measured?
AJA uses multiple assessments and data points to inform our student driven instruction to best meet student needs. This raises several questions. How much do parents and educators focus on results while strongly believing in the learning process and in developing the whole child? How do parents and educators strike a balance of academic excellence, raising engaged and empathetic human beings, and developing the tools to live a healthy and fulfilling life grounded in Jewish values? Is success the journey or the destination? How does a whole-child experience prepare AJA graduates for success?
The interpretation of the term “whole child education” has evolved over the years. AJA’s definition can be understood as a method by which each child’s physical, academic, social and spiritual potential is awakened and encouraged by the project-based curriculum and guided by timeless Jewish traditions. The whole child experiences a myriad aspects of school life, from math and science and reading and writing, to arts, music and physical activity every day. The teaching staff integrates subjects together, to demonstrate how everything students study in school and in life is interconnected. ■
For more information about Austin Jewish Academy visit www.austinjewishacademy.org. AJA is now accepting applications to kindergarten through eighth grade for the 2018-2019 school year. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a tour or attend an admissions event.