In kindergarten, I was amongst the tiniest kids at Rashi. I stared at the “Big Kids” in awe with my mouth wide open, curious as to how I could one day look like that. Yet I was not scared, rather I was welcomed by these giants. In third grade, I was given opportunities to read to the younger students and teach them about subjects they were being introduced to. By fifth grade, my peers and I were learning what it means to be a true role model for the students who looked up to us most, but we were also slowly transitioning into Middle School, attending Middle School assemblies and participating in high level discussions about current events taking place throughout our country.
Through my first two years in Middle School, I was granted opportunities to bring my gained leadership knowledge all over the school, and into the outside world. I worked with the older students on what it means to lead, and how to share your leadership with others. By eighth grade, I have learned what leadership means to me: Noa Pesner. I ran for president, and after elected began working immediately with my fellow peers and younger students, striving to locate my inner boldness and bind it with the students working alongside myself.
However leadership at Rashi does not solely exist within the summits of Student Government, or activities set up by teachers. Leadership exists throughout the academics in ways I would have never imagined. Whether the opportunity projects in a student-led discussion about the tragedies of Macbeth or other Shakespearean plays in Language Arts class, or in student-led comprehension discussions about the metaphors of Animal Farm, leadership is reflected through every student at some point during the academic day.
In math class when the teacher hands out a theorem, and students work together as one to prove the effects of the arc of a triangle in a high school level geometry curriculum, each student takes a risk to present new ideas to their peers, cementing the leadership qualities taught to us each day.
When learning Torah, Hebrew, and more about Judaism, we strive to develop our own Jewish identities, and interpret the true meaning of being Jewish. From the first day of kindergarten, until the first day of eighth grade and continuing after we graduate, we learn to shape our own identities in our community, finding the leader within even the shiest student in the school. We learn to talk in front of others, to stand up for what we believe in, and how to take pride in the knowledge we have gained from the excellent academic program presented to us each day.
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