"Write down all your inner struggles, your setbacks and successes, and grant them eternal life. This way your very essence, the personality of your soul, your spiritual attainments, your life's inner treasures, will live on forever in the lives of your spiritual heirs as generations come and go." - Rav Kalonoymus Kalman Sharpira zt"l, the Piaseczno Rebbe from Tzav V'Ziruz (The Rebbe's personal diary)
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Adapting to your target audience
Those who know me are aware that I really like the game Jenga. This past Shabbos my wife told me that Hasbro is now selling Jenga in a "travel" container, which is oval shaped. I am guess it was just too frustrating for those ages 6 and up. I know my kids really dislike having to put Jenga away and I usually end up doing it. Also, the plastic "guide" that come with it easily brakes. Changing packaging cost serious money and isn't a decision that comes with ease. Just like everyone remembers the dessert at the end of a fantastic meal, Jenga players from around the world must have complained about their final memories of a fantastic Jenga game being the difficulty in putting those 54 genuine hardwood blocks away.
I am not in chinuch, but I have friends who are and I have children who I'm paying tuition in order for them to receive their chinuch. I have often observed that the most influential teachers are the ones that are open to the ideas that the way children learn has changed over the years and not everyone fits into a particular mode. I've seen "fresh out of the starting gate" teachers use innovative ways to get kids to learn and I've seen "legends" in chinuch who have been teaching for 50 years take their time-honored techniques and adapt them for a generation who has trouble focusing, sitting, and communicating.
The main point of playing Jenga is actually playing, not putting it away. Sometimes you can keep the ikar the same, but repackage it in a way that's leaves a better memory.