Experienced and Sparkling

The girls simply sparkled that night! They wore white caftans speckled with a shimmery gold design that glittered and sparkled in the reflection of the disco lighting above. Though I only taught a sprinkling of them, my heart sang, dance and cheered them on. An entire grade put on the most beautiful production, with their topics of learning interwoven between sparkly scenes of drama, music and dance. Truly an event to make a teacher's heart sing with nachas.

It was endearing to watch the girls as they bit their nails, threatened to throw up/faint and just plain freaked out in the wings. "I feel like we haven't rehearsed enough!" Shainy* confided as she waited for her cue.

Their sweet nervousness over a short-lived performance cast my mind back to my first days of teaching. I was never prepared enough. There was always one more source to look up and one more worksheet to write. Ah, the sparkly confidence that piggie-backs on four years experience... Lessons that I thought were vital were oft disposed of as I waved goodbye. Worksheets and booklets that I had toiled over for endless nights were shredded to bits by the very girls who I thought would treasure them. While I, too, was once a nervous wreck before performing on stage, I now scoff at my own daily platform. What's the big deal? I preach to some 30 students several times daily. It's my job.

And yet, and yet, sometimes there will be a moment of fear. It could be after a long vacation, when starting with a new class. Sometimes I speak at other venues, and the butterflies flutter and prance as I attempt to sparkle on the stage. It's part of the job. I prepare as best I can - you know the routine... I wear my best shaitel, my most flattering outfit and take great pains with my make up. I stand up there and do the talk, doing my best to ignore the dancers in my belly. Sure, I get over it, I move on. But it takes time - the first time I spoke for a group of older women I finished two hours worth of classroom material in just 40 minutes. I was that nervous. "Oh, are we done?" they wondered. The shiur was meant to last an hour, mind you.

On a certain level, then, I get my students. The others might have thought them silly, but they were entitled to their nervousness. Part of the act, y'know?

Either way, they really sparkled during the show...

Sparkly inspiration thanks to:
Mama’s Losin’ It
To be continued...


  1. So sweet. What a wonderful glimpse into your life and perspective.

  2. I love what people have done with this prompt. Yours was beautifully written!

  3. Thank you, Raising and Emily! It was preety incredible to watch how diverse the various pieces were. It was an incredibly open-ended prompt - the best kind!


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