Just For Us

Just For Us
There is never a time that we can say that we don’t need Hashem. Besides for the life that He is constantly pumping into us, He is providing for our every need, every second of the day. We have so many needs. Just when one gets taken care of, we’re already on to thinking about the next one.
A woman told me she was going through a very difficult time and took upon herself to learn more Emunah. Baruch Hashem, shortly afterwards, she was introduced to the boy that she recently became engaged to. She was so grateful to Hashem for this Yeshua. Finally, after seeing the answer to her prayers,however, she was right back to praying heartfelt Tefilot for her next need, financial assistance. But this time, after she had already strengthened her Emunah, she had a calm feeling, recognizing that the finances are out of her control and totally in the hands of Hashem.
One of her major expenses was purchasing a wig. She, like other brides, really wanted two of them, one for every day and one for Shabbat and special occasions. But she had just enough money to buy one. That didn’t stop her from asking her Father in Heaven to provide two for her. She prayed for what she wanted and two weeks ago, she got a phone call from the lady she is buying the wig from who told her that someone just anonymously gave money to buy a wig for a new bride and she’s offering it to her. She said she was taken aback. This was a clear manifestation of Hashem answering her prayers and giving her exactly what she wanted. “Why did she offer it to me?” she thought, “I know there are other brides that she is servicing now as well. How did it come exactly with enough time to be ready for my wedding?” It’s מאת ה-From Hashem-just for me. Hashem helped her, and Hashem can help everyone. The more we realize it, the quicker we’ll ask for His help.
 I read a story about a man from Ela’ad in Israel who’s a Ba’al Teshuva and now a big Talmid Chacham. He said that in 2001 when he started becoming observant, he was doing a lot of business in China. Most of his business dealings with the people there were done over meals. He used to eat non-kosher meat in their restaurants, רחמנא ליצלן, until he slowly began improving. First he stopped eating the meat and told his clients that he became a vegetarian. This went on for a while until he decided to become completely kosher. He knew it would be very insulting to them if he didn’t eat with them, and he didn’t know what to do.
He had the biggest meeting of his life coming up, and it was going to be in one of their restaurants. He wasn’t courageous enough yet to tell them that he couldn’t come. But he was courageous enough not to eat. And he prayed and asked Hashem for help in that situation. The day came, and he was at the restaurant with twenty-five other executives, and they were ordering various dishes for the table. In the middle of the meal someone noticed that he wasn’t eating, and they said in a loud voice, “What’s wrong? Our food is not good enough for you?” He whispered a prayer to Hashem, asking him to put the right words in his mouth, when all of a sudden the wealthiest, most influential executive there got up and said, “Don’t you know he’s a religious Jew? He doesn’t eat this food! We should be thanking him that he even agreed to sit here with us.” With that, everyone was silenced and the meeting progressed and was a success. The man said afterwards, “I have no idea how he knew I was religious. I never showed it, I didn’t look it. It was like Hashem put the words in his mouth to save me.”
Hashem could always help us in any situation. When we recognize how much we need Him, we’ll constantly have words of prayer on our lips, and B’ezrat Hashem, we’ll see with our own eyes His loving hand in our lives.

A Mysterious But Powerful Way To Improve Listening

by  on October 21, 2017 1

Smart Classroom Management: A Mysterious But Powerful Way To Improve ListeningWe’ve covered the topic of speaking so students will listen extensively here at SCM.We’ve talked about the importance of not repeating yourself.

We’ve talked about volume and pacing.

We’ve talked about timing, pausing, brevity, clarity, and eye contact.

But what we have yet to cover is perhaps the single most important key to improving listening.

It’s a strategy that isn’t as straightforward as those mentioned above.

In fact, why it works so well is a bit of a mystery. Because, you see, it’s not about what you do. It’s about what you believe.

So what is it?

It’s conviction.

It’s the feeling or belief behind your words. When you speak with conviction, it sends a signal along an alternative wavelength, reaching students just as strong as when it left your mouth.

It lets them know that what you say matters, that it’s important and worth listening to. It’s something they can feel and sense in their bones.

So where does this level of conviction come from?

Well, it doesn’t come from trying to convince yourself you really mean it. It doesn’t come from false confidence, deepening your voice, or pretending you’re serious this time.

It comes from doing what you say you’re going to do. It comes from your consistencyand follow through.

It comes from an almost obsessive desire to show your students, prove to them, that you can be counted on every hour of every day.

When you say something, your students have to know they can take it to the bank.

For every time you go back on your word or let misbehavior go without the consequence you promised, you weaken your influence and lose trust in the eyes of your students.

You also lose it in your own eyes.

To speak with the weightiness needed to get even students you’ve just met to listen to you, you must have a near fanatical commitment to following through.

There is an unmistakable aura that accompanies teachers with authentic conviction, a distinct vibration of speech that is borne of the perfect symmetry between words and actions.

Do what you say and when you say you’re going to do it, and you’ll speak with a mysterious power that can move mountains.

That causes students to lean in, lock their eyes on you . . .

And listen.

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A (Slightly) Dangerous But Effective Way To Get Your Students’ Attention

A (Slightly) Dangerous But Effective Way To Get Your Students’ Attention

Smart Classroom Management: A (Slightly) Dangerous But Effective Way To Get Your Students' AttentionOkay, so I’ve got this strategy I’ve been using a long time.But I’ve been reluctant to share it.Because, you see, it can, potentially anyway, be an eensy-weensy bit dangerous.Like stepping into the shower or walking down a flight of stairs.

So, before you try it out, you have to promise to be careful and use at your own risk.

If you’re unsure, well, it isn’t a make or break strategy, so you may want to leave this one alone.

But if you’re confident you can do it safely, then there are times when it can really come in handy.

Here’s how it works:

Let’s say your class is involved in an especially active or loud activity.

They’re building a project or practicing for a performance or otherwise excitedly working together.

And let’s say that you need their attention right now. Perhaps you forgot to give them a critical piece of information or you have to make an announcement that just can’t wait.

You can certainly use the strategy we commonly recommend to get their attention, which is proven to be extremely effective and takes only a couple of seconds.

But if you add this one little (slightly) dangerous part to it, and don’t use it too often, you can bring an extra layer of urgency to your message.

It has a unique way of cutting through the commotion and hubbub in the room. The result is that your students will give you their attention faster and listen more intently.

So, to use the strategy, you’ll ask for their attention per normal. “Can I have your attention please.”

But you’ll do it while standing on a chair.

That’s right. You’re going to position yourself atop a solid—no rollers, hinges, cushions, or springs—four-legged chair.

A stool can also work.

There is something about the added height—the novelty or whimsicalness of it—that causes students to understand innately that you have something important to tell them.

It makes for a cleaner break from the tumult of the moment, allowing you to go from 100 to zero in the blink of an eye.

Now, it’s important to reiterate that you should never jump up on just any chair in the spur of the moment. Check beforehand to make sure that the one you choose is stable, sturdy, reliable, can hold your weight, etc.

I use the same, trustworthy chair every time. (I call him Sal.)

I feel comfortable using the strategy and always have. But please, if you decide to try it, be careful. I’d be horrified if videos of teachers losing their balance started popping up on YouTube.

If you have any trepidation whatsoever, take a pass on this one and stick with the same reliable method you normally use.

But if you’re willing to take the risk, however small (there is always a risk, life is a risk) then you have another helpful tool in your arsenal.

Now, no matter what’s going on in your classroom, or how much fun your students are having, you can instantly break through the clamor of voices.

You can break through their hyper focus or super engagement or even the most animated conversations.

And deliver a message you know they’ll take to heart.

PS – It probably goes without saying, but it’s a good idea to remind your students that the strategy is a teaching tool only, and they may not repeat the practice.