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The Ten Plagues of Programming
By Moses (with help from ISJL Education Fellow Shira Moskowitz)
No matter how awesome of a teacher you are, something is bound to happen that will upend your plan and leave you scrambling to keep your program on track. Whether it’s a hail storm, a lice outbreak, water pollution, or a frog infestation, it is impossible to account for the plagues of programming. Trust me, I know. I was in Egypt back when God sent the ten plagues to convince Pharaoh to let my people go, and let me tell you it wasn’t pretty. But, if we can anticipate the Ten Plagues of Programming, we will be better prepared to weather the storm.
The 10 Plagues of Programming (as described by Moses, transcribed by Shira Moses-kowitz):
First of all, always have a backup plan. Know what your game plan will be if the weather gets bad, the space is not what you expected, or if you finish early (that’s why the ISJL curriculum always include optional activities).
Second, communicate with your team. If you have an abundance of staff give each one a specific role so that they too are engaged.
Next, know your audience. If people are not coming to your events, perhaps you are not planning appropriately for your crowd. Similarly, if you have a wide range of ages at your program, make sure that there is developmentally appropriate content for each demographic.
Last but certainly not least, set realistic goals. If your goal for a program is that the students will know the entire Torah by the end of the day, you are sure to be disappointed. I’m Moses for goodness sake and it took me 40 days and 40 nights just to write the whole thing down.