web analytics
March 6, 2015 / 15 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


A Very Bad Hair Day

Scheiner-051812

Tina was in my kindergarten class last year. Each day Tina’s hair flew all around her. It would tumble into her eyes and she would bat at it periodically throughout the day just to see. Sometimes I’d use whatever hair accessory I had at hand – even just a rubber band – to put Tina’s hair out of her face.

I once asked her mother to please make sure Tina’s hair was tied back in a ponytail or in a headband. Mom smiled and nodded, but there was never any change in Tina’s hair for the rest of the year.

This puzzled me, for I had taught Tina’s older sister several years ago. I remembered how carefully Tina’s sister’s hair was combed each day. One day when this sister had gotten a bit older, her hair color appeared much lighter. Curious, I asked Tina’s sister why her hair seemed different, and she whispered that her mom had had it highlighted professionally. The sister was about eight or nine years old at the time. I wondered why her little sister Tina was now being sent to school daily without her hair even being brushed.

This year, Tina’s first grade teacher also noticed. She was curious why each night Tina’s homework would not get done. Her teacher also fretted that Tina looked neglected. So she called the mom to tell her about the concerns she had.

Tina’s mom was appalled. She was angry at being accused of not caring for her child. She did not hear the quiet concern in the morah’s (teacher’s) voice, the care and love that was being offered on the phone. The very next day our school had a request for transcripts to be sent to a different school. Little Tina would now be sent to public school, just in time to learn about the winter holiday.

Today Tina no longer learns Torah. She will no longer learn how to daven (pray). She will not receive her first siddur (prayer book) at the end of the year with the rest of the first grade class. Tina now eats in a big cafeteria with all the other children in her neighborhood. Her Jewish heritage was taken away from her. All because there was a teacher who cared too much.

Teaching out-of-town children in the city’s only day school can be very rewarding. There is nothing like teaching about Hashem (G-d), about how the world was created, and all the amazing journeys of our Avos (Forefathers) and Imahos (Matriarchs). How delightful it is to experience the myriad of Jewish holidays with students throughout the year, especially the ones who do not experience them at home. Teaching our diverse student body makes us appreciate our religious lives even more. We know these Jewish children may be having a once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn Torah. Every single child we teach is precious, for however long he/she remains in our school, before he/she moves on to the public school system, which may be in grade school or, hopefully, not until high school. It is truly a miracle that we have non-observant parents who are willing to sacrifice so much for their child’s Jewish education.

Teaching out-of-town also presents strange challenges. Like the time that I taught Mark in kindergarten. Mark thrived in my class and his mother was amazed at how proud he was of being Jewish. Once, Mark came into class waving a picture he had drawn the night before. The picture was a peculiar one, unlike the pictures of flowers or hearts that I was accustomed to receiving from my young students. Puzzled, I asked Mark to tell me about the picture. With a big smile, he told me that it was based on a picture I had shown the class the day before. For a moment I was baffled, trying to remember, and we were both a little frustrated. Then Mark waved his hands, telling me about lines that went up and down. Of course! The class was shown a picture of the Shulchan (ShowTable) in the Mishkan (Tabernacle). His pencil drawing had lines crisscrossing purposefully in many directions. I was touched that Mark had remembered our lesson when he had gotten home, illustrated it, and brought it in to show me.

About the Author: Penina Scheiner is a kindergarten teacher, writer, and busy wife and mom who lives over the rainbow with her husband and kids.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Very Bad Hair Day”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Iran’s Zarif Paints Iran as a Lamb, Israel as the Lion
Latest Judaism Stories
Business-Halacha-logo

“This sounds like a question for Rabbi Dayan,” said Mr. Cohen. He took out his cell phone and called Rabbi Dayan.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

To the glee of all Israel haters it was Netanyahu who was accused of endangering US-Israel relations

Ki Tisa_lecture

Over and over, the text tells us about “keeping” Shabbat, about holiness, and a covenant – but why?

Aharon’s guilt with the golden calf is not clear-cut. What if Moshe were in his brother’s place?

The Sabbath is a full dress rehearsal for an ideal society that has not yet come to pass-but will

When Hashem told Moshe of the option to destroy the people and make him and his descendants into a great nation, Hashem was telling Moshe that it is up to him.

Just like Moses and Aaron, Mordechai decides to ruin the party…

An Auto Accident
‘All Agree That They Are Exempt’
(Kesubbos 35a)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Why would the exemption of women from donating the half shekel exempt them from davening Musaf?

This concept should be very relevant to us as we, too, should be happy beyond description.

The Holocaust was the latest attempt of Amalek to destroy the special bond that we enjoy with God.

One can drink up to the Talmud’s criterion to confuse Mordechai and Haman-but not beyond.

“The voice is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands are the hands of Esav” gives great insight to Purim

More Articles from Penina Scheiner
Scheiner-010314

My first cell phone was given to me by a son who doesn’t live near us. He was tired of trying to reach me on our landline. He felt it was wrong for me not to be able to be accessible to my family, and I must admit that he was right.

Scheiner-101113-Bag

“What are the 3 best reasons to be a teacher? June, July and August!”

Sometimes, you see it coming and sometimes you don’t. You move into a community thinking, “We’ll stay here for a while,” and then things change, and your position in chinuch is not as certain as you had believed.

Chaos – that is how the world is described at its inception in the book of Beraishis (Genesis). Confusion. A lack of clarity and boundaries. Or, as I teach my kindergartners, “a mishmash”.

Some of us climb a scale each day in terror and dread. Some of us alight a scale, with our hearts thumping and throats tightening. We may know how to jump off and on, or gyrate this way or that to create a different number. And we will stare at that all important number – which could very well dictate our mood for the rest of the day. We believe the final number to be the true judge of our worth – of how well we are doing. And we are sorry that the scale could not be fooled.

I just finished trying on all my pre-nine day clothes. You know the drill: Wash your clothing but leave enough time to parade around in what will be worn for the next nine days. This way, it will not be freshly laundered. What amazes me is that each year I am sure it will be a very easy activity, since I have nothing to wear! Yet, somehow I find it very time-consuming.

Tina was in my kindergarten class last year. Each day Tina’s hair flew all around her. It would tumble into her eyes and she would bat at it periodically throughout the day just to see. Sometimes I’d use whatever hair accessory I had at hand – even just a rubber band – to put Tina’s hair out of her face.

When you‘re here, over the rainbow, it is different. Being out-of-town is not about living in some neighborhood of Brooklyn (other than Boro Park, Williamsburg, or Flatbush). Living out-of-town also does not mean living in other parts of the Big Apple, like Manhattan or Queens. It doesn’t even mean living in the suburbs – like the Five Towns or Great Neck. Being here, over the rainbow, means living away.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/judaism-101/a-very-bad-hair-day/2012/05/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: