web analytics
November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



The Three Best Reasons To Be A Teacher

Scheiner-101113-Bag

Hey, teachers!  I know deep down what you’re thinking!  When school supplies were being showcased, you looked the other way. You turned your head from all those “Back to School” signs in stores. But of course you noticed that the days were getting shorter and you faced the fact that your summer vacation was almost over.  While kids delighted in collecting the latest in gadgets for school, from book sox to pencil boxes, your stomach was tightening and not because of any sit-ups you might do.  It’s that time of the year again.

Sure there is the famous joke, “What are the 3 best reasons to be a teacher? June, July and August!”   We know teachers work hard, and how vital the summer months are for unwinding and recharging.  From September to June we shlepp our students’ problems on our back.  We worry about how they are learning, if they are learning, how to help them do better, and we may even wonder about their home life.  They are so connected to us as the year goes on that they become ours, our own children.

During the school year, no one is certain when I say “one of my kids” to whom I am referring.  So I try to remember to say “my biological children” if I mean my own children.  Because even those I had taught many years ago are still my kids.  They may be the ones who eat in McDonald’s and drive to shul.  They could be the students who walk in all types of weather to our synagogue or the ones who fly off on every long weekend.  They are all mine.

When the first graders have their Siddur party, I pop in to admire their new siddur covers with them as though they are still with me, lining up by my door.  When they graduate (if they are lucky enough to stay in day school through 8th grade), I have tears in my eyes.  Not just because I remember them as little 5 year olds, but because my baby is graduating.

My “alumni” are sometimes jarred that I truly cannot remember exactly when they have been my students.  Was it a year ago? Two?  A decade ago?  Even longer?  I am at a loss, but I do remember they once belonged to me, and in a way still do.

Some kids strive to remain connected.  They continue to visit my classroom or to seek me out – once they were like “groupies,” hanging on to every single word or story I told in the classroom – we are still connected.  There are the others who may not remain as connected, yet still smile shyly at me, even as adults.  Somehow seeing me sends them back in time to their freshly finished childhoods.

Once, I spied a former kindergartner, who was now 15, at a community event.  His mother warmly greeted me.   I said hello, but noticed that this young man was looking at me blankly.  I tried to jar his memory. “Remember me? I was your morah!  Remember our Shabbos party?”  No response.  “Remember how much fun we had learning the Parsha together?”   Nothing.  “What about our (simulated) trip to Israel?”  Not a flicker of recognition.  “How about my classroom?”  “Oh, yes!” He answered finally.  “I do remember!  Wasn’t it the one downstairs?”  “Jacob,” I said, “if had known you would not remember me, I would’ve failed you!”

Many kindergarteners have come and gone.  One mother was unforgettable.  She would hold the Shabbos box that her son made in kindergarten like it was the crown jewels.  She would lovingly display the contents of that box for all to see well after he had left my class.  With it, she would entreat other mothers to send their children to our school.  “Look at what they made!  A box to celebrate Shabbos.”   And she would wipe away a tear.

Scheiner-101113-SchoolA few years ago, her son returned to our town, sporting a kippah. He had begun searching for the meaning of life in college, and vaguely remembered his first few years of day school, (he had transferred to public school before 8th grade).  He was proud to tell my husband and me that he was trying to observe Shabbos.  We were happy to hear about his experiences.  But it was a struggle for him, for the college dorm life held many distractions from a spiritual search.  At one point, he decided to serve his people best by joining the Israeli Army after he graduated.  He even had hopes of being a spy.  We tried to dissuade him.  “But I could go to a religious unit”.

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.

2 Responses to “The Three Best Reasons To Be A Teacher”

  1. Yochi Eisner says:

    You brought a (sometimes sad) smile to my face! I'm sharing this article with all my teacher-friends!

  2. Yochi Eisner says:

    You brought a (sometimes sad) smile to my face! I'm sharing this article with all my teacher-friends!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Channel 10 Poll on Arab Rule
POLL: Israeli Arabs: Under Which Government’s Rule Would You Prefer to Live?
Latest Sections Stories
Kupfer-112114

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Astaire-112114-Horse

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

L to R: Sheldon Adelson, Shawn Evenhaim, Haim Saban

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

South-Florida-logo

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

“Grandpa,” I wondered, as the swing began to slow down, “why are there numbers on your arm?”

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

It was a land of opportunity, a place where someone who wasn’t afraid of a little hard work, or the challenges of adapting to a different climate and culture, could prosper.

Rule #1: A wife should never accompany her husband to hang out with his buddies at a fantasy football draft. Unless beer and cigars are her thing, that is.

There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.

The two World Series combatants, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, were Wild Card teams (meaning they didn’t win their respective divisions) that got hot at the right time.

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/sections/magazine/potpourri/the-three-best-reasons-to-be-a-teacher/2013/10/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: