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The Three Best Reasons To Be A Teacher

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The next time we saw him, he had graduated and was sure that he wanted to be a businessman, but only in Israel.  And yes, he would continue learning a little too.  My heart sunk.  I thought of all the wasted potential, for this was a bright young man who could go far.

When next he came home, he stood before us wearing a white shirt and suit, with a hat.  He had found a yeshiva and was on fire.  We were so happy for him.  Somehow he was able to make the jump into learning.  But first he was tested. Did he know how to learn?   He recalled what he had learned in 4th grade with my husband, and proceeded to describe the requirements of a kosher sukkah.  The rabbi smiled, and he was accepted.

A few weeks ago he visited us again, this time with his wife and baby.  I took a picture. I felt I had to.  After all, it was a family photo.  And to me, he is my son.  Though my husband is certain that it was not only due to us that he became a ben Torah. My husband is sure that it was the tears of his mother who cried over his Shabbos box long ago.

I once told a New York friend how many children I saw actually change in more than two decades of teaching at our day school.  I could count them on one hand, I said.  Well, to be honest, I could think of only three, three who actually became frum. “Three?  All those years, and so few kids! “

Yes, only three.  And each one of these three, who lead Torah lives today and are beginning to build families, are three very good reasons to be a teacher – out-of-town.

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.


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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.

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“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/

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