Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Why does a person become a teacher?

The first reason, I believe, is having great skills in a certain topic, and the desire to pass on that wealth of knowledge, to others. Second, is the ability to know how to transmit the information. The second is harder to come by. And third, but should not be the main reason, is the salary and the conditions that each teacher receives in their specific school.

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I’m not sure if all 3 reasons apply to all of the teachers, however I do think that these reasons will make a person into a dedicated teacher, who can really change the way the students think and behave.

I became a teacher a few months ago. Jumping right into the thick of things just as this Covid-19 epidemic arrived. I was set back at first since I had just started working, and was sent back home, like all the rest, from the virus. Thank goodness we are all back at work and teaching, albeit, with its limitations and challenges.

When we are trying to pass on the information that we have to others it’s not always easy. We, as teachers, are so excited and enthusiastic about what we wish to teach, and we don’t always meet the same excitement on the part of the students. Another matter is the personalities of each student.

It is written in the (Gemara Brachot 58:72);

“Just as their faces are different so are their opinions.”

A teacher has a great responsibility passing on the information to their students.

Since each person receiving the information is different in their understanding and in the way they see things, this makes the teaching position only that much more challenging.

If a person goes to a doctor when they don’t feel good, the doctor does not have to pass on all the information of his profession to that individual, regarding a specific illness they have. The person that went to the doctor wishes to feel better and doesn’t necessarily wish to become a doctor in order to be healed. The same is true if one seeks any professional help. They usually wish to be helped rather then become a lawyer themselves or an accountant.

However, when one wishes to gain information from a teacher or a professor, the work is different all together. The teacher studied for many years and worked hard learning whatever field of expertise it is. But now when the teacher is passing on the information to the various students with their different views, personalities and opinions, it makes the job that much harder.

In other professions a person wants some kind of service rather than knowledge. In teaching the teacher tries to bring the student to a better place with greater knowledge than they had before. This indeed brings out creativity in the teacher. But as the students are different from one another, the teacher becomes much more than just a person passing on the information and knowledge that they learned for so many years. They must have a listening ear, and a feeling heart in order to reach each student no matter where they might be holding.

As I see it there aren’t bad students, there are just some teachers, who do not know how to reach that specific student.

Each student is as oasis of emotions, problems and beauty that G-d gave to each one of us. A teacher has a great responsibility in their hands.

In others professions a person is gaining something very physical, their health, or their freedom, wealth or some other technical need.

In the teaching profession the student is gaining physical knowledge, but a good teacher also molds the heart and soul of the student, passing over with the great knowledge also great wisdom of the heart and inner self. This is why it is so crucial, that as teachers, we realize that it’s not only information that we are “selling” rather, it’s the delicate work of a “heart surgeon,” molding and healing the paths of our souls.

May Hashem guide us all that we may be great vessels, and worthy people, so that G-d can send wonderful gifts through us, to others. And may Hashem bless my wonderful teachers who taught me and put up with all of my emotions and personality, and helped mold me, as well, into who I am today.

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