To all educators and especially mashgichim,
There are many expectations that a parent has following sending their son to learn in a yeshiva. There’s the davening and yiras shamayim, learning and knowing how to learn, the midos and hiskashrus. And the list goes on.
Parents are well aware of the time, effort and resources you put in to our children. And this letter isn’t in any way intended to knock your holy work. It’s just I want to raise a point I feel gets overlooked.
It’s not only about the marks or the white shirt. I think that his ability to learn to live like a mentch and want to continue to develop his full potential as a yid and chossid is crucial as well.
It is the growth and inspiration he acquired in yeshiva that often lasts for a lifetime. You will end one year and start another with a new group, but for this bochur this year in yeshiva is enormous.
And in the end of the day, you are responsible with your attitude for the atmosphere in the yeshiva at all times.
Here are a few points I thought of:
• When re-inforcing rules, it does not need to be with anger. Maintaining control in a yeshiva does not require stern looks, negative comments, put-downs, laughing in one’s face, telling a bochur he does not belong. It’s counter productive and downright destructive.
• Smiling does not mean the bochurim will take advantage of you. On the contrary, they will learn to value a positive attitude and will trust you, and want to do right by you. Besides, you will be showing them through example what it is to be a mentch.
• Balance authority with love and compassion and they will flourish and succeed.
• Know the difference between a bochur that is taking advantage and one that needs a break or having a hard day. Talk to him, see what’s going on and try to help if necessary.
• Nobody ever got hurt with kindness. Every negative comment or expression –especially ones uttered in public– can potentially break a bochur. The same message can be done through kindness and compassion and last with him forever.
• No matter how much you teach, nothing will leave more of an impact like the example you will portray. The way you conduct yourself and your attitude will define the success of the bochurim and ultimately the yeshiva.
To all the educators out there, thank you again for what you are doing. You have the power to make a positive difference in the lives of a bochur. Smile. Be kind and compassionate, you will make a real difference starting today!