With all this snow, and some school closings, teachers and rabbeim most likely are equally relieved to have the day off as their students. Granted that some schools never close which might mean that those teachers who went to work in this weather must be thrilled that they didn’t miss any school.
I started thinking, whether you went to school or not these days, what drives you to teach and choose this as your professional career aka parnassa? What kind of teacher are you? Are you passionate about what you do or is it just a job.
As a parent, I view a teacher as a partner in parenting. You, the teacher/rebbi spend the majority of the day with my child while teaching him/her life’s lessons. Halacha or minhag, mitzva d’rabbonon or m’doraisa; right or wrong; fact or fiction; a lot of this information comes from what you are teaching in
It is self understood that when my child comes home I reinforce the lessons learned at school through homework and projects. I also stress mentchilichkeit, yiras shamayim, and responsibility through activities of daily living in the home. A hug, a kiss, a smile and a kind word go a long way in getting these messages across to my children.
So how do you send those messages? I don’t expect teachers hug and display affection as parents do, but there are other ways.
Is it with love and creativity for the subject and profession you have chosen? Are you understanding if someone doesn’t get it right away and you have to repeat yourself several times. Or if a child is fidgety and just needs to move around, do you allow a little space in your classroom. Of course, the child
shouldn’t be a disturbance, but a little leg room couldn’t hurt. Each child is unique and presents their own abilities and talents. Do you recognize that in your students.
Do you offer praise and encouragement to your talmidim? Is there a positive, warm feeling in your classroom and are the children happy to come to school each day. Do you greet them with a smile and do they feel your warmth?
Or are you a strict disciplinarian running a tight ship. Is “my way or the highway” the motus operundi in your classroom? Is there any room for individuality and creativity from your students? Is it a drag to come to work each day facing those lovely children and even more a drag that your paycheck is late.
Yes, I know teaching is a difficult job. To add to it, schools are behind in their pay and the financial situation in mosdos is a struggle which makes your personal life a struggle as well. But you could get a different job. Computers, medical billing, accounting, therapist, any profession besides chinuch could be a viable parnassa. It’s ok not to be in chinuch.
So what makes you choose teaching as a career? I’d really like to know as I send my child off to school in the snow tomorrow.
Oh, one more thing if you can. Maybe have some hot chocolate in the classroom for those students who made the effort to come. I’ll send along mini marshmallows.