By COLlive reporter
Tens of teachers converged in the central Crown Heights Kolel on Thursday night to hear the senior posek, Rabbi Yosef Heller start off the new year at Kolel Melamdim.
The night kolel is a project of Igud Hamelamdim, a teachers’ support organization, and attracts teachers from local Chabad schools who gather to study and be inspired so they can inspire their students.
Teachers are delighted at the organized setting where they can recharge, and receive a small stipend on the side.
Rabbi Heller, who serves as head of the daytime Kolel Menachem, addressed the assembled on various topics of education.
“It’s not about how much material you cover, but how much you inspire them to learn. If you fire them up with a love for Torah, you’ve in essence taught them the entire Torah,” he said.
In his pointed manner, he highlighted the need for Torah study to be a pleasant experience. “All too often, learning is made miserable as a result of unreasonable standards or intimidating tests,” he said. “Testing can be done in an engaging manner so that a child who participates in class doesn’t feel like a failure.”
Along those lines, Rabbi Heller spoke about homework pressure. “Homework is also an excessive burden; after a full day in school, a child needs plenty of time to unwind and play.”
Finally, he reminded the teachers of the importance of their work.
“The greatest thing one can do is to teach others Torah. We engage all sorts of gimmicks to be mekarev people to study Torah and carry out its mitzvos. A melamed who teaches Torah fulltime is clearly the most successful kind of person!”