Thursday, 17 Nisan, 5784
  |  April 25, 2024

The Unfortunate Trend to Focus on What’s Wrong

From the COLlive inbox: A response to the recent op-eds focusing on what's wrong with our chinuch system. The stories of past hurts and mistakes are valid, but there are additional stories that aren't told and should be if you want change. Full Story

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April 18, 2022 9:45 pm

“Teachers who change their lives forever…” unfortunately more for the bad then the good. Personally I was faced with teachers dont practice what they preach. Why are they teaching children not to lie, when they are being dishonest in their own lives? Teachers who stay doesnt make them great teachers. A teacher can be there as a substitute and have much for effect then a long term teacher. It goes about WHO is the REAL teacher? Parents complain and they are right but to those, I say “and are you teaching your children values from the Torah or it’s just… Read more »

2 sides to the coin
April 18, 2022 9:57 pm

Yes there’s a great success rate and yes we know teacher are amazing and should be respected for the hard work and yes they do shape most children into incredible educated and chasidush buchrim/girls but (most) obviously noone was complaining about your average student that does well and the average case when it works out the other articles were trying too emphasize on how we need to emprove in the more under average Student that need more attention that are going through harder times. These neshamas need a lot of help and its the trachers job to help them. From… Read more »

Know your child
Reply to  2 sides to the coin
April 19, 2022 1:23 pm

Parents also need to be realistic about their kid’s needs and ask the school of they will be able to cater to their child’s needs. Often we are scared to ask in case the answer will be a no. Unfortunately the alternative – assuming that the school is a good fit without checking the reality and having to consider changes – can do terrible damage. On top of that, the school/teacher usually ends up getting blamed instead of looking inwards where we could have done better which then also precludes the possibility of us trying to cut our losses and… Read more »

Reply to  Know your child
April 19, 2022 8:03 pm

What about when the school claims they will cater to your kids needs and then they can’t? What happens then

Thank you! I agree!
April 18, 2022 9:58 pm

I have so many teachers who impacted me positively!
My fourth grade teacher who showed me extra care when my family was experiencing a hardship
My eighth grade teacher who took the time and patience to listen to me and answer all my life questions
My eleventh grade teacher who really noticed me and encouraged me to develop my talents
Overall, I am grateful to say that the majority of my teachers throughout my school years were loving, caring, positive, kind, intelligent, warm, and left a positive impression! Thank you teachers!!

Thank you!
April 18, 2022 10:07 pm

We have a culture now that everyone is so good at telling everyone else what’s wrong or how to do it right. Be the change you want to see and stop focusing on the negative.

Rabbi Yarmush
April 18, 2022 10:31 pm

Rabbi Yarmush in kitah 3 Montreal had this thing that we would get one dollar in Friday if we davened well during the week. I still remember the way he would daven with us. He really taught us the importance of davening.

April 18, 2022 11:04 pm

Couldn’t agree more. The dark taste every op ed left was getting to me

So true!
April 18, 2022 11:16 pm

Thank you!

The boy with the blue cap
April 18, 2022 11:28 pm

It’s not the mechanchims fault it’s that yeshiva ends early in (shevat) then they get rejected from camp on the last day and are upset and they are board really what has to happen you need the camps to except all and registration start in iyar

Well said!
April 18, 2022 11:35 pm

Thank you Rabbi Schneur for expressing this vital message with respect and eloquence

April 19, 2022 12:30 am

Dont want teacher turnover? Pay them more than 50,60,70k.
They make less than bus drivers, plumbers, and garbage collectors. Start paying proper wages and people who should be teaching will want to teach. Its really very simple. No need for new mosdos and opinion makers to tell us the issue. Just pay them properly.

Reply to  Lol
April 19, 2022 10:15 am


Non Lubavitch schools
Reply to  Lol
April 19, 2022 10:22 am

Living in a place where I have different options for chinuch, I chose a Non-Lubavitch school for a few reasons, one of them being the high turnover rate of teachers (and admin that’s not part of the main shliach family). The teachers at the non lubavitch school are compensated a living wage and it comes out in their dedication and general approach to chinuch- they were made to teach and can focus on the ruchnious, knowing that we’ve taken care of the gashmious

mesiras nefesh
Reply to  Non Lubavitch schools
April 19, 2022 11:21 pm

It’s known the Minhag of Chasidim for years to be moser nefesh for lubavitch chinuch even if this means losing out a little, so while this move may seem good at first it defenitley does not seem like a viable option.
I would like to congratulate the thousands of lubavitch mechanchim that use the strength of raboisenu nesienu to teach the children in a beautiful way

Reply to  Non Lubavitch schools
April 21, 2022 2:15 am

dont complain later when your kids have dry yiddishkeit

April 19, 2022 1:15 am

How right and true and thank you for sharing. Sometimes we get so rightfully impassioned about wrongs, it’s hard to see what everyone is already doing right. I think more then just giving our children a positive foundation, or encourage teachers, it’s often more effective in causing reform.

April 19, 2022 1:17 am

Also appreciate how short and clear this article is. Just a message. Not using this as a platform to get out anyone’s guts, just to give over a simple thought.

The reason
April 19, 2022 1:18 am

The reason people write and discuss is because issues hurt and are real .It behooves us not to sweep them under the carpet and sing” lada dada dada”
 Its ridiculous to say lets ONLY focus on the positive- of course we do that
yet honest people who want change – don’t act as if everything is perfect
Please dont attempt to censor honest and vibrant conversations in our community

Kudos Rabbi Schochet L.A.
April 19, 2022 1:42 am

The Rosh is a man who spent many of hours with the students (bochurim) farbrenging and showing a personal care for the welfare of everyone. Definitely my most inspirational person!

לראות טוב
April 19, 2022 4:35 am

מִי-הָאִישׁ, הֶחָפֵץ חַיִּים; אֹהֵב יָמִים? ….דער וואס איז…לִרְאוֹת טוֹב.

The Rebbe says to follow what the Hanhala says
April 19, 2022 4:43 am

Was only one of the sentences I would tell my child. However, the Hanhala on the other end clearly didn’t act according to the Rebbe’s directives. In each one of 3 different schools, guess who the bully was- the principal! I would tell my child positive things about those principals, I would tell the principals words of respect and appreciation. and then my child would get hurt. By those principals. because not everything is up to me, I can’t change the way they act, and don’t put it on me. People act bad, and it’s not because we said or… Read more »

לא תעמוד על דם רעך
April 19, 2022 5:21 am

Children are suffering, and the results are often Pikuach Nefesh.
If you don’t speak for them, who will? And how would we stop the suffering of so many children?
You can write stories about wonderful teachers. Other people could write about negative experiences. No one should silence anyone.

So truth
April 19, 2022 5:50 am

The question remains , how possible to increase teachers salaries and attracting finding higher qualified ones
Unfortunate just Increasing salaries doesn’t change present situation in many cases…also decisions makers need to be qualified

Best Oped I've read!
April 19, 2022 10:01 am

Thank you Rabbi Shneur and MEF for all the dedicated work you put into chinuch! Thank you for expressing public hope and trust in those of us teachers who are trying so hard, giving heart and soul.
Love every word you wrote. So deeply true that the place we choose to put our emphasis and efforts becomes our reality.

Positive vibes
April 19, 2022 10:16 am

Love the positive vibes in this article. A reminder to look at the good and focus on making changes with a positive attitude. Our children will feel this positive energy.

No one ever improves from criticism
April 19, 2022 12:15 pm

This article is spot-on and long overdue. In any relationship, people are predisposed to seeing the negative, even when it is minute. And they tend to criticize, hoping to change the other. The problem is that criticism is poison – in marriage, in parenting, and in any other relationship. Rather than incentivising positive change, it generates a cycle of negativity. Positive reinforcement – genuinely focusing on the good, praising and appreciating it – is the most effective way to bring about positive change. Yet it is consistently underused, to everyone’s detriment. This is true of our spouses. It’s true of… Read more »

LA Morah
April 19, 2022 12:23 pm

There are wonderful teachers and not so wonderful and there are wonderful parents and not so wonderful. Am l doing everything l can,bruchnius ubgashmius to help the child? That includes tzneeus.

April 19, 2022 1:40 pm

MEF spearheaded by Rabbi Z. Shneur is a giant leap toward positivity, teacher training and lots of hope for our mosdos.
completely agree wiht every word he wrote in this article. Negative always takes the limelight. We must talk to our children about how valuable, essential to our lives and important learning is. and yes, we ALL have teachers who have impacted us in incredibly positive ways. Bais Rivkah- church ave…what memories. HIgh school – crown st. full of memories. Definitely more positive that not.
lets keep those warm fires burning…

Proper Teachers
April 19, 2022 2:19 pm

The issue is that now teachers are people that can’t go on Shlichus or pull their life together, not people who are proper Teachers that know how to educate kids in the proper way.

When I was in school in the late 60’s 70’s my teachers were all fluent in Shas and Poskim, Nowadays the teacher barely understands what he’s teaching, and barely knows his students names!!!

I think people have to start looking at Chinuch as a real Shlichus Like the Rebbe wanted, and then we will have proper teachers, and automatically a proper future generation!

Not true
Reply to  Proper Teachers
April 21, 2022 10:59 am

This is not true.
It may be true about individuals, but overall this is a gross lie.

Reply to  Proper Teachers
April 23, 2022 9:07 pm

You are proving the exact point the article was making.

April 19, 2022 2:43 pm

Are like parents. You try your best but you aren’t perfect. There’s this strange standard of saintism expected from the same parents who scream at their kids and what not every night when it comes to bedtime or when the kid isn’t listening.
It’s hypocrisy.

Reply to  Teachers
April 20, 2022 2:02 am

As a 50 year veteran of both parenting and teaching. This article was perfect!
Some respect for teachers goes a llong way.
One cynical comment, can’t refrain…
All those critical parents, who find it difficult with a week of Pesach and four kids, let’s see you a whole day everyday with 30 and (mostly) pleasant and considerate!

April 24, 2022 10:07 pm

Imagine being a teacher at PTA and one of the last parents to show up, daughter of a community Rav, tells the teacher, ”I told my daughter you were stupid.”

20+ years later I can still see her face and I still feel the shock and disbelief at what I was hearing.

And we ask ourselves why children are so lacking in derech eretz. I think the answer is obvious.