Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 

Believe in Your Child

By Rabbi Y.Y. Rubinstein

When I started my teaching career in my first school, I was filled to the brim with principles and ideas which I was convinced would enable me to become the teaching success of the century. Training college had taught me all the modern techniques: Psychology, Sociology and all the rest. In particular, I was convinced of the value of honesty and truth in education. There was simply no point in beating around the bush -- the children would have to be honest with me, and I would be the same with them.

And so when it came to the annual report cards, I took it for granted that every parent would value my refreshingly frank comments. If a child had been disruptive and had wasted her time I said so, bullies were exposed, cheaters revealed and the angelic elite duly praised. Then two weeks later came the follow up... parents evening. This was the chance to explain my Report Card comments in full, and, no doubt, enjoy the deep gratitude which would be bestowed upon me by satisfied parents.

Now that I have school children of my own, I look back on the boyish and confident grin with which I greeted Mr and Mrs Proctor with disbelief and amazement. I now know that if any teacher dares to criticise any of my almost totally perfect offspring, it is only because they are mentally defective sadists, Anti-Semitic, or Anti-Semitic mentally defective sadists. Mr and Mrs Proctor seemed to have a similar view of me that night. Most of the parents did.

But there was something I learned at training college that never let me down. We were told of a primary school which had been contacted by their local University. The University explained that they had developed a new test which was able to detect children who were "Late Developers." No matter what the academic record of the children had been till now, this test would show which children were about to come to life and start doing really well.

The University people turned up and proceeded to test all the school's children. Teacher after teacher was amazed to discover that the pupils they had written off as being hopeless would within the next sixth months blossom and start doing well.

The University neglected to tell the school that they were making the whole thing up, and had given the children a normal I.Q. test. They simply selected the names of the lowest scoring children, and told their teachers that they were about to do well.

The amazing thing was that every one of the children did start doing well. Because the teachers started to "believe" in them and put in more effort with them, they actually became late developers.

Very often, people and particularly children don't live up to our expectations. When we change our attitude towards them we often learn that they didn't let us down... we let them down.

copyright Rabbi Y.Y. Rubinstein

Rabbi Yehudah Yonah Rubinstein is a world renowned educator, lecturer, radio broadcaster, and seasoned author whose articles have appeared in Hamodia and other periodicals. His newest book, That's Life: Torah Wisdom and Wit to Live By, published by Targum Press is available at Jewish bookstores and at www.targum.com


 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

Enduring Lesson
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

This Land Is My Land (and Our Land)
Shlomo Katz - 5775

Long Distance Call
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Case Closed
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

Learning How To Walk
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

There is a Builder
Shlomo Katz - 5759

> The Beginning & End of the Journey
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

Avram Lifted Up His Hand...So That You Not Say
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Reaching for Perfection
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

ArtScroll

Redefining Pleasure
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Connoisseur's Delight
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

And Swing with All Your Might
Rabbi Label Lam - 5760

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Uniquely Human
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

The Founders of Our People
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

Reaching Greatness: Living in the Land of Israel
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5775

To the Land That I Will Show You
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information