February 27, 2018, New York, USA
Entering the classroom a teacher feels many things; will it be one of those days? Will it be one of those days where I feel like I wish I were the janitor instead of the teacher? Will the kids pull a prank on me today and mock me?
It is not always easy being a teacher but there is hardly a more important job, for you are training the next generation. You are building the foundation of society.
I was speaking with Colby about what it takes to create a good school environment, a good community. Certainly parents are a key factor but teachers are also parents. Sometimes the teacher is the major player in a young person's life.
To be a teacher!
No one said it will be easy, there will be other teachers who try to knock you down, there will be power struggles and alliances and above all the challenge of the daily grind, of trying to "reach" the students.
I was speaking to a young relative and asked her about her school. She noted that not only is it the same school as her mother attended but her aunt is the vice principal and two of her cousins are teachers there. They were all once students. The students have grown up to be the teachers, in the same school.
Many of my friends' children in California refer to Rabbi Striks, and Rabbi Hoffman, and Rabbi Roskind, but to me these are people I studied with as a young man, today they are distinguished rabbis and educators, some in the same academies in which we studied.
The students have become teachers. They are carrying on the torch. They are creating a better community, one where students do not become Active Shooters, a community where peace prevails.
Yesterday a dear friend casually mentioned a Rabbi Rudansky, but I remember him and his brother as fun loving guys in High school. Today they are leaders and teachers, one in the same school as we were educated.
The students have become teachers.
This means the system works. The kids, the students, see their teachers as role models and some day will take over their jobs and their mission. They will teach with the same passion and pass on the same message. They will create an environment where people love to learn and grow, in peace and harmony.
I look back at fun loving kids and today I see dedicated teachers and rabbis stepping into the very large shoes of their own teachers.
Most of my teachers have passed from this world but I am comforted to know that the next generation has taken the torch and passed it on.
Can there be a greater reward than being a teacher?
וְהָי֥וּ עֵינֶ֖יךָ רֹא֥וֹת אֶת־מוֹרֶֽיךָ
ישעיהו ל כ
"And may your eyes behold your teacher" (Isaiah, chapter 30, verse 20)
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