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 MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

More Generous Thoughts
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Events of the Past
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

First Things First
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

> Learning to Love What Is!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Personal Tragedies
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

Wish You Had More Time at the Office?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

ArtScroll

About This We Cry!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Setbacks and Comebacks
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Forgotten Oaths
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Read the Directions
Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden - 5763

Final Destination
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

Why Do We Mourn?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Kamtza and Bar-Kamtza
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

On the Road of Life
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

With A Kiss
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Redemption
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774



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