Rules and discipline
Unfortunately, as Rivka Zahavy describes in “Our teachers need a quiet riot” (Comment & Features, September 14), teachers have to spend a lot of time on discipline. I suggest that children be taught rules of behavior, and that these rules be enforced from kindergarten on. I think this is more important than content matter in early education.
When I was in kindergarten in America, I remember being taught the rules of the school. The teacher showed us how to stand in line at the drinking fountain, wait our turn in the bathrooms, walk up and down the stairs on the right side, respect others and raise our hands to speak.
After retiring, I went to Denver, Colorado, to see my roots. I visited my elementary school, which is in a low-middle-class neighborhood. I was surprised to find the halls empty and completely quiet. I wondered where the children were and what they were doing. I looked in the classrooms and saw children doing what they were supposed to be doing: learning.
As we see in Israeli society – from the top down – people assume that rules are to be broken. The classroom is a mirror of society. There are teachers who have better control of their classes, but unfortunately, there are many teachers who get order by demeaning pupils.
Instead of blaming teachers for being less educated and qualified, society should start respecting these dedicated people who try to deal with 40 children in a classroom. I think parents should back the teachers and show respect. Perhaps this example might wear off on their children. JUDY BELZER
Kfar Saba The writer worked in the Israeli school system as an English teacher for 26 years. She also observed many classes as an adviser for a program introducing spoken English to lower grade levels.