Rules and dis­ci­pline

Jerusalem Post - - COMMENT & FEATURES -

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.

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