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A Concerned Mechanech

Why are girls’ lessons more “colorful” and creative?

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

D

ear Editor,
our publication teaches a lot and brings a lot of important issues to the forefront. I would like to bring up a very important one. The rebbeim and principals we have today are an extremely dedicated group of individuals. They love Torah, they love Hashem, and they love the boys. Almost all of them could be making a good living doing something else, but through tremendous mesirus nefesh, they stay in the field to teach Hashem’s Torah to His children. They are incredibly dedicated and our hats go off to them. 
Perhaps, though, today’s rebbeim are not receiving the support they deserve. Perhaps their hands are figuratively tied behind their backs. Think of a first-year morah. She gets a job and she’s really excited. She might not be making a lot of money, but she got the job despite a huge amount of competition from other talented and dedicated girls who all wanted the same position. Wow. What’s the first thing she does? 
She gets sheets. Sheets on what? Sheets on a myriad of subjects. She is told all the subjects she needs to cover in the three hours daily she has with her students: Chumash, Navi, Yahadus, Parshah, Biur Tefillah, Halachah — the list goes on and on. How in depth each subject will be taught will depend on which grade she teaches, but one thing’s for sure: She’ll be expected to present each lesson in all sorts of creative ways, and she will have endless resources from other teachers to do so. Eighth-grade Chumash? Mefarshim inside. Primary grades? Puppet shows, amazing crafts, and an extremely detailed parshah story book. For Yahadus lessons there will be details of halachos and inspiration before every Yom Tov. 
Navi will be taught in detail with colorful projects. Biur tefillah? Extremely important — teach, drill, scrapbook, repeat. Every subject is creatively presented. Let’s compare that to the dedicated rebbi. He is not pursuing another, better paying job where he could support his family with more comfort. He is intent on teaching tinokos shel beis rabban, inspiring them, becoming like those melamdim who are compared to stars that shine for millennia. All he wants to do is teach. And what is he given? A plain Chumash. 
Does he have equal access to all the incredibly varied resources available for the moros? The sheets, projects, songs, scrapbooks? Is he even expected to teach with such creativity and props? And yet he has to teach five to seven hours every day. Why the difference? Why are the girls’ lessons so much more “colorful” and creative than the boys’? Hoping you will print this letter and bring up this subject in our community. A concerned (originally) out-of-town mechanech (Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 726)

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