Thursday, March 23, 2023

I want to give a shoutout to a wise columnist, Nesanel Yosef Safran, whose witty and profound words appear in the back of the newspaper (Kid’s Link, Dvar Torah).

In his article “New Changes” (September 29, 2022) he recently wrote about a school that had engaged a new teacher and the students were not warming up to her “new methods.” They were all very concerned how they would be able to live a whole year with these new methods. When the dismissal bell rang she was reminded that she had not yet given the homework assignments.

This is what she said: “I believe that school time is school time and home is home time. I make sure that you work steadily in school so you can spend the rest of your day playing and relaxing. There will be no homework in this class.”

When I was privileged to serve as a principal I directed my teachers to give homework only when absolutely necessary, even though I strongly believe in a “no-homework-at-all” method. I had studied the question of homework extensively and had drawn my conclusions carefully. In many cases I had discovered that homework was given because the classroom time had not been fully utilized by the teacher. In many cases, in the younger grades the homework assignment called upon the very busy parent at home to help out with this homework. Subsequently, there was often chaos in the house!

By the way, who was the creator of the term “home WORK”? A poor choice, I think.

Rabbi Simcha A. Green
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