Wednesday, November 02, 2016

From the Archives

Here's a post from 8 years a go that just came to mind.


20 Questions

This is a copy of the sheet I gave out before a talk I gave to the Kollel members who learn and train and teach in my school. Feel free to answer, comment, etc. Etc. is my favorite.
January 8, 2009 - Presentation to YU Kollel Members - Torah Guidance and The Classroom
20 Questions To Ponder By Rabbi Neil Fleischmann
j1. Name reasons why someone becomes a Jewish Studies teacher/ Rebbe? What do you think the reason might be for you?
2. In what way is love of learning Torah a significant reason to become a teacher of Torah? What are the pluses and minuses of this factor?
3. How do you define teaching of Jewish Studies? What elements play a role in trying to answer this question?
4. What is your impression so far of this school's demographic and dynamic? How has your impression of what Jewish Education changed (or not) in your months here?
5. Where do you see hashkafa fitting in to curriculum in an ideal teaching situation?
6. Where do you see Halacha fitting in?
7. How much Gemorah should be stressed?
8. What are your thoughts on tracking? What have you noticed in this school about this and how has this affected you weltanschauung in regard to teaching?
9. With whom do you think a teacher must be most concerned with answering to? (A related/unrelated question: Whom do you think a teacher should be most concerned with receiving answers from?)
10. What are your thoughts and beliefs regarding different personality types/styles? Are you familiar with Meyers-Briggs or DISC? Do you think that Jewish categories such as a Chesed or a Gevurah type are relevant in a similar way to the categories of these tests? Are these differences important to note in regard to students, teachers, both, neither?
11. What are your thoughts about different styles of learning? Again, is this a question that should be focused on the teacher, the student, both, neither?
12. In what ways might it be positive or negative for students and teachers to talk outside of the classroom?
13. In talking to a student about religious matters or about anything what would you place as your priority one as you plan to meet the student and then have them sitting before you?
14. What are your thoughts regarding critical thinking and various types of students? How would you apply this to the most concrete and literal minded students?
15. How many teachers can you think of that you have positive memories about? What did/do you most want from a teacher? How different do you think the answer to this question varies from person to person (is there a common denominator between people’s answers)?
16. How important is context /setting in answering the previous question? Is it important that a teacher be liked (or well liked) (name the literary work that makes that distinction)?
17. How does one balance ahava and yirah in teaching and in life? What is the meaning of this balance? How far reaching is it in its application?
18. How thin is the line between formal and informal education? How thin is the line between subjects in the department of Limudei Kodesh and Limudei Chol? How thin is the line between a school and a yeshiva?
19. What is our purpose in this world? How important is it to keep in mind this question and an answer while teaching?
20. If you were setting up a yeshiva/school tomorrow, what would it look like? What would you be looking for in a teacher? 


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