11/07/2007

The Best Teachers

I believe I've said it before on this blog. If not, I'll say it again. Chareidi women are the best teachers in Israel. There's not even a contest.

The immediate prompt for this observation is the fact that my daughter's school, which is under chareidi auspices though very few students come from chareidi families, has come under fire from the local rags for being some sort of chareidi colony in the heart of secular Modiin. There was even a quote about how there are '120 kids from Kiryat Sefer', a large chareidi city very close to Modiin. That's simply untrue. About half of the kids are from villages outside of Modiin (primarily Gimzo, Nof Ayalon, and Chashmonaim, for those interested), and the other half from Modiin itself. The teachers, though, are almost all from Kiryat Sefer. And they are excellent.

As an aside, there's a very big difference between chareidi education and chareidi-run education. This difference seems to be lost on the writers in the local rags. Surprisingly, it seems that Jonathan Rosenblum also failed to make that distinction. He does, however, note the higher quality of chareidi teachers (link).

In most sectors of Israeli society, the best an brightest go into the professions. In chareidi society, for better or worse, the women are encouraged to find jobs which will still allow them to spend significant chinks of time at home. Teaching is a very good profession for that. Thus, you get many highly talented people entering the teaching profession from the chareidi sector. I would add that often the most competent office managers and clerical staffers are chareidi women as well.

It is a documented fact that the quality of education in the United States went down as women entered the mainstream workforce. The teaching profession in the U.S. was once dominated by very talented women, who are now if other fields.

I value equal opportunity. I want every door to be open for my wife and daughter. At the same time, it is indeed a shame that the teaching profession no longer gets the talent it deserves. Thank God for chareidi women.

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