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Various Questions from a Teacher

Question:
A Teacher in a Charedi Primary School would like to know:

1. Is it permitted for a teacher to confiscate childrens objects if they play with them and it distracts them from learning (permanently or temporarily)?

2. It is common in younger years to explain Chumash etc.by describing etc the events in detail to make it more understandable and visual. Is it muttar to add descriptions which have no mekor, purely to make it visual for the children?

3. Ideally, how does one treat / punish inappropriate behaviour in class?

Many thanks indeed!!

Answer:

1. A teacher may confiscate an object in the context of chinuch. Anyone who enrolls in a school does so on the school’s terms and agrees to their rules. The object should be returned to the parent at the end of the year [at latest]. Certainly a mechanech should never break or damage a child’s property, something which portrays bad middos.

2. Adding minor detail to help children learn is permissible.

3. Ideally, a mechanech should build a relationship with his student, to the extent that when a student does something wrong he feels bad that he let his Rebbi down. Any punishment should be in the context of such a positive relationship, to have the desired effect. No form of physical punishment should be used in our day and age.

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