top of page

Individual and general in the class - or "What does it matter to someone ..."

Rebbetzin Dina Horowitz H.D.

"Teacher, explain to me what does it matter to someone if I do not come to sit ?!" Such an argument, with all its ramifications, is well known to head a class as an educator and sharply poses an educational dilemma:

When the two circles overlap - the requirement of the framework (school, army, nation) and my personal desires - beauty! But what to do and many times there is a "frontal" contradiction between them? After all, today the individual flag is raised to its full height (the rights of the individual, his needs and well-being).

In these lines I would like to discuss, as an educator from the field, some of the educational aspects of the question of education in general and in detail. I will focus on the educational endeavor in the classroom, on examples from the field, and free myself from the obligation to base my assumptions on a theoretical discussion.

The basic premise as an educator, both from a psychological and a religious point of view, is: "rule" - is a living and existing thing - the class is not just a collection of details, it is first and foremost a general entity in all its definitions. This determination does not depend on the duration of the class, the number of participants, the rigidity of the framework, nor the private will of all the components.

The "rule" - is an existing entity by its very being - the role of the educator to be aware of speaking, to recognize it and to be alert to the qualities inherent in his class as a whole. He should not passively wait for those moments of crisis in the classroom, which because he distracted himself from the general aspect of his class, he thus allowed the vehicle to move on its way without a driver towards an inevitable collision.

The educator must understand that he does not have to create a group - it is already alive and well. He must strengthen the "yes." It is true that in the beginning the general power of the class is not visible - much more prominent is the power of the details in it. The wise educator will not, of course, be tempted to look after his eyes, but will remain connected to the less visible, but more "real" truth, and will give his hand to strengthen and preserve the general aspect of his class.

I will give an example:

I was asked to transfer activities to a group of girls who are candidates to be counselors together at a particular institution. The content of the activity focused on each daughter's work with herself and to this was also devoted most of the activity time, but I did not finish the activity before I enlightened them how much I was impressed by the potential of the group as a group. I was impressed, I told them, by their ability to work together, to listen to each other, and it was evident that they would be an influential and educating factor as a group.

On what basis could I say so after one meeting? How can the security establish such a "level"? Or did I have to wait and see if they would be able to exhaust their team power? I do not think so. In my opinion, the educator has a responsibility to cultivate the existing core of the whole class, and in this there is a self-fulfilling prophecy. There is great benefit only from the general view.

Another premise in the educator's work is: "Every individual desires to belong to the rule" - this is a natural human truth and a faith foundation from which the individual is derived from the rule. He should not educate the "convinced", God forbid, of all the verbal claims of his trainees who insist on claiming the opposite - this is only a sham. It is enough for us to look at the need of the individual, and the youth in particular, to be included together in the mass influx towards various festivals, the mobilization of the youth for demonstrations and mass activities, the enthusiastic affiliation of the youth to the youth movements - and not to the organized With all the typical rules of affiliation: form of expression, style of dress and speech and joint and regular gathering on the "irons" near the square, etc.

It would be a mistake on the part of the educator not to be aware of this existential aspect in the behavior of his students.

The desire to belong to the rule is the student's desire, and only in this way is it possible for the student to test his uniqueness in front of the rule - out of his confidence in his good and solid place within the whole class.

Even those "detached" students who always walk on the side of the class, who are withdrawn and detached - they too receive their power and their ability to feel good in their place out of the power of the rule.

It is the whole class that allows its individuals to discover their uniqueness and the wise teacher knew how to direct his class so that it would create a healthy atmosphere of a lively and dynamic rule that allows all individuals to express themselves. The teacher's starting point will be first and foremost the whole class and hence the wise treatment of individuals and their uniqueness.

The educational implications of this are many. If, for example, there are students who dodge class trips or class Saturdays, etc., the educator must first address his class "How is it possible that in our class Moshe and Yossi are not here with us?"

Even a routine attendance check can be a tool for this purpose: "Grade 11, we lack Yael - what happened to her?" An emotional tone can be added: "It does not feel the same, without Yael the whole class discussion is different / strange / unusual / not ours".

Nor can the treatment of the abnormal behavior of the individual from the class miss a reference to the whole rule: "If indeed Isaac did so and so, this is the problem of all of us - how is it possible for us to do such a thing?"

Of course, the treatment of lateness, subtraction, faucets and other problems is not limited to addressing the classroom, there is ample and primary room for private personal attention to depth and sensitivity - but the starting and starting point will always be in the classroom.

The appeal to the whole class will not only come as a result of negative effects, the main reference of the teacher and his appeal to the whole class will be positive. At every opportunity of formation and support within the classroom, remarks such as "There are friends for that!"

The good - is the good of all; Academic achievement, school collaboration, contribution to the community and even the smallest fraction deserves to be caressed and nurtured by the educator: "10th grade - there is no one like you!" "I have fun being a teacher in a class like this" "I knew you were like that".

Not only is sectoral narrow pride cultivated here, but it also encourages the very awareness of individuals of the power of the rule and of general thinking.

Another basic premise: the rule has the power to promote and elevate its details. The classroom is not a static framework, it is alive and well and it has the power to move and push the details in it far beyond the ability of each and every one alone. If the class educator is aware of this power and uses it fairly and healthily, he can create a challenging classroom atmosphere and from Wheelbarrow for positive. For example, by conducting a "group conscience" in a navigable and supervised manner. The class has the ability to set a slightly higher moral standard than the class average and thus contribute to some very positive elements:

First of all, a positive dynamic of personal commitment with mutual guarantee is created. The decisions of the "group conscience" are made from an open but controlled discussion, and express the will of the class in a worded manner of the expectations of the "group conscience" of each individual and his aspirations as a class.

The wording of the "group conscience" directs the discussion to focus on aspirations rather than what we are wrong with. The wording of the conclusions in a small number of elements, directly reflects everyone's desire to belong and removes the sting of competitiveness and "one at the expense of the other" and creates an environment of growth that allows one to personal advancement and reaching out to the other.

Second of all, a moral standard adopted on behalf of the whole class allows for the private work of each individual in front of the whole. The individual has a stable and healthy "control" group against which the individual can stand and safely assess his or her own place and discover his or her unique path toward the summit - not in the sky, but a little above the eye level of his classmates.

In addition, a "working" classroom atmosphere creates a dynamic of centrifugal waves - the classroom is a model for the rest of the classrooms and the school in general. After all, this is exactly the power of the rule: from a living and vibrant nucleus, ever-widening circles of power are formed, which paradoxically converge simultaneously back towards the nucleus and return, God forbid. This is the wonderful dynamic of the influence of the rule on all its details and the secret of its power to elevate its components and push them to re-influence more than you to the whole rule.

The student's question at the beginning of my remarks has no verbal answer. (You can try, but in my experience this is false work!) - Only in the way of positive experiences in the power of the rule will the student educate and understand that there is really no contradiction between the needs of the general and the needs of the individual, but the greater the value of the rule. And only in this way - his value will increase in his eyes.

And where will the boy experience these controlled experiences if not in class? And who will "sing" it all to him - if not the educator?

bottom of page