In honor of the 7th yahrtzeit of longtime mechaneches Mrs. Shulamis Bluming, her son, Igud Hamelamdim director Rabbi Avrohom Bluming shares anecdotes of his mother that inspired his chinuch journey.
By Rabbi Avrohom Bluming – Igud Hamelamdim
My work for Crown Heights teachers began many years ago as my mother a”h, a longtime teacher, inspired me with a passion for chinuch.
My mother, Mrs. Shulamis Bluming, devoted her life to Chinuch, as a mechaneches for close to 50 years. In honor of her 7th yahrtzeit, I’d like to share several anecdotes that she shared with me, which implanted within me an appreciation for chinuch and inspired my chinuch journey.
לע”נ מרת שולמית בת ר׳ גדליה-ו הלוי ז״ל. תנצב״ה
If you love what you’re teaching, they will love it too.
My mother primarily taught young children, 1st and 2nd grade, Limudei Kodesh and also English reading and writing.
Once, as a class assignment, she instructed the students to write a sentence using the word “read.” One student wrote this, “I love to read because Mrs. Bluming loves to read!”
My mother shared this lesson with me: If you love what you’re teaching, it will certainly rub off, and the kids will love it too!
Start fresh every day.
My sister – then a first-year teacher, today the menaheles of a large school – came home one day, expressing how she had a hard day with her class.
“Go into class tomorrow as if it is the first day of school,” was my mother’s prescient advice. “Kids are adaptable and don’t automatically carry over their behaviors from one day to the next.”
My sister followed this advice and, indeed, she had a much better time managing her classroom.
A little attention goes a long way.
One morning, as she walked down the rows of her first-grade classroom, she noticed one student’s blouse tag sticking out of her back collar. Gently, my mother tucked it in.
The next day, when the same student saw my mother approaching her seat, she quickly pulled out her tag again.
My mother realized more than ever how much students crave a little extra attention!
Be Flexible; children aren’t machines.
One day, my mother hosted a group of seminary observers during her Chumash lesson.
As she was teaching the Chumash, she noticed that the children were spaced out. With her keen understanding of children, she closed her Chumash and shifted to another topic to which the kids responded happily.
“That day’s lesson was actually the best lesson for those aspiring teachers,” she later observed. “Children aren’t machines! Always be attuned to your students’ needs and practice flexibility.”