Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Adventures in Chinuch

An old associate opened up a blog recently which is quite intriguing, entitled Adventures in Chinuch. As his profile states:
I teach limmudei kodesh in the MO school system. I'm one of those "cool young Rabbis" who isn't really cool and isn't really a Rabbi. However, I have the secret power to trick teenagers into thinking I'm cool by using my taste in music and juvenile [sic] sense of humor. I can also trick them into thinking I'm a Rabbi, but that's easier.
His latest post touches on a common difficulty teachers face, which is what to say when you know the wrong lesson is likely to be taken from a situation.
I was actually asked by a student if I saw the Doritos commercial which shows the effect of eating Doritos on a person's ability to keep their clothing on (the student made a point to reference that part of the commercial). It was inappropriate viewing, but unavoidable to those watching. I could have said yes [...] However, the problem is that once a student hears me say that I saw it, in his head it becomes "Rabbi said I can watch inappropriate things on T.V." without really internalizing or even comprehending my explanation.

So...I implied that I did not see the commercial.
'Tis an interesting dilemma, and he's touched on a couple of others in his first few posts. Check him out.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Unavoidable IF you were watching the commercials. There was NO question that there would be inappropriate things in Super Bowl commercials. Everyone knew (or should have known that) beforehand.

    The question here is, given that certainty, did you (rebbe) watch the commercials?

    If you did, why did you? What did you think about them? How should we (as young students) react to them?

  3. Teaching is not some con game.

  4. Bob -

    If I told you I was walking down the street with my 2 year old daughter and we saw a dead guy and I told her he was sleeping, would you tell me to tell her the truth b/c parenting isn't some con game?

    You have to tell me why in this case you thought I did the wrong thing. I agree with your statement, yet still maintain I did the right thing.

  5. I think that as a teacher you did the right thing. You are there to impart lessons and to guide. It's not a time to air out and discuss your shortcomings UNLESS it would benefit the student - which in this case it certainly would not have done.
    Sometimes telling things straight is helpful and the right thing to do. Though in this particular case you were right to imply that you did not see the commercial.

    If anything is taken from this, it might be how you yourself feel about guiding students in the areas where you fall short and perhaps taking upon yourself some adjustments, if that's what you would think could be the correct thing for you.
    But even if not, you took the right course of action by ensuring that your student did not get the message that inappropriate viewing is okay.

  6. This dilemma comes up frequently in parenting too. My general policy is, if you have to lie about it to your kids, you shouldn't be doing it. Obviously there are some exceptions but for the most part, I try not to do things I wouldn't want my kids to know I'm doing.

    Personally, I'd be disappointed if I knew that my son's rebbe watched that commercial.

  7. The only immediate solution might have been what was done, but the long term solution is to strive to do nothing that will have to be lied about. Also, not to create a false persona in order to connect.