Mishmeres HaSholom: Ask the Rav

Q: I am a teacher in a neighborhood school, as well as a mother of two schoolgirls. Often I come across my colleagues’ weak points regarding methods of education, e.g.: unacceptable means of punishment, inappropriate dress, etc.

Should I approach them on my own (which I don’t find to be constructive), or is it advisable to apprise the principal of the matter and let her deal with it? Specifically, I want to know regarding my daughters’ teachers, concerning difficult homework sheets, unclear tests, and inappropriate ways of dealing with them.

A: To begin with, you should admonish the teacher yourself, in a respectable and gentle fashion. Chazal teach us, “The words of those who fear Heaven will be heard” (Brachos 6). Therefore, even if you assume that your words are useless, if your intentions are pure (unbiased) then they will carry the weight of “words that come from the heart reach the heart.”

If the abovementioned method is ineffective, you may approach the principal, adhering to the halachos of lashon hara l’to’eles (as delineated by the Chofetz Chaim), paying heed not to exaggerate and to keep the to’eles in mind.


The following questions and answers were taken from the Mishmeres Hasholom pamphlet in Israel. For details and inquiries please e-mail us at office@hasholom.org or call 972-2 5379160.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hamodia.