This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. As a parent and an administrator, I have a tremendous amount of Hakarat Hatov ( Thanks )for all that our teachers do on a daily basis on behalf of our students. We are privileged to have such an outstanding faculty who care so much for their students and our school.
I would like to share you my memories of a teacher who made a difference in my life and I believe he had a lot to do with who I am today. It was my ninth grade Rebbe ( Teacher)in HAFTR, Rabbi Tzvi Bajnon, who today is the Principal of Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island.
Rabbi Bajnon not only was a great teacher but he truly cared and he showed us that he cared. Some of us , myself included, wanted extra learning so Rabbi Bajnon, who lived in Brooklyn, came in half an hour early every day to learn with a few of us before davening( morning prayers) . I remember spending shabbos at his house on more than one occasion, and was even invited to one of his children’s weddings. I still speak with Rabbi Bajnon, admittedly not as often as I would like, but I still have a kesher ( connection)with him today. In fact I called him to tell him that I was writing this article and to express my personal Hakarat Hatov( thanks). Rabbi Bajnon taught me Gemara, Chumash, and Math during my four years of high school, and while I don’t remember every detail of what we learned or even what Mesechta we learned, I continue to feel a strong connection to him and admire him greatly. He made a significant impression on me because of the type of role model he was and because he cared about his students in and out of the classroom.
I recently tweeted that teachers often teach more outside the classroom than inside the classroom.
Rabbi Bajnon thank you for helping me become the educator I am today.
As we remember our teachers and the teachers of our children, let’s remember that what makes a teacher special is not always the content of their daily classroom instruction or how much we learned in their class about a specific topic, but how they helped shape our lives.