Like everyone else, teachers have their private and professional lives. Those different lives are sometimes kept compartmentalized, but often are intertwined in complex ways. Teachers living in the same community as their students may see things that they must keep to themselves – they may be personal friends with their students’ parents or see them in the supermarket or shul. Conversely, teachers are often presented as role models and religious studies teachers are seen as religious role models – but they may not want to live their lives in a fishbowl, exposed to public scrutiny. Not to mention how these dynamics may play out with their spouses and children. This issue of the Jewish Educational Leadership is devoted to the internal life of Jewish educators, and will address questions such as:
- How do teachers navigate the subtle, or not so subtle, differences between the public religious personae they are supposed to present and represent and their private beliefs and practices?
- While sharing personal stories with students can be a powerful educational tool, at what point can that become inappropriate?
- What can communities do to respect the private lives of their Jewish educators? Is there a point at which it is appropriate for the private life of the educator to become a public concern? What kind of policies or programs can a school initiate to support the educators navigating these challenges?
- While it is reasonable for the teacher’s words and deeds in school to reflect the school’s ethos and values, is it necessary for the teacher to uphold those same values outside of the school context?
- Teachers and school leaders are often expected to take their work home (preparing for classes, taking phone calls, marking papers). What price do they pay for this expectation? Is there any expectation that principals and school heads can have a normal and healthy work-life balance?
- How can there be the expectation that the work will go home with the teacher but that the students’ confidentiality will be protected from the teacher’s family?
- What impact does working in a communal school have on the teacher’s or school head’s family?
- How can teachers navigate a climate where leadership (and thereby direction, priorities, and educational objectives) can change every couple of years?
Note: Due to the potentially sensitive nature of these topics, the journal is open to submissions whose authors will remain anonymous.
Abstracts should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 16th, 2019
For more information on the types of articles and guidelines for writers click here
JewJewish Educational Leadership is the digital journal for Jewish educators published by The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education.