Halachos for Educators
Jews from time immemorial placed a tremendous importance on teaching Jewish children Torah because it is the key to the future of the Jewish people.
- 1 Importance of Teaching
- 2 Who can be a Teacher
- 3 Speaking in a Way that the Students Understand
- 4 Teachers who Don't Prepare Properly
- 5 Speaking Lashon Hara about Students
- 6 Charging Tuition
- 7 Related Links
- 8 Sources
Importance of Teaching
- The primary obligation is teaching Torah and learning Torah is a necessary step in order to teach.
- It is extremely important that children learn Torah and we shouldn't stop them from learning in order to fulfill another mitzvah. We shouldn't interrupt children learning Torah to participate in the building of the bet hamikdash.
Who can be a Teacher
Male Teachers Female Teachers
- A single man can't be a teacher since he might become secluded with the mothers of the children he is teaching whether he is teaching girls or boys.
- A woman can't be a teacher since she might become secluded with the fathers of the children he is teaching whether he is teaching girls or boys.
Need for Teachers
- There shouldn't be more than twenty five students for one teacher. If that teacher has an assistant he could have up to forty students. However, primarily it depends on the situation.
- A teacher who doesn't teach properly, is lazy in his work, or take another job that impedes his performance is cursed because he is doing Hashem's work deceitfully. Therefore, it is important to only appoint a teacher that is God fearing, who is skilled in language and be careful.
- A teacher isn't supposed to be awake at night so that he isn't tired for work. He can't fast or deprive himself of food or drink since doing so will cause him not to teacher well. 
- It is important to get the best teacher of Torah and it is therefore permitted to replace one teacher with a better one.
- If there is a teacher who can read more quickly and another teacher who is more careful they should appoint the teacher that is more careful.
Speaking in a Way that the Students Understand
Rav Volbe on Parsha Ki Tisa
Teachers who Don't Prepare Properly
Yirmiyahu 48:10, Rambam Talmud Torah 2:4
Speaking Lashon Hara about Students
See Lashon Hara page.
Obligation of Parents and Grandparents
Obligation of Community
- Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in Lessons in Leadership Parshat Bo p. 74 cited by Rabbi Rosner Bo 5779
- Gemara Brachot 14b, Gemara Bava Kama 17a, Ritva 14b, Pirkei Avot 4:6, Rambam Talmud Torah 1:1
- Gemara Shabbat 119b, Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 245:13
- Shulchan Aruch E.H. 22:20
- Shulchan Aruch E.H. 22:20
- Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 245:15 rules that there shouldn't be more than twenty five students per teacher. If there is between twenty five and forty there needs to be a teacher with another assistant.
- The Shach 245:10 writes that it all depends on the situation, the quality of the teacher and students.
- Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 245:17
- Rama Y.D. 245:17
- Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 245:18
- Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 245:19