The Torah Aura Teaching Robot

by Joel Lurie Grishaver

Torah Aura has been experimenting with the latest models in teaching robots that we hope to soon bring to the market. These robots will make it possible to run Jewish schools completely without teachers. It will soon be possible for the educator to completely eliminate the teacher from the process of Jewish education. Let us look forward to that day.

We have come in contact with more and more principals who plan every lesson for every teacher. We are seeing more and more curriculum (especially from the movements) that attempt to either eliminate the teacher from the equation or completely script the teacher and discourage improvisation. We have heard from many principals with whom we have met that they feel personally responsible for all situations that arise between the school and families, teaching us that teachers should not be involved in these situations—and we will guarantee that the Torah Aura Teaching Robot will contribute nothing to these relationships.

Once, we used to believe that teaching was an art. We imagined that the great teacher spun a web linking his or her skills, the class or given students, and the content. We believed that each lesson was a construction, a dialogue created between the lesson plan and the place where the class was at. We even knew (or thought we knew) that the best lessons were the ones where teacher left the beaten track and went exploring with their class. In the future we need have little fear of that happening.

Most recently “assessment” has become the latest educational buzz word. Today’s New York Times stated that “No Child Left Behind” has made American education worse. The rate of progress that had been achieved under the Clinton administration where class sizes were limited and a greater emphasis was placed on preschool preparation has been lost through standardize testing that were designed to limit and control the teacher’s role in the classroom process. Of course, there is little we can learn from that.

Torah Aura used to believe that the best Jewish education came from empowering teachers, from expanding their skill set, and widening their vision. We used to see our job as creating a platform, a stage, on which teachers could perform their magic and their art. We saw relationships and classroom community as being more important than any curricular frame we could provide. But, now we know that teachers are hard to find, teacher education is limited, and the amount of information that needs to be conveyed more compressed because of parental demands.

We used to be told that a textbook is not a curriculum. That a teacher should only think of a textbook as a resource. Now we are learning that a year’s worth of lesson plans and completely scripted lessons is the way to go. To make all of that possible, to make sure that the role of the teacher is either further limited or completely eliminated, we will continue our research into teaching robots. We look forward to serving you better.