Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
"Shalom Sivan, my name is Chaim Nachman Kowalsky. I am privileged to teach in the Ort Pelech Banim school in Jerusalem. This year the principal, Yossi Hershkovitz, introduced something amazing: an app called "nekuda tova" (good point). Each teacher devotes a few minutes each day to writing good points about several students and the app immediately sends them as a gift -- made more precious with emotive graphics -- to the students and their parents.
It's impossible to describe the positive spirit that this little innovation has brought to the school and how it has influenced the relationships between teachers and students and their parents. Generally, when a school contacts parents, parents ask themselves 'What happened this time?' Now they are made aware in the middle of the day that their child excelled in physics class or helped another student during break. When the student returns home, their parents already know about their good points for that day and we, the teachers, appreciate that we are not only preoccupied with criticism, but with compliments too.
There is a lot of talk about the dangers of shaming and lashon hara (insulting or derogatory speech), but not much discussion about the obligation to increase uplifting speech and positive reinforcement. With this change in emphasis, there would no longer be any room for negative speech. As the Hasidim say: Darkness is not chased away with sticks, but pushed away with a little light."
I am attaching a screenshot taken from
a student’s cell phone. It shows just one of the good points, among hundreds, that I sent out this week.