In first person…For 25 years, teenagers have inspired, dazzled teacher

My older daughter endured the embarrassment of having mommy teach her confirmation class. My younger daughter still complains that I used my influence to get her the part of Yenta in the school production of "Fiddler on the Roof" when she really wanted to play Chava.

I've collected memorable experiences through the years. I have suffered through repetitions of punchlines from "Saturday Night Live," then "The Simpsons," and now "South Park." The dramatic news of our time will forever be connected for me with teenagers' voices because I always provide a forum for discussion.

I have been dazzled by brilliant students' insights, and more often I have been inspired by the intellectual and spiritual growth of ordinary and challenged students. I admit to secret satisfaction in knowing that the adolescents who bully others in religious school with their popularity or cleverness eventually get their come-uppance in life.

We teach what we need to learn, and in my case I want to find out what's on Jewish teenagers' minds. I think I will need to be teaching for a very long time.