We all have jobs and responsibilities in one form or another. One very important job for children is going to school. As we all know, not all jobs are pleasant, easy, or rewarding, especially for children who learn differently and need to be taught in the ways they can learn.
When TAL Academy opened its doors to the children of our communities, who so wanted to learn but often struggled, the administration and staff made several commitments that are so essential for the children, their families, and to each member of the TAL faculty.
First, enroll children with a clearly defined learning profile, so that learning could be focused, directed, and intensive. Next, the faculty committed to answering the question, “Who is this child?” using research-based approaches for teaching and meeting the specific learning needs of the children. Next, help the children feel assured that they are fully capable of learning, that they would learn, and that ultimately learning would become easier for them, and would be fun. Finally, the founders determined to insure that each student, as he or she learned both secular and Judaic studies, came to understand his or her own learning style, mastered skills for learning, and consciously used those skills with assurance and pride.
The Blessings of a Joyful Environment
TAL Academy has become a fully joyful learning environment for all of their students. Steadily the children began to see that learning at TAL was different – and they could learn! The feedback from the parents has been so gratifyingly positive. Even more delightfully, the children are so committed to TAL. They even requested “jobs”! For example, some popular “jobs” include being the “walkie-talkie deliverer” and being a member of the “in-house video team,” that takes pictures and creates videos of daily TAL activities. The staff is delighted and so are the children.
In the four months since TAL Academy opened its doors, it has become a dream come true for the founding team, Mrs. Sara Taib, Dr. Lydia Soifer, and Mrs. Brocha Kresch. Moreover, the faculty are life-long learners, who work so very hard to create instruction that is consistent with the research and the learning needs of the children – direct, explicit, multi-sensory instruction.
A Community of Learners
TAL is a community of learners. The children are learning. Moreover, they are learning how to learn. The highly trained rebbeim, morot, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and school psychologist provide a full dual curriculum, but most importantly, the immersive language-rich environment is infused with ahavat haTorah, yirat Shamayaim, and kavod habriot.
TAL is proud to be a special education school. It reflects the most positive meaning of the word, special – unique, exceptional, distinctive, and wonderful! TAL Academy is looking forward to expanding the school next year to serve children in grades one through five. The staff and administration feel blessed to have the opportunity to teach these children in the ways they can learn and to empower them to love learning.