Our goal in the lower school is to develop independent learners who are eager to work hard to solve problems in order to further their knowledge of the way the world works. The faculty at TVT share a common belief that students are more engaged in the process of their own learning when the material is relevant and applicable to their everyday lives. Because technology has created immediate access to every type of information, our faculty have turned their focus to teaching skills, such as strategies for problem-solving, that cannot be learned through technology. Teaching must include hands-on, individualized exploration of how to be successful in an ever-changing, technology-rich society.
TVT faculty members work to make the process of thinking through a problem more visible, so that students are able to approach a problem in a more systematic way. This allows students to discover new ways to express their ideas, and they can do so more concisely, articulately, and logically. When students know how to approach a difficult problem, they are able to apply this process to a variety of disciplines and situations. TVT lower school students move onto middle school with unique skills that allow them to attack a difficult math problem confidently; step outside of a thorny social situation and view it from multiple perspectives; and independently arrive at innovative and creative solutions to the everyday problems they face as part of living in a complex world.
Character is Paramount
Our focus on character development involves three key areas: contentment/well-being, traits, and our Jewish Values. In Lower School, we work with children on understanding that their feelings are valid and that they have control over their body and their thinking. Our character development centers on self-control, curiosity, and empathy through living our Jewish Values: emet (truth), tzedek (justice), chesed (kindness), kavod (respect), tikkun olam (repairing the world), k’lal yisrael (community).
Just what is G.R.I.T?
At TVT, G.R.I.T. stands for Growth, Resilience, Initiative, and Tenacity. Grit is a necessary skill for 21st-century students and is characterized as students who possess "perseverance and passion for long-term goals." At TVT, ensuring that our students will practice persistence and hard work is a goal in every classroom. We want our students to learn that failure is a part of success and that the best lessons we can pass on are to have the character "to get up and try again" in the face of challenge. We believe in productive struggles for students.