core values

Gates of Discovery: The Rose and George Teller Preschool of Shaare Tefila strives to provide each child with a secure, caring and stimulating experience. It is our desire to help students use their innate abilities to create, imagine, explore and learn. Our powerful belief in the competence of all children nourishes the practice of maximizing every child's capabilities.

Children are encouraged to consider their environment through interest-based research projects. Literacy, numeracy and creative expression are integrated into each of these projects. Documentation of the processes and products honors the voice of the children and gives fascinating insight into their learning.

We believe that we can best achieve these educational goals through a set of four core values. The following panels each explore one of these values in depth.

Children are naturally capable and should be active participants in their learning. Children are born with a drive to order the world around them; however, they do not do this in isolation. They need supportive adults, collaborative peers and a stimulating environment to help them make sense of their experiences.

Teachers carefully listen, observe, and document children's work and the growth of community in their classroom. They provide opportunities for children to construct knowledge through discovery and to practice skills in authentic situations. Hypotheses are explored in multiple forms such as print, art, construction and drama.

The learning environment is rich with possibilities and linked with nature. The environment of the school can be seen as the third educator, after the teacher and the parent. Teachers organize environments that provoke exploration, experimentation, problem solving, having fun with friends and being a child. Extended explorations are often carried out in small groups, where cooperation and disputation mingle pleasurably. Documentation of children's work is displayed throughout the space.

In addition, early experiences with nature have been positively linked with the development of imagination and a sense of wonder. When children play in natural environments, their play is more diverse and creative, fostering language and collaborative skills. Our playscape and nature-infused curriculum encourage independence, confidence and self-reliance.

Learning is a collaboration of child, teacher, parent and families. A child's education can be viewed as a system of relationships. The environment of the school fosters and nurtures these relationships by providing opportunities in which children and adults become partners in learning. We view parents as a child's first teacher and an essential resource for their child's learning.

The interactions among children, families, and teachers are central to the learning process, serving to deepen the children's understanding of the world in which they live. To foster community we host a variety of events throughout each school year for parents and families as a whole.

Education is most meaningful when grounded in the child's culture and heritage. Our school takes pride in its identity as a Jewish preschool. A foundation of that identity is recognizing the value of the diversity within our community. We seek to build understanding and see the basic similarities of all people, yet appreciate their differences.

We believe that children's learning is given roots by placing it in the context of our shared history. The customs and traditions we observe add a framework of values that guide our interactions among ourselves and with the greater community. Our practices link our faith to everyday living; our values are the fabric of our school's culture.

To learn more about these values, check out these articles:

Children and Mourning

Discipline

Food for Thought

Hundred Languages

Kindergarten Readiness

Making the Everyday Special

Math All Around Us

The Art of Writing

The Learning Environment