Message from Head of School September 2017
by Rabbi Avrohom Drandoff
CTA WAY INSPIRES PASSION IN OUR STUDENTS
Rav Kalonymos Kalmish Shapira, the Rebbe of Piaseczna, writes in his magna opus, Chovas HaTalmidim (The Students’ Obligation) in an essay entitled “A Discussion with Teachers and Parents” that when the word “Chinuch” is used in the context of educating children, “it means to nurture the inherent character and talents that lay dormant within the child or only partially realized, and to develop them.” Rav Shapira goes on to explain, that educating children is a greater and more dynamic process than merely about informing the child of the “to do’s” or “do not do’s”, nor is it simply about pilling lots of information into their brains or teaching them good habits. Educating children starts with the belief that every child has the necessary qualities, talents and inner beauty to develop into living a life that is filled with meaning and success.
As much as we are delighted that CTA has increased our enrollment over the last few years, we are motivated to continue to push forward to expand our base. This summer, CTA professional leadership embarked on a process to develop “The CTA Way” for the purpose of further advancing our academic offerings and to put our own unique stamp on education. The CTA Way is our commitment to prepare our students for a life of meaning and success. It represents our belief that all students are capable of identifying their passions, talents and the areas where they can accelerate and achieve great success in life. It is our goal to understand how each of our students learn and what they are passionate about in order to meet them where they are.
Our vision for the next few years, is to increase the amount of experiential and collaborative learning for the purpose of advancing academic knowledge, provide a forum for our students to develop 21st century skills and be a platform for students to explore through curiosity. Educational research shows that a high I.Q. and textbook knowledge are not enough. The biggest predictors of future career success are high emotional intelligence and the ability to develop positive relationships. Our goal is to instill confidence and encourage grit in each of our students coupled with developing strong skills in effective communication and interpersonal relationships in order to watch them blossom into active, contributing members of contemporary American Jewish society.
We will continue to keep the Torah Academy community informed as we travel together on the path of the CTA Way.