Tanya Alkhazovfacecommjune2017.JPG

Musician, Teacher

North York

Where is your family from?

My father's parents are from Dagestan, and my mother's from Uzbekistan, where her family was evacuated during the war. My paternal grandmother was a religious woman, fully observing Jewish traditions, and from her I learned a lot about our customs and holidays.

Please tell us about your career.

My profession is a musician, and in Moscow I worked in a kindergarten. In Toronto, I graduated from college with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Currently, I'm a licensed specialist with more than 20 years of experience. I’ve worked at the JRCC Preschool and Daycare since 1998. I began as an assistant teacher, then became a teacher, and am currently the director of the Preschool and Daycare.

Our educational process is based on the methodology and curriculum approved by the Ontario Ministry of Education, with the addition of classes on Jewish history and tradition, which is a major focus for us. In addition, we provide our students with numerous unique programs through which children learn to explore the world. Children are engaged in music, mathematics and English. Children patiently learn the alphabet and acquire reading skills, sing songs and memorize verses. We celebrate all Jewish and state holidays, for which we always invite family members – grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters. The educational process is formed in such a way that children learn about the world around them in an accessible and interesting format, often in the form of a game. To this end, we hold various thematic sessions. For example, to get acquainted with the concept of "space", children learn the names of the planets of the solar system, and also receive information about the planet on which we all live. We also use various activities as an opportunity for education and exploration, while keeping it fund and entertaining. For example, baking challah is also a chemistry experiment where we observe the interaction of the various ingredients. We also teach life skills, such as how to deal with emergencies and how to contact police, fire and ambulance. Much of our learning is also hands on, and we learn about the different seasons by going outside and experiencing them – we play in the snow in the winter, plant flowers and vegetables in our garden in the spring (and of course eat the tasty produce once it grows). We organize many field trips to farms and nature reserves, where children can interact with the animals and other things they learn about, and we invite special guest musicians, artists and others to our school for entertaining and educational sessions.

We are also very proud of our facility, which is always being maintained and upgraded. At the moment, we are redoing the garden, installing new floors, painting all the walls, updating the plumbing, and renovating the kitchen. So pretty soon the whole place will have a fresh look.

What do you do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?

For the most part, my life is dedicated to my work at the Preschool and Daycare. Even after work, I am always thinking of ways to improve the educational and upbringing processes. In my spare time, I like to read, go to the theater for opera, ballet or drama performances, and attend various concerts. I also do not forget about my two sons, who, although they have grown up already, nevertheless need my mother's advice and participation in their lives.

Given the opportunity to meet anyone, who would you choose?

I would like to talk with Sarah, one of the Jewish foremothers, who was a very modest and reserved woman, was famous for her hospitality and provided shelter and food for all who needed it. I believe Jewish women can learn from her to overcome life's difficulties, achieve much for themselves, their families and the Jewish people as a whole.

What are your future plans?

I really want my sons to have their own families soon. I want to take help them with the joy of planning their weddings, and finally become a young grandmother and enjoy my grandchildren.