A: I started at the College in 1999 when it was still a smaller institution. My neighbour who lived across the street, Ms. Annie Goldstein (TAV College Special Measures Coordinator), told me that she knows of a job opportunity that I would be really good at. I wasn’t sure about the job at first because before TAV, all I had ever taught throughout my teaching career was preschool up until the ninth grade. TAV was really my first time teaching a group of adult students; regardless, I decided to give it a shot and loved it.
Q: What was it like here at TAV in the beginning?
A: The College wasn’t always like the one it is today, in fact, my first classroom had a massive hole in the floor in the middle of the room. In the winter, we would sit in the classrooms and freeze because the building was very old and had a bad heating system.
Q: Why did you stay under those conditions?
A: Because I HAD to teach. This is truly my calling in life; my passion and I knew that this place was going to grow.
Q: Can you tell me about the history of the College (from your perspective)?
A: I started with about 15 students. All of the students were religious because, at the time, our agreement with the government of Quebec was that we were an academic institution offering educational services to the (Jewish) religious community of Montreal, exclusively. However, year after year, the annual enrollment grew tremendously, especially when the government of Quebec put into effect a law which stated that preschool/daycare teachers had to have a degree. After this law came into effect, all of a sudden, TAV’s enrollment jumped to the hundreds and this is really how we took off as an institution.
Q: What was it like teaching at the College level for the first time?
A: As I said, teaching here at TAV was one of my first experiences as an educator working with adult students. With that being said, I was extremely nervous for my first day. In fact, I prepared a document the day before of word-for-word what I was going to say to all of my students. I wrote down something like “Hello. My name is Robyne Garellek. This is what I’m teaching…” I had every word written down that I was going to say for the whole three hours. I went home at the end of that first day and my husband asked me how my day went, to which I replied in a sarcastic tone “Ha, they think I’m smart.”
Q: What is your favorite part about teaching?
A: For me, it’s really all about the actual teaching: the discussions, the give-and-take. I really care so much about my students actually learning something; I don’t like to stand and lecture. In fact, I always send my class notes beforehand so that my students don’t have to sit in class and write anything, instead, they can actually listen, interact and learn.
Q: What does TAV mean to you?
A: TAV is my home. I always tell my husband “they’re going to bury me here [jokingly].” In all seriousness, I just love it here, the administration and teaching staff are just amazing, everyone is always quick to help each other and we really are like a family here. The directors always make time for you no matter what.
In an effort to increase the aesthetic appeal of the College’s interior design, TAV has recently commissioned an artist to illustrate a drawing that will be blown up and placed on the right-side wall of the main entrance to the building.
WHO WAS INVOLVED?
The massive fifteen by ten foot vinyl illustration was drawn by hand by the Montreal based artist, Max Douglas, a.k.a. Salgood Sam (his brand name). The project was curated by the TAV College Director of Studies, Eli Meroz, the Student Experience Adviser, Justin Hand-Gregory and the Director of Communications, Devora Meroz.
The concept requested to the artist by this administrative team was to design a mural with the theme of cultural diversity, as well as Montreal’s distinct educational sector.
(Eli) Meroz said, “the objective was to demonstrate TAV’s pride in its culturally-diverse student body, as well as its surrounding neighborhood and the many options that our graduates have upon completion of their program.”
The curatorial team also requested that the art be slanted to complement the angle of the staircase, which is directly below the mural. The artist envisioned the concept perfectly!
The large wall where the mural will be placed used to be painted a blueish-green but is now painted an off white to allow its viewers to appreciate the art’s attention to detail and aura. The mural itself is comprised of five huge vinyl sheets that were printed and installed by a commercial signage company and then stuck to the wall using an adhesive on the back of the vinyl.
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It has been announced by the administration of TAV College that the institution will be having a new structure built at 5995 Decarie Boulevard to expand the college’s campus.
“With a consistently growing number of annual student enrolment, the board of directors of TAV College has decided to purchase land nearby and build more space for the college to grow for years to come.”
Eli Meroz, Director of Studies
The new building will finally have some very exciting features that students have been demanding for years.
A GYMNASIUM AND LIRBARY
The street level floor will be a state-of-the-art library and study hall with brand new computers and lavish interior design, according to Meroz. The library will not necessarily be devoted to traditional stock, i.e. books and literature. Instead, it will take on a more contemporary style and depend on technology as the main highlight for the information space.
The other floors will be devoted to brand new classrooms with the newest technologies and teaching equipment, as well as office space to accommodate more and more teaching and administrative staff.
“Although the building is planned to be completed and ready to use by the Fall of twenty-twenty, you never know which types of problems you will run into along the way,”
said Meroz during an interview. TAV is now in the process of designing the new building, as well as negotiating the designs with city officials. Meroz states that the design for the building has already undergone four redesigns due to city regulations and engineering suggestions.
Also, the current building sitting at 5995 Decarie had to undergo a “heritage site” investigation to determine if the structure was of any significance to Quebec/Canadian history. Luckily for the College, the site was not deemed a heritage site and could be therefore demolished, however, the city is insisting that the new building pay homage to the old and retain some of its features.
The building currently at 5995 Decarie was, at once, a bank and eventually a police station, finally it will now be the new home of TAV College. Despite all the complications with the project, the director is confident that the new building will be ready to use by the expected completion date.
TWO NEW AND EXCITING PROGRAMS
TAV currently has over nine hundred and fifty enrolled students and, according to Meroz, the College is expected to have well over one thousand two hundred by the time the new campus is ready. With that being said, the college is looking into expanding its programs to attract larger numbers of enrolment.
“We currently have two new and very exciting programs at TAV: A social sciences program, as well as a coding program in which students are guaranteed employment upon graduation,”
states Meroz. The social sciences option is a two year DEC program geared towards students who are searching for a program that touches on many different fields of study, which prepares the students for many possible university paths.
The coding program is a six month training intensive that has a partnership with a company entitled Shorify, which guarantees students (who have achieved a seventy five percent or more average) a job upon completion of the course. According to the director, the college will be eagerly looking into more partnerships with corporations for its students such as this program has done.
THE FUTURE OF TAV?
The future of TAV College is definitely an exciting one, however; it is full of unpredictability. The institution is in a constant state of change and innovation. The new building will not only create job opportunities for some twenty plus teachers and instructors, but will allow hundreds of new students to achieve their academic goals. It is inevitable that one day TAV will be competing against larger, reputable institutions such as Dawson College, or Vanier.