Great Teachers Make Great Schools
With a diverse student body representing more than 30 nationalities, we are a true global community and consider it paramount to hire outstanding teachers who are well-versed in international schools, multilingual education, and early-childhood education.
More than 75 percent of the Elementary School Faculty holds advanced degrees. Faculty members speak more than a dozen languages, with native speakers leading both the American and Italian Sections.
|"The strength in the program comes from the strength of the staff. The Head of the Elementary School, for example, is insightful and nimble: two qualities that allow for quick problem solving. The teachers are experienced, dedicated, and kind, and hold an environment for intellectual exploration and emotional safety. Everyone is approachable and responsive, which makes the journey of educating your child feel more like a partnership, or consortium."|
Children at the TASIS Elementary School come from all over the globe, with vastly differing abilities in math and reading in English. Our teachers therefore differentiate instruction in both reading and math within the grade level, using one of the most thoroughly studied and validated reading curricula in the world, the phonics-based Reading Mastery, and one of the most effective approaches to math instruction, the Singapore Math program. Each student’s progress is constantly monitored as he or she is instructed and learns to perform at the appropriate levels.
Small-group and individualized reading instruction is provided on a daily basis, and students have specific, ongoing assessments to determine placement in the appropriate reading group. Our reading instructors focus on the five pillars of reading development: phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency.
The average Elementary School homeroom has just 13 students, and EAL-support classes have an average student-teacher ratio of 3:1. Small class sizes allow our teachers to track more effectively their students’ development and gain a better understanding of their strengths and passions.
Our faculty has adopted the Responsive Classroom approach, a teaching method that helps students strengthen both academic and social-emotional skills, builds a collaborative community of learners, and delivers content in a manner that is interesting to students. Professional development in the Responsive Classroom approach has helped teachers improve their discipline practices, train students to be responsible for their own behavior, and prepare teaching spaces and lesson plans that help the class achieve its goals.
Some in the teaching profession view discipline as something separate from instruction—something that a teacher must impose on her class so that she can teach in peace. At the TASIS Elementary School, we have a different approach: here, discipline is an important learning activity. We believe that some of the most important lessons children learn at school take place on the playground as well as in the classroom. Our approach to discipline is instructive rather than punitive.
Whether a child is struggling with his multiplication tables or trying to learn how to behave well, the teacher’s job remains unchanged. It is not to punish, but rather to instruct and to increase virtue.
Technology in the Classroom
We use technology to enhance traditional teaching methods, not replace them. Our technology-rich environment, which includes a 1:1 iPad program for students in grades 3-5, provides ample opportunities for students to use modern tools to learn, create, and collaborate. Our teachers incorporate technology in meaningful ways that support all areas of the curriculum, and our Learning Technologies Coordinator runs classes and 1-on-1 training sessions to ensure that both students and teachers get the most of the many tools at their disposal.
|"The Elementary School faculty has often impressed me with its ability to understand each child and support him or her in a positive collaboration with the family. The faculty has always been engaged and proactive."|
Each classroom is outfitted with an iMac, a projector, a document camera, and an Apple TV, and students in grades K-2 share class sets of iPads. Students learn to use a variety of educational apps throughout the year, including Keynote, Google Drive, IXL Math, Matholia, Reading A-Z Books for Kids, Spelling City, and Explain Everything.
Our dynamic Service Learning program instills compassion in students and builds awareness for important local and global issues. Students work on different service projects at each grade level. Their level of involvement grows each year, with the ultimate goal of building a foundation for success in the High School’s pioneering Global Service Program.
Recent projects have included raising money for aid relief in the Philippines to better understand the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child (Pre-Kindergarten), working with Heifer International to help eradicate world hunger (first grade), and learning about food waste as part of the Ethical Food Malawi program (fourth grade).
As parents, you are strongly encouraged to be involved in your child’s education and to be in regular dialogue with your child’s teacher. You are also invited to join the excellent TASIS Parent Association and to attend regular Parent Coffees hosted by the Elementary School Head.
Your interest in what your child is learning and your support in developing good study habits at home are crucial for the successful education of your child. Our curriculum is a contract—and an invitation.