Why Early Bilingual Education Boosts Brain Function and Development

Why Early Bilingual Education Boosts Brain Function and Development

There has been an immense amount of discussion and research done on bilingualism in recent years. As scholars and educators dive deeper into the effects of studying multiple languages, more and more evidence is found to support international language learning.

Over the past two decades, researchers have focused specifically on the cognitive benefits gained by children who are introduced to bilingualism at an early age. Specifically, they have measured the ways in which children learn and react to various aspects of their education and found astounding results for multilingual children.

According to NPR.org, these results show benefits so great, they will be utilized and carried throughout your child’s entire life. It is a lifetime of learning in a way that is unparalleled to any other learning approach available.

Bilingual Education Benefits

While the benefits of bilingual education are exponential, there are several benefits that are so great, they should be considered priority in terms of learning. Among these benefits are invaluable skill mastery of things like problem solving, concentration and focus on any given task, and the ability to think critically and choose words with purpose and meaning.

“Researchers found that young adults proficient in two languages performed better on attention tests and had better concentration than those who spoke only one language,” according to LiveScience.com.

Problem Solving Skills

For starters, children who are introduced to a second language, are essentially challenging their brains to sort out multiple information and channel appropriate times to use each piece. By doing this, it is similar to solving riddles or puzzles – it forces the brain to consider information as a whole (call it “big picture thinking”) and sort out conflicting data. In terms of language learning, the child must sort out each language and decipher which language is appropriate to use at different times.

“Bilingual people often perform better on tasks that require conflict management… (because they possess) the ability to ignore competing perceptual information and focus on the relevant aspects,” explains the US National Library of Medicine.

Mastering Focus

Another benefit of bilingual education is the inadvertent mastery of focus and concentration. Since bilingual children must constantly think before speaking in order to ensure they choose the correct language to adequately communicate, they are naturally training their minds to reach mastery levels of focus and control.

“Because both of a bilingual person’s language systems are always active and competing, that person uses these control mechanisms every time she or he speaks or listens. This constant practice strengthens the control mechanisms and changes the associated brain regions,” the National Library of Medicine explains.

Critical Thinking

This level of concentration and focus that children with bilingual education will master, is what leads to an impressive critical thinking development. Essentially, by training their minds to pause before speaking and focus on what they wish to say, bilingual students learn the basis for a lifetime of critical thinking skills.

“Bilingual children as young as age 3 have demonstrated a head start on tests of perspective-taking and theory of mind – both of which are fundamental social and emotional skills,” reports NPR.org.

Overall, children who participate in bilingual education programs are proving to be more adept at communication in general, as well as having a greater cognitive ability and focus than their monolingual counterparts. Research continues to pour in on the benefits of bilingualism in early childhood education, but the results already reported have shown exponential plusses to international language learning.

 

Learn more about a bilingual education at Tessa International School here.

5 Tips to Teach Your Child to Share

I was standing at the door one morning as a child entered eating a breakfast roll. I jokingly asked if I could have a bite, to which the response was a resounding ”NO!” The mom told her child that it is nice to share, but the child insisted that “Mommy we are not supposed to share food!”.
In fact, young children do not yet grasp the concept of sharing. It is a complex developmental task. Here are a few tips on modeling teaching your child to share.

Too Young to Share?

If you’ve ever taken your young child to a public playspace you’ve undoubtedly heard parents or nannies barking at their little companion to share.

“Share, Frances!” “Arthur, you need to share!”

But there’s a difference between telling your child to share at playtime and teaching and modeling sharing behaviors to your child.

Sharing is so difficult for little ones because it involves so many of the big hard skills that they just haven’t mastered yet: self-regulation, communication, patience and empathy. They’re difficult concepts, and for that reason, sharing truly is a developmental milestone.

Before the age of 3.5, in fact, children really aren’t even able to wrap their minds around the concept of sharing, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics

“Sharing is complex and something children aren’t ready for developmentally and cognitively until about the age of four – and for some children older,” says Rachel Duda, VP of Learning at Vivvi. “If your child isn’t doing this yet at the age of 2 or 3 it is not something to be concerned about, because they’re not developmentally ready.” 

Before they get to this milestone though, she says, “It is important that grownups model sharing in everyday life and narrate and name what’s happening.”

Here are five steps to help you model and teach sharing to your child during playtime:

 

No Grabbing Please

Imagine being lost in a world of play with a toy and then another kid (or grown up!) grabs it and takes it away. Ouch! That can be so upsetting and disruptive. Sharing and taking turns is so much easier when there’s a firm No Snatching rule in place.

For a child that can understand fairness, this concept can be discussed: snatching never feels fair and little children really desire a sense of fairness. For a child not yet able to comprehend that, a little parenting redirection can help. When a snatch happens, help the child responsible give the toy back to the child who had it first and then help them negotiate sharing using the steps that follow this one.

Admittedly as parents, sometimes we need to pick up our child’s toys and get them out the door or in the bed—even when they don’t want us to do it. But here, we suggest giving your child warnings. “Two more minutes with the blocks before bedtime,” etc.

 

Complete their Play

When your young child is playing with blocks or dolls or pots and pans, they have a game at play. Although everyone else may be completely oblivious to what they’re doing, your young child has developed rules and missions and feelings for this game in their mind. And they’d really, really like to finish it before they have to give it to the next child in line. You can understand that, right?

Help them come to a natural completion of their play before they pass the toy off by allowing them the time and space they need to finish their game.

 

Put a time frame On It

You can help your child find a natural completion to their play by asking them how much longer they need. Would your child like one, two or three more minutes with their toy before they share it?

For example, you’d say, “Mila, it really seems like Libby would like a turn with that doll. How much longer would you like with a doll to finish up your game?”

If Mila says “I don’t want to share” you can remind her that she gets to choose how much longer she gets with the doll. Would she like one, two or three minutes?

 

Taking Turns

Once you’ve navigated your way through the initial share, you may see this is a toy many children are interested in having a turn with.

Help them figure out an order for their share rotation – who goes first, second, third. You may find the children organically play and pass off to the next child without any interference necessary. Yippee! If that isn’t the case, you have a few options. You can remind each child, “one more minute then pass to Elsie,” or you can bring out a timer.

Tip: Make sure to narrate and thank children for showing kindness. “Gigi, you passed the toy to Leon so gently! Great job!”

 

Give your child freedom to create the play on their own terms – but also are available to help with conflict resolution when needed.

 

Kathleen Visconti

Head of School

Tessa Receives Two New Accreditations

Tessa received two new internationally recognised accreditations. The school has been officially authorized as an IB World School for the Primary Years Programme, by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), and received the accreditation of the French Ministry of Education for our French pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten classes. 

Tessa International School became the first school in New Jersey to offer both the IB PYP and French National Program.  

These dynamic and goal-oriented programs provide our students with the skills to challenge themselves in an environment that holds them to the highest academic standards. This great honor acknowledges Tessa’s high standing as one of the best schools available, where your child can gain academic excellence and global understanding.

What does it mean to be an IB World School? 

Tessa International School is authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program. The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) is a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1968. The four programs offered by the IBO, taught in more than 5,000 schools around the world, have gained a reputation for their high academic standards, for preparing students for life in a globalized 21st century, and for helping to develop the citizens who will create a better, more peaceful world. 

A student leaving Tessa International School is prepared to transition smoothly into any schools in the IB network worldwide, and has the skill base to enter any other private or public school.

The PYP offers an inquiry-based, transdisciplinary curriculum framework that builds conceptual understanding. It is a student-centered approach to education for children aged 3-12. The PYP has evolved to become a world leader in future-focused education. The PYP is an example of best educational practice globally, responding to the challenges and opportunities facing young students in our rapidly changing world.

The four programs of the IB form a continuum all the way through highschool, and the curriculum of each extends beyond expert instruction in academic subjects, emphasizing intellectual, emotional and social development. 

Research shows that IB Students are likely to perform well academically – often better than students in other programs and often more likely to be recruited by top universities worldwide.

 

What are the benefits of the French Homologation? 

The French Ministry of Education has accredited Tessa International School for its preschool through kindergarten classes (Maternelle) as of September 2022. The French Accreditation leads in innovative teaching methods and has one of the world’s largest educational networks. There are over 535 schools in 139 countries (outside of France) with an AEFE (Agency of French Education Abroad) accreditation. 

A student leaving Tessa International School is prepared to transition smoothly into any schools in the AEFE network in the US, France, or any country in the world.

In a school like Tessa, where three languages are offered, such an accreditation does not only benefit the French language track but the Spanish and Mandarin ones too. The skills included in the French curriculum are sequential, progressive and developmentally relevant. We incorporate them in all 3 language track’s curriculum. 

The French curriculum is renowned worldwide for its high quality and opens the way, after highschool, to the world’s best universities, including English-speaking institutions.

Its approach focuses on research, problem solving, analysis and synthesis and alternance of group work, pair work and individual work. Students learning through the French curriculum are taught to truly respect academic prowess and independent, analytical thinking, emphasis on cultural knowledge.

The benefits of having this accreditation provides a level of uncompromised excellence for setting students up for success. 

The Remarkable Advantages of Social Emotional Learning: A Case Study

Educational paradigms are currently undergoing a profound and fundamental change. As we learn more about how children’s brains develop, educators are increasingly shifting away from a narrow focus on content, punctuated by occasional standalone lessons on social and emotional development, and into a new mode of instruction in which these formerly separate realms are integrated into one holistic curriculum. A recent case study demonstrates the success of these principles put into action.

CASEL, SEAD, and SEL

In order to understand the significance of the case study, we must first understand the principles of Social Emotional Learning (SEL). The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has developed a coordinating framework to be utilized by educators, families, and communities to promote intrapersonal, interpersonal, and cognitive competencies in students. To that end, CASEL has developed a framework of 5 Core Competencies.

  • self-awareness
  • self-management
  • social awareness
  • relationship skills
  • responsible decision-making

The Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (SEAD) works closely with educators, community leaders, families, employers, and partners like CASEL to fully integrate this approach into K-12 academic curriculum. The goal of SEAD is to compile and release a Report From the Nation, which will outline specific actions intended to usher in a new era of education. This model will support the full development of students, providing them with the skills and emotional maturity to excel not only in academics, but into adulthood.

Case Study: Capital City Public Charter School

SEAD’s first report in the series is a case study of a Washington, D.C. charter school. Capital City provides an innovative learning environment for its 1,000 K-12 students by being part of the Expeditionary Learning network, which emphasizes mastery of academics, production of high-quality work, and development of character.

In practice, this results in “learning expeditions”, such as when 3rd and 4th grade classes compared Washington’s temperate forests with tropical rainforests, incorporating trips to a local park and the National Zoo into the lesson plan. Another example is when 9th graders studied the ecology of local fish, with an emphasis on habitat preservation/restoration and the impact of human activity on fish populations.

This holistic and engaging approach to education makes Capital City fertile ground for the integration of Social Emotional Learning. SEAD’s case study demonstrates this by zeroing in on teacher Samantha Clark’s 6th grade math class. In this lesson, students have been learning geometric concepts by working, alone and in groups, on blueprints depicting their city. Clark calls a volunteer (Brandon) to the overhead projector to display a tightly scripted “peer critique” protocol for the feedback process.

  • First, Brandon describes exactly what he is working on and mentions problems he is having completing his portion of the project.
  • Next, Clark asks “clarifying questions” to fully understand Brandon’s concerns.
  • Then she provides specific feedback, leading with positive comments and following up with helpful guidance.
  • Brandon is then given a chance to respond before returning to his group to put into practice what they have just learned.

This process keeps students engaged, on task, and working together harmoniously. “I don’t see social and academic skills separately at all,” Clark says. “I don’t think first about designing a lesson and then think next about how to develop students’ social-emotional skills. It’s all one.”

To ensure high-quality instruction such as that provided by Clark, Capital City teachers are supported by instructional coaches, given dedicated time to create lesson plans, and frequently meet with other teachers across all grade levels to discuss overarching concerns and goals.

As a result, this charter school outpaces its overall district in growth of student proficiency (as measured by PARCC), and 100% of Capital City’s graduates go on to enroll in college. Despite these impressive achievements, head of school Karen Dresden is always striving to improve. “Our job is much broader than preparing kids for a test;” she says, “we’re preparing kids to do well in college, in careers, and in life. We want to make sure that they have all those skills.”

Other Examples

Also included in the case study are four other examples of successfully implemented SEL approaches.

  • San Francisco Unified School District – The pre-K – 12 math curriculum is taught using principles of “growth mindset,” in which students are taught to expect and embrace mistakes as learning opportunities. This approach focuses on enhancing conceptual thinking, problem-solving skills, and procedural fluency, avoiding the strict right/wrong binary that has led so many students to believe they are “bad” at math.
  • Facing History and Ourselves – This non-profit organization engages students in an examination of social justice issues throughout history with the goal of encouraging students to engage in and understand their role in an active democracy.
  • New Tech Network (NTN) – The NTN focuses on project-based learning, integrating content knowledge with critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and student responsibility.
  • Center for the Collaborative Classroom – This non-profit provides continuous learning for teachers to support the academic, ethical, and social development of children.

Integrating SEL into academic curriculum is clearly beneficial for not only students, but for teachers, parents, and communities as well. By utilizing these principles we can raise the next generation to be socially conscious problem solvers, effective communicators, and well-rounded humans, leading to a better future for all of us.

For more information on innovative approaches to learning, contact us!

Why Do Children Learn Languages Faster than Adults?

 

It’s a well-known fact that children pick up languages more easily than adults, and research supports this claim. But why is this the case? In this blog, we’ll explore the various factors that explain why children are better and faster at learning languages than adults.

The Environmental Advantages Children Have When Learning Languages

 

 Children have certain environmental advantages when it comes to learning languages that most adults don’t have. Unlike older children and adults, children aren’t formally instructed in language. Instead, they learn by being immersed in multilingual environments and passively “absorbing” the language through contact. For adults, immersion can be effective but costly. Children, on the other hand, have more time and energy to devote to language learning, and aren’t inhibited by anxiety or self-doubt, they learn much faster through immersion.

In addition, children aren’t judged as harshly as adults when it comes to language competence. They’re also less likely to be tested and feel less pressure to perform. This allows the learning process to be more natural and playful.

The Cognitive Advantages Children Have When Learning Languages

Children also have a cognitive advantage when it comes to learning languages. Babies and children form neural connections at a rapid pace, which makes learning new languages easier. As the brain develops, it becomes more specialized and reinforces the neural pathways that are regularly used. This is why those who learn a language at a very young age have the accent of a native speaker. Later in life, the brain’s neural shortcuts force us to fall back on the sounds and phonemes of languages we already know.

It is because of the brain’s elasticity and rapid neural formation that babies and young children are able to learn languages at a faster rate. This is sometimes referred to as the “critical period”. It is theorized that if a child does not learn any language, including non-verbal languages, during this time period that they may never be able to learn any language, because the necessary neural foundation for it has been permanently damaged. We can’t know the answer to this question because testing it would be inhumane.

The Critical Period of Language Learning

It’s difficult to determine which factors contribute the most to children’s superior language learning abilities. However, we do know that the earlier a child is exposed to language, the better. It’s theorized that if a child doesn’t learn any language during their “critical period,” they may never be able to learn a language effectively and easily in the later years of their development, because the necessary neural foundation for it has been permanently damaged.


At Tessa International School in Hoboken, we offer fully immersive bilingual environments that allow children to learn languages naturally. Don’t miss the critical years for language learning – visit us today to learn more!

A Look at the Importance of Differentiation in the Classroom

A Look at the Importance of Differentiation in the Classroom

Whether you’re a parent of one or a parent of a dozen, it doesn’t take long to figure out every child has their own pace and approach to life learning. Some children learn best by utilizing trial and error, some by a hands-on approach, and others may be more inclined to grasp concepts they can observe from the sidelines first. There’s virtually an unlimited number of unique ways in which children (and adults!) learn, so it goes without saying that a universal teaching approach is simply not effective. This is where differentiation learning comes in to play.

What Is Differentiation Learning?

Differentiation learning is a teaching technique that is used to reach each individual student through their own learning methods. In short, it is essentially the process of learning professionals getting to know each of their students well enough to understand how each of them learns best and utilize the best teaching approaches for that student. It requires a true understanding by teachers as well as a highly flexible curriculum approach in order to help maximize a student’s ability to grasp education content.

The teaching techniques involved in differentiation learning aren’t a set of magical approaches or workbooks to follow. Instead, the focus is simply on observing the ways in which students interact and learn individually and planning lessons and learning activities around these observations. Put simply, it’s knowing what ways your students are similar and different and organizing lesson plans according to them.

Why Is Differentiation Learning Important?

While differentiation learning requires a deep commitment to truly understand a student’s individual learning approaches, research has shown it to be a highly effective method. According to Waterford.org, “If you can adapt your instruction to reflect your students’ needs and learning preferences, you can make class time more effective and help students become more engaged.”

When children are presented options for exploring and learning new concepts in a manner they are most comfortable or familiar with, it leads to a greater level of involvement – and, by extension, a deeper understanding of the information at hand. Children thrive in environments that encourage learning at their level, and an increase in learning support also leads to an increase in learning focus.

Adaptive Teaching Techniques

It’s important to understand that this approach does not mean coming up with a customized school curriculum that has been tailored to each and every individual student. It isn’t coming up with 20 separate lesson plans for 20 separate classroom students. Differentiation learning does require flexibility with teaching techniques that can be tweaked to reach students based on their own learning capabilities, however, it is more about understanding the needs of students and providing effective options to help support the best possible learning environment as a whole. By providing a diverse set of learning tools and approaches, this technique allows for a high rate of learning success among students because it breaches any potential barriers by finding the right path for educational growth.

 

Social and Emotional Learning: Understanding Different Learning Progressions

Social and Emotional Learning: Understanding Different Learning Progressions

When it comes to the education of young children, development and learning opportunities do not end (or even begin) with traditional classroom studies. In fact, while book studies are certainly important, they are, by far, not the only learning process children need to be exposed to in order to obtain a well-rounded childhood development. Today, more and more emphasis is being placed on nourishing a child’s social and emotional learning process to boost essentially every other learning process they encounter.

What Is SEL (Social and Emotional Learning)?

According to Edutopia.org, “Social and emotional learning (SEL) provides a foundation for safe and positive learning, and enhances students’ ability to succeed in school, careers, and life.” By encouraging a healthy social engagement from children and outlining positive behaviors, SEL promotes a strong sense of self confidence, perpetuates positive attitudes toward all avenues of learning, and also gives way to improved social actions such as understanding, kindness, and collaboration.

The basis of SEL focuses on helping children develop more core attributes that will work in tandem with virtually every life experience they encounter. Essentially, SEL works by teaching children to effectively work together while having the skills to not only believe in their own abilities, but to also encourage and understand the abilities of those around them.

Emotional Development

With SEL, successful emotional development is centered around helping children achieve not only a positive self-image, but also arming them with the ability to positively and effectively maneuver through life’s challenges. To accomplish this, SEL focuses on the following emotional skills:

  • Self-Cognizance. This process involves helping children to thoroughly understand their own emotions, including how these emotions are linked to their thoughts, beliefs, and actions. By teaching children how to recognize these internal relations, as well as harness their own unique strengths, kids learn to develop a healthy level of confidence and self-worth.
  • Self-Control. Expanding on self-cognizance, self-control is focused on helping children learn to manage their emotions and find appropriate reactions for their behaviors. Be it reining in impulses or learning to stay on task to achieve a goal, self-control is about taking their emotional understanding to the next level by mastering their reactions to promote positive behaviors and outcomes.
  • Being Responsible. Taking emotional development one step further, SEL gives children the big picture by making them aware of the consequences of their actions for negative behaviors, as well as provides constructive pathways to more positive outcomes. This involves helping children to consider not only their own emotions and abilities, but also those of others around them, in order to effectively evaluate appropriate actions across a multitude of differences.

Social Development

The second aspect of SEL, social development, expands on the personal emotional development of children by casting a wider net to include learning how to build healthy relationships, curbing negative behaviors, and being socially aware of the diversities of others. By providing examples and pathways to both empathize, as well as communicate, with others, children gain a broader perspective on life experiences and are able to improve their overall learning capacity.

When combined, SEL is a critical part of a child’s development because it not only arms them with critical thinking skills, self-confidence, and essential communication techniques, but it also encourages an overall positive outlook on both healthy relationships as well as a deep sense of commitment to learning and connection with others. Social and emotional learning is the foundation for a more engaged learning experience that will last a lifetime.

The Benefits of Creative Thinking and How to Encourage it in Children

The Benefits of Creative Thinking and How to Encourage it in Children

When it comes to a child’s developmental process, few things can be as crucial to healthy progression as fostering creative thinking. While your child’s imagination and creativity may seem like nothing more than play time, activities that encourage this type of thinking and activity are helping your child to build a solid foundation for innovation and self-confidence. These factors considered, the benefits of creative thinking are quite simply, exponential.

How Creative Thinking Boosts Childhood Development

You may think your child’s imagination activities are an important “break” from learning in a more structured activity like school lessons – and, in a sense, they are – but the truth is, these creative activities are much more crucial to your child’s development than you may realize. Creative activities have so many developmental benefits, including:

  • Self-expression – this helps your child learn how to express their feelings and thoughts from an early age.
  • Problem-solving – by being allowed to freely explore their creative ideas, children gain valuable problem-solving skills as they try new ideas.
  • Curiosity and experimentation – ingenuity is born where curiosity and experimentation are merged, and that begins with creative thinking activities!
  • Insight – in addition to helping your child’s development within themselves, creative expression and activities allow parents and teachers to take a unique look inside your child’s mind. This provides an invaluable tool for tailoring teaching techniques and staying in tune with your child’s development and emotions.

Ways to Encourage Creative Thinking

Now that we’ve seen the enormous beneficial gains that come from encouraging free play and creative thinking, let’s take a look at ways in which we can provide ample opportunities for our kids to partake in them. One of the easiest (and most often thought of) ways for children to use creative thinking is with art. Drawing, painting, and coloring provide an excellent medium for kids to express their imaginations and emotions.

While drawing and painting may be the most popular activity to use to encourage creative thinking, it is, by far, not the only form of self-expression. In fact, many children may not show any interest in the activity at all. In order to truly encourage this type of development, it’s imperative that you take the time to truly listen to your child and focus on what does interest them. Creative thinking activities come in many shapes and sizes, such as:

  • Modeling clay, putty, play dough, and other moldable mediums for sculpting
  • Piano, drums, violin, singing, and any other form of musical play and interpretation
  • Hiking, exploring, and nature or history-inspired trips
  • Photography
  • Chalk drawings (other than traditional paper)
  • Shadow puppets and shape experimenting with lights
  • Mixed media baskets (allow child to create items on their own with miscellaneous and unrelated objects such as cardboard, paper clips, buttons, etc.)

Long-Term Benefits to Imaginative Play

The possibilities for creative thinking and imaginative play are practically endless. The benefits of such play are equally endless. Foster your child’s ingenuity and build up their self-confidence levels as well as help them to develop healthy forms of self-expression with one simple activity: creative thinking.

The Private School Advantage: Why you should consider an Independent School for your Child

The pandemic has changed education forever, and  more families are seeking out schools that are fully in-person rather than remote. As of mid-October, 6 in 10 independent schools were operating in-person and just 5% were fully online, according to a survey by the National Association of Independent Schools.

Tessa International School is open –on-site with virtual class options. Thanks to our dedicated staff, our day-time and night crew cleaners, and to the collaboration of our families, we maintain a safe environment for our community. Since reopening in June, we’ve put in place and continually improve strict cleaning protocols as well as social distancing measures. Most of all, communication with and among our community has resulted in Tessa staying safe.

This flexibility is only one of the reasons that make Independent Schools so special. Here are 8 more reasons why you should think about sending your child to private school:

1. Independence in the truest sense of the word.

Independent school teachers have the freedom to create educational experiences that meet each child’s needs.

  • Guided by the International Baccalaureate, the requirements of the NJ department of Education and European / Chinese standards, our program at Tessa reflects our philosophy, our knowledge and experience. We review and revise it annually, keeping it relevant, challenging and engaging for our students.

2. Mission-driven education.

Each independent school is driven by its own unique philosophy, values, and approach to teaching.

  • At Tessa, through understanding and respect, we aim to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring children. We prepare our students to be leaders of the future that they will live in and happy world citizens.

3. High academic standards.

Independent schools nurture intellectual curiosity, stimulate personal growth, encourage critical thinking, and promote a lifelong love of learning.
  • At Tessa, we provide a world-class education, based on the most successful international models. We emphasize social emotional development of children in conjunction with strong academic challenge.

4. Small classes that allow for individual attention.

Low student-teacher ratios encourage close connections between instructors and students.
  • Our Adult to Child Ratios do not exceed 1:5 in Nursery, 1:7 in Preschool, 1:10 in Kindergarten and Primary.

5. Excellent teachers.

Independent school instructors teach in their areas of expertise. They strive to develop a full understanding of each student’s learning style, interests, and motivation.
  • Our teachers are all native speakers in the target-language. We are very proud to be part of a multi-cultural community of energetic, experienced education professionals who are open-minded and deeply invested in their work.

6. Education for the whole child.

In addition to academics, independent schools also nurture students’ personal and social growth and civic conscience.
  • The “Tessa Touch” is what makes our school different: In addition to our academic core, we incorporate values, a “savoir vivre” to our curriculum. These include table manners, celebrating diversity, caring for the environment…

7. Inclusiveness.

Independent schools foster diverse and vibrant student communities that welcome and respect every family.
  • Here at Tessa, we are very proud of the many cultures – 33 different cultural backgrounds – in our staff and community. This wonderful mix of backgrounds, along with our curriculum is what makes our school, and your child’s education, truly international – and special!

8. A community of parents who actively participate in their children’s education. 

As a parent, you can actively engage in your student’s education, because the staff and teachers want and value your participation.
  • The Parent Organization plays a vital role in Tessa International School’s community-building efforts. It is the School’s and PO’s joint mission to build a cohesive, global-minded community and work together to make a difference in every child.

Private schools create an environment where your child can develop intellectually, emotionally and socially. Parents who value small class sizes, increased safety, a connected community and dedicated teachers find that private schools are a good fit for their child and provide an optimal education experience.

To set your child up for academic success, consider enrolling in private school. Send us a message or call us at (201) 755-5585. We are happy to answer your questions, and we look forward to speaking with you. To learn more about our school, please join us for a virtual information session, or schedule a private tour.

5 Tips to Help Kids Stay Safe During Their Return to the Classroom

5 Tips to Help Kids Stay Safe During Their Return to the Classroom

By now, you’ve likely done your due diligence researching the health and safety guidelines for our children’s return to the classroom. You know how and when to handle modified drop offs and pickups. You know to monitor your child’s health and keep up with doctor visits and immunizations. The list of new safety guidelines may seem endless, but they are necessary. So how do we go about easing the stress they may put on children as they return to the classroom?

How to Ease the Return to the Classroom

Though it may seem like a lot to take in, there are a few things parents can do to help prepare their children for the first day of post-pandemic school. By helping children understand what to expect, it will normalize the new routines and simplify the entire process. Here are 5 tips to help ease the transition safely:

1 – Remain Positive

Children pick up on our emotions and feelings, even if we don’t express them verbally in front of them. The best way to help children remain positive about the new practices they’ll be facing, is by remaining positive ourselves. Be aware of what we are saying (both verbally and non-verbally) and try to focus on the positives.

2 – Practice Hygiene Routines at Home

This is something you’ve likely been doing already but stressing the importance of proper hygiene at home will help children continue to do so at school. Get them in the habit of washing their hands at least once an hour as well as utilizing hand sanitizer and being mindful of keeping their hands away from their faces.

3 – Make a Practice Run to School

It’s one thing to explain a new school drop off or pickup routine to your children, but it’s quite another to experience it. Children often learn best by actively participating in something versus simply being told, so it can be greatly beneficial to try a practice run to school before the first day. This can help them better visualize what to expect when they arrive on the first day.

4 – Keep Open Communication About What’s to Come

Another crucial element to easing the transition back to school is to keep an open line of communication with children as well as school administration. Knowing what the specific guidelines and protocol will be and effectively helping our children understand them through open communication is key to normalizing the new routines.

5 – Get in the Routine Ahead of Time

Lastly, as with every school year in the past, transitioning back to school routines can be tough if kids are not prepared. This year should be treated no different on that aspect. Help children be ready on the first day of school by getting them in the habit of school day routines well in advance. Help them by regulating bedtimes, morning processes, and having schedules in place.

Despite the uncertainties that may be felt about the reopening of schools, we can help our children be safe and prepared by our actions and our communication efforts. Be the example and prepare them for a healthy return to the classroom!

Start Your Journey With Us

Tessa International School

Office: (201) 755-5585 | Location: 720 Monroe St. Hoboken, NJ 07030