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Beyond The Books: What’s Being Taught in Our TJS Classrooms

Did you know- The curriculum at The Joseph School (TJS) is custom developed to meet the needs of TJS students! By creating a custom curriculum, TJS has the ability to focus on subjects and lessons that may not be present in a typical Haitian classroom. Our Culturally Committed Curriculum directly aligns with our mission of preparing the next generation of student leaders in Haiti.

Language

For instance, The Joseph School places a specific focus on language development with the goal of preparing every TJS graduate to compete in a global marketplace. TJS students study three languages during their primary school years (1st through 6th grade): Creole, French, and English. A fourth language, Spanish, is added in 7th grade. This gives students opportunities to see how communication is affected by words and language semantics.

Social and Emotional Skills

The Joseph School’s custom curriculum allows learning to go beyond math, science, and other academic subjects. TJS teachers understand the critical role of social and emotional learning for the students and how these skills promote student success. Social emotional skills help students develop ways to express themselves which promote kindness, sharing, problem solving, and empathy for others. 

A focus on these skills helps develop academic excellence and build students’ confidence in their ability to become transformational leaders for their generation. Skills are practiced through coordinated classroom, school-wide, family, and community practices. Four key skills are focused on:

Personal awareness and management of emotions, values and stressors

Social awareness of others’ needs

Relationship skills and problem solving

Responsible decision making

Life Skills

TJS teachers are passionate about helping students learn and negotiate these current challenges, and our custom curriculum supports their efforts. This learning involves an understanding that each student has life skill needs. The Joseph School teaches communication in multiple ways and makes sure each student has a way to express themselves. In our curriculum, we cover verbal, non-verbal, written communication, and listening. The Joseph School believes it is important to be able to express opinions in a way that works best for each individual student. We also believe that active listening skills are essential for strong leadership. TJS teaches the students not just to listen, but to comprehend, ask questions and respond accordingly.

Leadership Development

The Joseph School’s goal is to create generational transforming leaders. This includes teaching them to have high standards for themselves and to set an example for others to follow. Students at The Joseph School attended classes in civics and theology, which provide a foundation for how to treat others with respect and kindness, being honest and trustworthy, and taking responsibility for their actions

Education is an important part of any child’s development, however, at The Joseph School it is even more critical. Haiti is in a season of tremendous challenges economically, politically, and socially. TJS understands that social emotional skills are extremely important not only to the health and wellbeing of each individual, but to developing strong, caring leaders. This is crucial knowledge as our students learn how to have hope for their futures and build creative ways to negotiate possible solutions in these stressful times.

Now more than ever, it is clear that “Haiti does not have an education problem. Haiti has a leadership problem.” Thanks to the generous support of donors across the globe, The Joseph School is working to do more than just educate the next generation of Haitian leaders. The Joseph School is committed to developing informed and passionate leaders of Haiti.


Happy Harvesting

In the spring of 2020 The Joseph School expanded the size of its garden, adding more types of vegetables, focusing on the orchard, and testing the soil. Now, over a year later, our garden has provided many valuable experiences for our students and staff.

TJS Students Helping in the Campus Garden.

The garden began as an educational tool for our students. Gardening is a useful skill that teaches our students responsibility, decision making, team work, and how to use and care for their natural resources. Through their experience with the TJS garden, our students will know and understand the steps to create at-home gardens.

Beyond the educational benefits, gardening and producing our own food is financially advantageous. Our garden can provide hunger relief and necessary nutrients for our school of over 200 students and a team of 60. Using the harvests from the garden promotes health and wellness by supplying our students with fresh, natural and unprocessed foods. Nutrition has always been a part of the student sponsorship program at The Joseph School. Now that the garden has continued to grow, we are so excited for our students to reap the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables in their daily meals. 

 

Additionally, the garden has already started to alleviate some of the costs associated with providing meals for the school; and we are excited by the prospect of growing our crop to not only provide for our school, but the surrounding community as well.

During Summer 2021, we saw our first community garden event with the harvest of over 900 watermelons! TJS students, their families and members of our local community all came to campus to help harvest the watermelons and partake in a massive melon feast. We feel incredibly humbled and blessed that the garden has given our students the opportunity to see firsthand how their hard work can help not only themselves but those around them.

Watermelon Day 2021 at The Joseph School.

Furthermore, our garden is helping our team develop a seed library, for our specific terrain. The past year has allowed us to test various seeds and determine which can be harvested and replanted this year and for years to come. Our most successful crops have been coconuts, plantains and bananas, corn, cucumber, watermelon, beans and sweet potatoes.

Gardening is a great tool to teach our students hard-work, dedication and resourcefulness. We feel so blessed for the generosity of our donors who made this project possible. Be sure to check out our social media pages to catch updates and more photos from our garden.

If you would like to support the garden project at The Joseph School, please donate here.

(From left to right) Fritzlande, Samella and Witchy helping in the TJS garden.

Congratulations to Our Graduates!

TJS teaching team with completion certificates from P4H training.

Three years ago, The Joseph School began a professional development partnership with P4H Global, a Haitian organization dedicated to empowering and developing Haitian teachers.

This year’s session culminated P4H’s three-year program, meaning our TJS teachers are now graduates! Moving forward, the teachers that completed all three years of P4H training can become qualified trainers themselves to continue building professional development opportunities for future leaders at The Joseph School.

The theme of this year’s program focused on leadership, specifically teachers as leaders, students as leaders, and parents as leaders. 

Day 1 included lessons on:

– What is Leadership?
– What is your Leadership Style?
– Teachers are Leaders
– Ethics in Education

Day 2 focused on the students with lessons in:

– Social Emotional Learning
– 21st Century Learning
– Growing Student Leaders

The final day discussed:

– Parent and Family Involvement
– School and Family: Partners in Leadership

To close out the training, our teachers participated in a strategy clinic, which provided an opportunity to plan how they would incorporate the leadership topics learned during the week, into their teaching throughout the school year.

TJS teacher participation in a P4H leadership lesson.

We are so thankful to P4H for providing this incredible experience for our teachers three years in a row. The Joseph School takes great pride in offering professional development opportunities for its teachers and team and P4H is a large part of that goal. 

We are looking forward to the future and seeing how our teachers will continue to grow and guide TJS students toward success.

Mesi anpil P4H!

Teacher collaboration during P4H training at TJS.
Teambuilding activity during P4H training.