Sitara is a professional development school.
That means our teachers are learning on the job!
Teacher Training Institute (TTI): Sitara is a professional development school. Both students and teachers are learning all the time. Our motto is “Teaching for Understanding”. That means we must educate our teachers in the most up to date methods of pedagogy. The Institute was started in 2011 by director, Sommieh Flower, a veteran educator from the USA. Asma Sayyam, the upper school principal continued the Institute’s work by providing computer courses and and classes in educational methodology, all free of charge to the teachers. Additionally, experts in project based learning, early childhood education, English, Phonics and Tajweed are brought in on a regular basis to work with teachers.
Another silver lining of COVID has been the expansion of our professional development team. Through the efforts of an extraordinary volunteer, we now offer free online English conversation sessions to our teachers and to the teachers of other deserving schools in Islamabad. These one to one weekly sessions have given our staff encouragement in improving their English through speaking practice with an online volunteer.
Not only that, but we also have biweekly online and in person teacher education sessions and plenty of access for teachers to great online resources. Our plan is to expand both the virtual and in person classes for aspiring teachers from other deserving schools. Funding this project will extend our outreach to so many more children!
Sitara’s curriculum is customized to meet the needs of every child. This is a necessity because many of the students come to Sitara without prior schooling, even at the age of 10 or 12. Several boys, like Asad and Raheem, local goat herders, actually came and enrolled themselves. After initial struggles they have worked hard and caught up to their peers.
Their happy, inquisitive faces tell the story better than I can!