We are delighted to have Mrs. Stefanie Attia on the TCS faculty teaching first grade this year!
Stefanie came to TCS with a rich array of teaching experiences. She began teaching first grade as a missionary in a charity school in the Garbage City of Cairo. After returning to her hometown of Liverpool England, she volunteered in a special needs ministry at her local church for adults with special needs. Not long after, she immigrated to the United States, where she continued her education and worked as a substitute teacher in her local school district. After receiving her dual teaching license (B.A. in Education K-6 / Special Education K-12), Stefanie taught in the Summit Public School District, ECLC in Chatham as a special education teacher, and worked in the Bridgewater Raritan Public School District and the Midland School for individuals with disabilities. She also taught Sunday school in her church when her own children were little.
Learn more from Mrs. Attia, how Covid drew her to TCS, and how she is preparing her first graders for their future.
What/Who inspired you to take up teaching?
I have always wanted to teach since I was little, but at the age that most people go to college, God had other plans for me. At the age of 18, I went on a mission trip around the word visiting 5 countries in 5 weeks including Germany, Belgium, Spain, Gibraltar, and Morocco. After this I was called to work in a charity school in Egypt teaching English to 1st grade students in the Garbage City. After immigrating to the United States, I enrolled in college and throughout my journey I have met some wonderful teacher mentors that inspired me and guided me on my journey. I was also very blessed to complete some of my student teacher hours at TCS a few years back, and learn from some of the amazing TCS educators
Why did you choose to teach at TCS?
The timing was perfect because TCS was looking for teachers at the same time the Lord was leading me to a change of environment. COVID-19 has been hard on everyone. I wanted to teach in a safe, faith-based Christian environment that is committed to keeping students learning in person as much as possible. At TCS the students get the faith-based education that they deserve. This is also the reason that my 9th grade daughter now attends the high school at TCS. I wanted her to have a quality Christ-centered education in person. My husband and I attended an open house last year, and we both knew immediately that it was the right place for our daughter.
How are you integrating faith and learning as you teach at TCS?
We start out every day with our pledges and prayer. God is at the center of everything that I do and teach. When planning all my lessons, along with goals and objectives, Bible integration is of utmost importance. We know that God is a God of order and that He does not change, so teaching the Bible is not just confined to my daily Bible lessons or weekly Chapel, it is an integral part of everything I teach. I see God’s hand in math, science, and social studies and music and help my students to make those connections daily to get closer to God.
In what ways do you want to prepare students for life beyond TCS?
I teach my students to be confident and as independent as possible. I always tell my students that I want them to be problem solvers and to think for themselves. Yes, I know that they are only first graders. But you should see the look on their faces when they ask me to do something for them, and I ask them, “what are some ways we can solve this problem?” and they solve it all by themselves. They also know I am there to help and guide them whenever they need me, but I want my students to grow in confidence and ability in a safe environment. I also want them to be so confident in what they believe in, that they are able to share their faith with others after they leave TCS.
Another way I am preparing students for life after TCS is Fun Friday STEM. This is a time for students to be able to use their critical thinking skills to cooperate with peers and solve problems, to create and construct, and to discover. These are all important skills that students will need in their life after TCS.
Anything you would like to share about your experience at TCS thus far?
This is my first year, and I love how our administrators are so encouraging and lead by example. I feel appreciated here. Leadership never asks you do something that they wouldn’t do themselves. It doesn’t matter what the job is, everyone is willing to help and support each other, and this sets a great example for our students.