Message from ISMILE Director

 

The wider the range of possibilities we offer children, the more intense will be their motivations and the richer their experiences ~ Loris Malaguzzi

As we pass our 10th year mark, we are extremely grateful to God for bringing us to where we are today – with six centres all over Indonesia. Every child who comes through our doors reflects the trust given by the family that their child will be nurtured in earnest.

As one team, the school leadership took the time to reflect on where to go from this point; we asked ourselves the all too important question, “Where do we go from here?” This question led to another, more thought-provoking, one – how can we help our children learn better so that they will excel as life-long learners possessing integrity and shine wherever they go?

The most apparent take away from this exercise is that as educators, we need to walk our talk that life is one of continuous learning, and if pedagogical research shows that there are better ways to help children to learn, then it is our responsibility to provide the best learning opportunities.

Children are active constructors of their own knowledge.

As we start the new academic year of 2017-2018, we are stepping out of the box and presenting the children with not only classroom activities; we have also intentionally prepared our environment with many hands-on learning spaces for our children. These learning invitations, while aesthetically inviting, also provide open-ended possibilities for their creative minds. Children’s learning now extends beyond the walls of the classrooms as they step into nature, the light room, the gym and others – where they explore, they collaborate and they discover.

Documentation of children’s learning stories are captured by excited teachers who are awed by the children’s capacity to learn. Learning has never been so FUN, ENGAGING and rich with EXPERIENCES – not only for the children but for their teachers as well.

Pedagogy must be oriented not to the yesterday, but to the tomorrow of the child’s development ~ Lev S. Vygotsky

The era of technological advancement means schools have to prepare our children for tomorrow’s unchartered territories. And we believe that nurturing them with positive character values during this golden period of their lives would provide them the unshakeable foundation for life’s challenges: arming them with the resilience to stand up again when they fall, making them unafraid to make mistakes, allowing them to dare to speak the truth, and showing them how to give their best in all that they do.

Prov 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.

We also recognize the need to nurture our children’s thinking – making them realize that there is more than one way to solve a problem, encouraging them to think creatively to discover the abundance of possibilities, giving them the venue to communicate and collaborate respectfully with those around them, and motivating them to always desire to learn new things.

Partnering with parents and the community to prepare tomorrow’s leaders today!

Building supportive relationships among the families, the community and the school is essential – as it takes a village to raise a child.  Parents, being the primary caregivers, are the key contributors to the child’s emotional well-being and holistic development. Thus, a commitment to working closely with parents will enable us to foster effective learning in our children. And engaging with the local community – drawing on their knowledge, resources and expertise – will help expand the  children’s connectedness to the wider world, giving them a sense of security and belonging beyond the school.

Together let us respect that each child is unique and is a champion; give him a safe, high quality and holistic learning environment where he can thrive. Let us heed what Maria Montessori said, “Free the child’s potential and you will transform him into the world.”  

Neeltje Sutandjati is a proud mother of three children. She holds a Masters degree in Education and tirelessly pursues the best practices for the chain of schools she operates.