In our recent Bogor and Bali retreat to reflect on how to sustain a culture of continuous improvement and excellence, we were reaffirmed by:
- Our consistent and reflective approaches to child development and education that are grounded in research and evidence-based practices
- We see children’s highly effective learning accompanied by their joy and confidence, and
- Parents’ updates from time to time of our alumni’s prestigious achievements in their elementary and higher grades
We are truly grateful and fortunate to have a great team that has creative wisdom and passionate energy as they strive to provide the best education possible for early learners. This is seen in their quest for continuous training and professional development, which ISMILE does throughout the year. This has been an ISMILE hallmark because we believe in training and equipping our educators so we can provide high-quality education and nurturing environments for young children. We work hard and find it highly rewarding when we see our children soar.
Of course, it is crucial that we engage closely with parents and communities. Our children’s holistic development is our ultimate collective objective, and by offering consistency and continuity between home and school, we can enhance their educational journey and experience. We are intentional and proactive in our collaboration with parents because parents are the child’s first and most influential teachers. Parents know their child’s interests, strengths, and challenges. By working together, educators can adjust their teaching strategies to each child’s unique learning style and preferences to support each child’s holistic development, well-being, and success. As with community engagement through extended activities, we allow children to be exposed to real-world applications by hearing and seeing a variety of perspectives, which supports the children’s optimal learning.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Prov 22:6
As we, the educators, have the blessed advantage of being with the little ones on a daily basis, we may instill positive character values and morals as early as possible, such as resilience, kindness, generosity, attentiveness, humility, respect, and so on. One consistent piece of feedback we receive is that our alumni, besides their high achievements, are bold, confident, articulate, well-mannered, kind, and helpful. Indeed, we beam with pride and are grateful for the opportunity to mold the children.
Our children are nurtured from a young age to work collaboratively, problem solve as a team and independently, and reach out to the community for real-life applications. 21st-century skills, such as critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, self-regulation, negotiation, and communication, begin at an early age through project work and active experiential learning. Our child-centered eclectic program encourages our children to develop divergent, critical thinking when they problem-solve. These are valuable skills for life, and they can certainly be nurtured during the golden age period.
Inclusion and Special Needs Education: We are a bit late in developing a supporting structure to help the little ones who require additional assistance. However, we have seen the benefits of the inclusion of children with diverse abilities and special needs in mainstream ECE settings and are convinced that with early intervention and support, these children can thrive. We are working on providing specialized support and collaborating more purposefully with experts as we offer more inclusive environments for these children.
Cultural and Local Context: How to incorporate more cultural and local elements, for Indonesia has such rich diversity and traditions This could help children build a strong sense of identity and pride in their heritage.
Sustainability: Raise our children’s awareness and respect for the environment and nature at an early age so they become future stewards of the Earth.
Well, there is still much room for further improvement, and we have to work harder to groom our children to be responsible and transformational global citizens of tomorrow. Praying for His wisdom and guidance as He leads us each step of the way to help our children shine in the areas God has destined them to be!