ISMILE 10th Anniversary
19 February 2018
Time flies when you’re having fun and doing the things you love! That’s what they say, and it’s been very true here at ISMILE. It is the most rewarding feeling to see one growing to his/her own full potential, fulfilling God’s fruitful destiny for him/her. We can hardly believe it was 10 years ago when ISMILE Bellezza first opened its doors to receive the precious little children. Back then, we started with only 1 Infant & Toddler class and 15 students for the first school year. It is still in our vivid memory when Ms. Mei and I would do from A to Z; even to the point of dressing up and dancing as African women during our first ISMILE Open House and a teacher accompanying us as a Mexican guitarist wearing a big Sombrero hat. Having been serving as children ministers ourselves for several years, we have a natural click with the children and boy, did we enjoy every moment of our time spent with them!
Today, after 10 years have passed, we are still every bit as passionate and committed to God’s calling to raise a generation of young leaders who are God-fearing and excellent in every aspect of their lives through education.
From the onset, ISMILE sets itself apart to be a high quality Early Childhood provider in Indonesia. Our curriculum is designed to foster critical thinking and creative problem solving. We strive in instilling positive character values in the children and building their self-esteem by respecting that they are active constructors of their own knowledge. Learning experiences become more enriching and engaging for the children as they are given the freedom to discover and explore an abundant of possibilities. Our rich and diverse learning environments across all centers are also designed to deepen children’s investigations into the world around them and focus on collaboration, creativity, and community.
At ISMILE, we see each child as a little acorn, with its huge potential hidden inside to grow into a full strong oak tree. In gratitude to God, we remember the faithfulness of all who have labored as members of dedicated educators and supporting staff, nurturing and growing these seedlings at its early stage of growth with the common belief that these little acorns will one day become “oaks of righteousness” in the society. As life is a continuous learning journey, we value adults’ learning as well as children’s learning and have developed high-quality learning opportunities for educators at ISMILE, so that their pedagogical knowledge will be constantly updated, upgraded and challenged. Under the constant guidance and mentoring of Ms. Gillian, our Education Consultant, our team of teachers and Management are encouraged to be lifelong learners, just like the students who are under them.
The ISMILE story is a testimony of God’s faithfulness and immeasurable goodness as He grows ISMILE from its humble beginning in Bellezza to its current 7 centers all over Indonesia today. We are immensely grateful for the opportunity to be an integral partner with the ISMILE families to shape and educate the heart and mind of their children. Moving forward together as a team with one shared vision to the next decade of endeavors, we commit all our plans unto God’s gracious hands and trust that He will continue to journey with us; guiding us with His unfailing love and wisdom – to be a shining beacon wherever we are!
Thank you once again for the trust and support of ISMILE families all these years. May God bless your family abundantly.
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 seven centers 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 lifelong 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.
Proverbs 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.”