Lucas has moved up! We attended his school’s Moving Up Ceremony last weeks and as I was watching my son perform and receive his diploma, I was beaming with pride. I thought I will not get teary-eyed but I did when my son took the mic with confidence and delivered his short spiel.He is such a smart boy. I can’t believe that nine months ago he couldn’t even talk in front of our relatives without crying.
Finding a school for Lucas wasn’t easy. I shared before that I was clear what kind of approach will help my child build the confidence that he needs. We opted for a progressive school because when we learned that their concept was learning thru play, I knew that was the perfect approach for my newbie preschooler. Fast forward to now, I couldn’t have chosen a better school for him.
His school brought out his best abilities which are reading and math. His teachers also brought out the enthusiastic learner in him. Sure there were mornings when he’d say he doesn’t want to go to school but only because he doesn’t want to wake up yet, but he would always, always have the biggest smile when he enters their classroom and when he comes home from school. He was always excited to show me the stickers or stamps on his hand showing what letter or number they talked about that day. I noticed he was always excited to learn new things and would initiate reviewing their lessons with me.
Their class was small. For a class of nine, there were two teachers and one teacher aid. That was important to me because I knew their teachers would be able to focus on each child’s needs.
When I met with his teachers during the first parent-teacher one-on-one last September, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an 8-page report of Lucas’ daily activities. Reading it made me feel like I was watching him during his school day. It was detailed from the time he arrives in school til the time he leaves for home. The teachers did such a splendid job highlighting his interests and areas that need encouragement. The best part of that first PTA meeting is when I saw and felt how sincere his teachers were in terms of his development. One of my concerns that I raised with them is Lucas’ ability to communicate clearly to us. His teachers told us that it will be their primary goal for the second term. By December last year, Lucas was communicating to almost everybody. By the end of the school year, he was confidently communicating. Period. During that one-on-one meeting, and even the last one we had before the school year ended, I never felt my son was doing poorly in some areas but I felt inspired to guide him better. Yes, inspired is the right word. Not obliged.
At the start of the year Lucas was also very very shy. Apart from not talking much, he was not comfortable performing and gets easily scared in front of a crowd. That was evident during their class’ first performance last September. It was the first and last performance that Lucas cried because after that event, he danced his heart out in the succeeding performances. Even I was pleasantly surprised to see how much he has improved in that area.
The teachers make sure that the parents are involved in the children’s activities. Every week we get to see the lessons and activities our children accomplished. They (the teachers) send over a notebook with their notes on how Lucas interacted, behaved and performed in class. They would even send over pictures of the children in class!
I also liked the school’s activities albeit we missed some of them. I recall the first outdoor activity of the school where we visited Jamba Juice in ATC and the children made their own smoothies with the guidance of crew. They also went to the supermarket to learn about different grocery items. Other activities included a visit to the zoo, a student’s house (to learn about family), and a bike ride at a nearby park, and a visit to nearby establishments and talk about community work. The children were learning through experience.
I am so glad we chose The Little Apprentice to be Lucas’ first school. I could not have chosen a better one. I can see that he had a wonderful experience in school which, I believe, helped him develop his gusto for learning. Yes, sending a child to school is not cheap but when I see the joy learning and school was bringing him, and how much it has contributed to his development make it worth every hard-earned cent that we paid. Mike and I also had a great experience with the school and the teachers. Special thanks to Teacher Michelle and Teacher Queen because their passion for teaching and genuine concern for the students reflected on the children. They didn’t only took the time to know the children, they also took the time to know us parents.
Yes, we chose the right school with the right approach for Lucas. He may have learned the same lessons in other schools but the approach developed something more important in my son. These are self-efficacy, self-confidence, enthusiasm for learning and joy in learning.
Are you choosing a school for your child? Observe what approach your child needs. The best school is the one with an approach that can bring out the best potential in him/her.
Ms. Rina Montemayor