Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Meaningful Event

Charlotte's school sent out an invitation to all parents of the 4yr old to attend a short 1.5hr event last Saturday. We were told to bring the child and they were asked to be in their uniform with tidy hair and clean socks. I was wondering why when I read the invitation because it was on a non-school day but then some parents told me that they will be presenting a little performance, that's why. Luckily it was a holiday replacement for her ballet class, otherwise I will be struggling which event should I send her to.

So everybody woke up on Saturday morning just like any other weekday morning instead of the usual lay back, sleep-in Saturday. Charlotte was very excited about the performance and was happily getting ready for school. We were greeted with warm welcome and respect when we arrived and once we got ourselves seated we read the agenda of the event projected on the screen, and yes the first agenda was a performance by the 4yr old! Then a series of updates by the teachers and principal. I thought I was "kiasu" as I made sure my camera was charged and memory card was not fully loaded before I left the house, but when I was at the school I noticed that almost all parents were prepared with cameras and even video cam! Of course, we were talking about our kids! So I guess no "kiasu" is too "kiasu" anyway :)

They presented a very nice song named "感谢" (Grateful) with sign language:



After the song, the children returned to their classroom while the parents received a full update from the school principal and teachers about their daily activities in the school since the semester started in Jan. There were video clips of what the children did in the school from the moment they arrived in the morning, the classroom activity, lunch, afternoon nap, lessons and other fun activities. I was very pleased with this type of update as we usually don't get to know or see what happened to them once we said goodbye at the gate. Although the teachers were always very kind to answer us when we have any concern or question about our children's well-being at school, nothing compared to a short video clip that you get see for yourself!

We were then presented with another surprise when we told that the children were going to serve us (parents) with snacks that they prepared. The kids were lining up with a tray on their little hands and they walked very gracefully towards their parents and served with great pride! It was not about showing off how well they present the food, it was all about gratefulness. They were taught to give thanks and appreciate the effort of people who helped them. I tell you, so many of us had tears of happiness in our eyes that moment!

Oh ya, the children had their snacks before they serve us. I didn't know it until we were home and was asking Charlotte if she was hungry. She told me "I eat triangle bread (sandwich) already in the school". Thank you very much to the teachers for being so thoughtful!

One thing that I am most pleased with the teaching is the values, the disciplines and the character building that they coach, and everyone in the school lives the teaching including the teachers, principal, and even helpers. The children are the reflection of ourselves and it is very important to live as example for the little ones. I am also not objecting the basic independent skills of life that the school is including it as part of the teaching. Things such as they are encouraged to make their bed themselves (for the afternoon nap), fold their laundry (the dirty uniform after lunch), clean up their own utensils after meals and etc. To me, these are important discipline in life besides academic achievements. Some may think "Doesn't matter! We have maid at home, why should my children do all this thing?" or "Why the school is wasting time teaching that while they are suppose to teach all the ABC and 123?". This was why the school took the effort to visit the new students before the academic year started, to ensure the parents understood the difference between this school and those commercial kindies and the expectations are calibrated. They do have academic focus and the teaching syllabus are according to the government's requirements, it's just that the balance is different. We appreciate the basic discipline, values and independent skills very much and we are committed to reemphasize the school's teaching at home too. We think that these are some of the very important "human" values that money cannot buy.

Towards the end of the session, there was a video clip sharing by the Master Cheng Yen and one of the many elements shared which I couldn't agree more was when she mentioned that it will be a waste if the smartness of someone is not guided with wisdom and goodness. We saw many high tech and highly sophisticated crime cases at this century, aren't they all smart people? A fundamental of goodness and wisdom is an important seed to plant in young children.

Some of you know that I am a Christian and you probably are surprised by my description in this post. I am still a Christian, but I am not against Buddhism and I am not against good elements of living for sure. Religion is something that someone realized for themselves but it is not something that encourages you to go against the others.


  1. The school sounds so impressive. And I love the teachings and emphasis that the school gives to things other than academic performance.

  2. True, we need to cultured them with values from young.

  3. Hooi Ling - I couldn't agree with you more on your view of instiling good values and discipline. Looks like the school is doing a good job in that area as well. I'm so touched with the gestures (video clips, presentations, etc) and I think it just made your day on that day, isn't it? :-)