Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Women have long established their place in the community, going beyond the confines of home and family. To this date, they are strong forces which continue to bring innovation and growth in the society, more so among the children.

I honestly have great admiration for women in the academe who help carve out a better future for our country by educating our young ones. It takes a lot of passion, patience and dedication to put together an effective learning and development program that the youth can carry with them from childhood onwards.

Thirty year-old working mom Careen Aleta Lim- Hao Bian is one of those who proudly enjoys a career in education. She graduated Architecture in UP in Mindanao and underwent a program on Early Childhood Education in UP Diliman. Now holding the position of Vice President for Operations for Stockbridge International School (formerly known as Tumble Tots Philippines-Davao), she handles all admin and operations issues in the school.
“When I joined the school, it was already 7 years in operation,” explains Careen. “It was God’s perfect timing because I needed to immerse myself in the family business and at the same time learn the ropes of being a first time mom. I am learning so much from my work while sharing the demands of our clientele being one myself. I used to tutor, teaching kids on a supplementary level really helped me to understand what the primary lacks so I am able to also see things from a different light. I have always loved children. They are so innocent and genuine. They are also remarkably so clever and unpredictable. It’s always a happy fulfilling time to be around them. Educating children is similar to parenting, you take on the hard role of responsibility towards imparting values and ensuring a positive learning experience every time.”

Learning starts at home
Careen expounds on the role of parents in child development.
 “Studies have shown that the period from birth to six years old are the most crucial years in character formation and child development. That is why I believe early childhood education is very important. As parents, we have a brief but golden opportunity to ensure that we are building a solid foundation for our child. Its making the most of this little time, because they will not be babies forever. So it is important that we equip them with right values and attitude early on, while we can, while it’s easier to teach them. By age 6, character is already set.”

“Toddlers are explorers. The world is a wonderland for them --- everything is new and exciting so our role is to fuel their curiosity constantly because every new experience can be made a learning experience. It doesn’t have to be a new toy or a new destination every time, just a little creativity and more passion. The role of parents is integral to the development of the child. How they perceive learning and study/education affects their educational attitude towards their children. A parent is the child’s first teacher and will forever be their mentor throughout life. Developmental milestones are naturally occurring, our role as parents is to provide a scaffold. According to some child development studies, just as scaffolding is put up to support the structure of the building as it is being built and gradually taken down as the building is able to stand on its own, a parent needs to provide the necessary support for a child to allow them to safely and productively explore and learn from their environment. As the child matures and develops mastery the scaffolding is removed or changed to allow the child to become more independent.”

“Early childhood education is not only a trend, it has become an apparent need. With k12, the age acceptance has already been adjusted. By age 6 or even younger, a child may be accepted in Grade 1 – provided he passed kindergarten. Our goal in the prekindergarten school is to inculcate the love for learning. Learning to love learning is more difficult and important than learning per se. In the character formative years of child development, it is important that the attitude is set for learning being the school as a happy place to learn. A school should stress-free environment where the child can grow and develop wholistically. The language of children is play, very common is the concern of parents when their child cannot talk but more often than not it is just the environment is not tuned to this milestone when the child is already ready to talk. What motivates the child to talk, when he is only left with yaya at home. He has no one but himself to play with. In school, he is delighted because he has constant friends to play with. Adjacent to a child’s developmental milestone is a teachable moment to impact behavior. You know they're coming, oh no to the terrible twos! But it all depends on how you handle it and of course No two children are alike, each child is always unique. First, remember that there should be no labelling. If you’re already convinced your tot is terrible then chances are he will likely be molded into one. Second, don’t compare. Isn’t it frustrating to feel like you are not doing anything right with the second one? And yet, there are significant achievements you’re been missing because we focus too much on the negative. Third and last, invest in time with your kids. Nothing else and nothing can ever replace and is more important than a bonding time with your child. Listen, you would be amazed at how relentless they could be with their stories and finally say “for the love” because we are never perfect as parents but I believe it is our love for our children that makes everything right. The test of right way of raising, right peers, right way of discipline, right school, right environment is the heart of the mother.”

Stockbridge International School

Careen shares the mission and vision of the school she manages.

“The school’s main purpose is to provide Filipino students especially children of the local Davao and Mindanao Community an international education to provide opportunities for Filipino students to have an education that is multi-cultural vis-à-vis excellent international standards. A school that will impact educational possibilities to Filipino students where they become future leaders. At Stockbridge International School, a child will develop not only academic skills but gain positive attitude towards learning. Our program ensures wholistic development: learning is complemented with a structured active play program wherein they develop self-confidence and self-esteem. Stockbridge International School aims to make learning relevant and meaningful to students by adopting an inquiry-based, integrated curriculum which focuses on the child as a learner. Our program emphasizes on a well-rounded development of the child; nurturing the physical, intellectual and skill building using the developmental learning approach to early childhood education. Our program provides structured play for children where they can explore, discover and develop independence, socio – emotional skills and build high self-esteem. Our curriculum focuses on activities that leads to the development of cognitive academic areas and provides opportunities that encourage the child to develop a well-rounded personality; socially and emotionally ready, artistic, imaginative, physically fit, and displays excellence in character and spirituality. Our team comprises of qualified and dedicated teachers paired up with our small class sizes will allow each child to develop according to his / her own pace.”
“We offer wonderful learning experience to look forward to. Our SmartPlay class is an all-time favorite of our students. It is a structured physical play that allows kids to practice newly acquired gross motor abilities through the use of specialized exclusive equipment in a safe and secured environment. SmartPlay classes develops confidence and leaves students free to enjoy, and challenge themselves in, physical activity which is crucial for lifelong health and physical and emotional wellbeing both now and long into adulthood. Letterland, a language and literacy program, from UK. The Letterland program is child-friendly and multi-sensory, based on “pictograms” - a fusion of letters and animated characters that makes learning fun and easy."
"An essential component of any balanced literacy program, Letterland builds on the student’s success from the Explorer level, where children are taught letter recognition, formation and sounds, through Nursery Years where letter patterns and clusters as well as advanced word and sentence building are learned. Our learners today are honed to become future leaders with Character First. Specific value traits are presented in a fresh, dynamic manner through stories, action songs and home connection activities. It’s not only about standardized test now, we also care to teach children to be strong, to be wise leaders with discernment. To better prepare our kids for big world, we make sure they are not only equipped with cognitive skills but the heart is set as well. Children are eager to embrace new technology. This year, we welcome a new addition to engage students for our kindergarten level – the iPad, this aside from weekly computer classes. The touch-screen interface allows students to engage more interactively with content, allowing for control of their own learning.”

STOCKBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL is located at Tumble Tots Bldg, Mabini Corner Araullo St., Davao City. For inquiries, please call 082-2251847 or 0922-2501492.
Story published on my newspaper column, Metro Mom.
A1 and A4, Indulge, Edge Davao, Vol. 7 Issue 82, 9 July 2014


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