Morgan answers some questions that are frequently asked by new families.
My philosophy is to focus on developing children’s character. I believe this is best executed through a mix of free play and structured lessons. I want to help children develop positive characters like perseverance, kindness, sharing, honesty, and a strong self-discipline. I also want to encourage children to develop self care skills such as brushing teeth and washing hands.
Good teachers are necessary to put my philosophy into place. We believe that teachers who are gentle with children but have a strong moral character will be the best model for children.
We primarily look for teachers who have been trained well in early childhood education. Then we expect teachers to show children how to handle situations they will encounter throughout their lives. By observing the teachers behave in daily setting, children will become loving, strong, independent, creative, resourceful and inquisitive.
My philosophy helps create a balance of structured lessons and free play. Structured lessons are vital so students will be prepared for the competitive primary schools in areas such as reading, phonics and math. Free choice time is singularly vital to MRA in terms of children’s character building process so that children have the shared control of the content, pace and quantity of their learning, time to explore. This helps children to be responsible, independent and bold!
I chose High Scope because it is a researched based curriculum model that is proven to have positive results for children. High Scope is a systematic and child centered and it emphasizes good habits, such as plan-do-review. High Scope is also flexible in a way that teachers can supplement in their own thoughts and projects for the children.
The children! I love that we have children from multicultural backgrounds. This mix provides a powerful confluence of different cultural values and viewpoints. I am curious and excited to learn about how other cultures raise their children and see how they influence each other.
Also, it is exciting for me to hire teachers from abroad. Each teacher has their own characteristics and flair that make the student body even more fascinating because they benefit from diverse teaching styles. In return, teachers, novice or veteran, also enriched their teaching skills.
We have 65 students currently. 30% of our students are from China; 20% of our students from Japan; 20% of our students from European countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, and the U.S. and India; 30% of our students are overseas Chinese from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, New Zealand, Singapore.
Students include children of families at Fortune 500 companies, among them Canon, Google, Goldman Sachs, Intel, and Mercedes-Benz and academic institutions such as the University of Michigan.
Majority of our past graduates entered prestigious elementary schools in Shanghai such as Shanghai American School, Shanghai High School International Division, Fudan Vanke School, YK Poa School, Singapore International School etc. Some relocated graduates also accepted by the Wellington College, Dulwich College and International School of Beijing.
The staff and I have many opportunities to communicate with the parents. We have daily progress reports, monthly newsletters, phone calls home from the Chinese teachers twice a month, parent teacher conferences twice a year, potlucks twice a year and two concerts. The teachers and I include our phone and email addresses on letters home so parents can reach us easily.