I was driving around Better Living in the summer of 1994, looking for a preschool for my 2-year old son, Paolo. Maybe through the phone directory or through a flyer, I ended up in Columbia Street. I vaguely remember the house or the backyard, but that same day I signed Paolo up for Kidsville’s pre-nursery class.
Paolo was my eldest, so it was very difficult to compare Kidsville with any other school. But in just a few months, Kidsville and its teachers easily exceeded my expectations. It was the perfect “first school” experience for both me and my son. I savored the feeling I got visiting the school. It was always very homey and teachers and staff always made me feel welcome. Soon enough, they had all become my friends.
Before Kidsville, I was always skeptic of any other education method that wasn’t “Montessori”; having, myself, come from a Montessori school. Kidsville had some Montessori elements but what made me really happy was how, despite the challenges they exposed the kids to (homework and tests), the children were nevertheless happy each day they went to school.
I was certain that the staff and teachers loved Paolo because as parents, my husband and I felt that sincerity and care- through their letters, newsletters, party and programs, and whenever we would visit the school.
It was not a surprise, therefore, that, 16 years later, after relocating back to the Philippines from the US, I came home once again to Kidsville. This time, Paolo’s baby brother, Ton, would be the teachers’ new baby.
Immediately, Teacher Anne and the whole school reminded me how lucky our family was to have our child in Kidsville. Unlike during Paolo’s time, I now had a lot of experience with other schools. It was such a relief to know that the teachers were on the same page as I was. Communication lines were so open and never was I made to wait to talk to teacher. I knew that when an issue was urgent to me, it was to Teacher Anne as well.
And, compared to my old Montessori school where teachers were supposed to be child-centered and instruction individualized, I was more secure that Teacher Anne would accommodate Ton’s needs and quirks while, at the same time, teaching him to respect limits and routines. They even allowed Ton to visit the school for a few weeks before classes started!
I was very impressed with Ton’s first month, that (though it was not in the plan for her to enter school so early) Tessa, my youngest, soon joined Ton in his 8-10 am pre-nursery class. My once skeptic husband was also impressed. His two babies were learning so much and yet were so happy to go to school!
And, though the teachers are a little older than when Paolo was studying here, they continue to amaze me with their warmth, sincerity and love for the kids and for teaching. (I am also surprised that they still have so much energy!)
So, to the Kidsville teachers, thank you for your boundless love for the children past and present (and future). You have done well to maintain that first impression I got 16 years ago. You and your school have always been wonderful and I am so glad to be given another chance to prove that. It’s great to be back home.
Proud Parent of Paolo, Ton & Tessa