How did the Global Children School come about?
The idea came after my first daughter was born. I got so much pressure from relatives and friends when I was speaking to her in my language. I realized how the public is not educated on the subject. With so much research now available and with neuroscience being a thing now it is very clear. Children acquire languages before the age of 3 naturally. They don’t get confused. Of course parents need to make a decision to bring their child bilingual or multilingual and support that path. It is a lot of work. Global children school creates that multilingual and multicultural environment for families to support who they are. Children born global. It’s us, adults limiting them with cultural borders. GCS’s main goal is to open up the world so kids feel confident with their roots and be comfortable anywhere in the world. I was looking for a school for my daughter and nothing met my criteria, so I built my own.
Tell us about what you offer at The Global Children School.
In our school we offer a new early childhood philosophy. All current approaches are a hundred years old and don’t answer modern society’s needs. We are in a maker’s world now. The world is more mobile than ever and technology is developing at an increasing speed. People are facing global level issues and need to communicate effectively and it doesn’t matter where you are from. Mixed marriages and 3rd culture kids are not novice things anymore. Our response is Early Global Education. The next generation will need to learn how to look beneath our cultural stereotypes, look at events from different perspectives, collaborate and share ideas, empathize and deliver thoughts and perceptions, reactions. It’s hard. All of our teachers come from different countries. They bring their culture into their daily routines welcoming students with any backgrounds. We train and grow our teachers to be the first pilots for GCS philosophy.
We bring a double immersion program with English, Spanish and Russian languages. In Europe or Latin America speaking several languages is normal. We believe being able to switch in one conversion from 3-4 languages should be a normal thing and we train our kids from 3 months old through Kindergarten to do so. Our curricula map has 5 components: Communication (speech, multi-literacy, humanities).
How many Teachers are on your staff?
We went from 2 teachers to 30 teachers in 2 years. Everyone has early childhood education in their background. However we keep molding them here to be GCS trained teachers. We are building a teacher’s portal to help teachers plan their curriculum and keep it high quality multilingual and multicultural. GCS teachers have extra things to learn as they go and we want to support them as much as possible.
How do you include parents and guardians in their child’s education?
We make parents our partners in this process. Without their support the learning process is much harder. We communicate daily through our portal and keep them posted on the progress. Kids work hard but they love it. Our goal is to create strong relationships with families and build a community. We bring all families together at our famous GCS events.
What is the difference between a good teacher and an outstanding teacher?
I truly believe that great teachers will always be interacting with kids at their level. They can understand how kids see the world and what’s important for kids now and respect that. Great teachers also not afraid to be vulnerable and show that they don’t know something. They make it a fun journey to investigate and learn about something together with the kids.
What are your three biggest strengths?
I’m not afraid of a challenge. Everyone close to me advised me not to start the school. It is scary to start that type of project. You can fail easily and we had a very tough 3 months when we didn’t have money to support the school. I had to improvise! I never let myself think I’m going to fail. It’s just never in my mind. I simply look for solutions for current challenges. I get things done. Instead of analyzing forever what entails me and eventually not do it, I simply don’t play that game with my mind. I go and get things done. I’m very confident im my abilities. I know I’ll be able to figure it out when I get there. I’m not afraid to ask for help. I have a big personality.
Tell us about your family.
I have 2 daughters, a dog and a husband. My girls are very cute and they keep me laughing. They allowed me to slow down and see beauty in simple things. At the same time, they taught me how to speed up. Our lives are very fast paced, including weekends. My husband says I can’t sit steal. I guess it’s true.
What advice would you offer to your 16 year old self?
Hmmmmm, I grew up in a family where we experienced being wealthy, but then it all collapsed in ‘91 and we never got back up. I think the poor mentality stuck to me. I wish I had gotten rid of that faster in my 16 year old self. I also wish I could have found myself a mentor who would have shown me how the real world works instead of the traditional path of going to college and getting a job. I wish I didn’t listen to my parents taking a safe path and pursuing my dreams right away. I did leave my parents home at 18 and moved to a different country. I was able to open my own business in 4 years which allowed me to do what I love.
If someone asked you to describe yourself, what would you say?
Enthusiastic, positive, talented. Ambitious and tough when needed.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Hopefully, taking our GCS philosophy to different countries and growing it to a global level through opening new schools and keep building a training support system for GCS teachers throughout the world.
What are your business goals for the future?
Business is fun for me. I like new projects and challenges. I’m an idea generator. The educational industry is very diverse and allows me to challenge myself. My business goals are to try it all! It can go from next LMS to movie making.
Your greatest Influence is:
My husband. He is a generalist with an engineer’s mind and a child’s curiosity. He never stops learning. He googles and youtubes anything he needs. Every year he learns a new skill, from singing like a metall singer to making custom jewelry in his men’s cave. He recently opened an educational makerspace for teens and it’s doing amazing. I wish I had that type of place when I was a teenager. A place where you can try to make, design and program and everyone is accepted.
Photography|Kassandra Lee Russell of Granite Stag Photography , Designer|VAVA ZADI of VavaZadi.com
Hair and Makeup Stylist|Kate Fleming of Beaute Call Makeup