Q: Hi Kathy, tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: Nihao, I am Kathy Laoshi. I was born and grew up in a multicultural environment in Malaysia. That environment helped me to learn and distinguish the differences between several foreign languages. I am now able to speak 5 languages fluently. However, I always had a strong passion to teach Mandarin, not only the language but also the culture. Hence, I majored in teaching Chinese as a Second Language when I studied in Shanghai.
Before devoting my attention to Early Years, I was teaching Mandarin to primary students and adults. These experiences are invaluable and definitely improve my understanding of teaching in early years.
I enjoy both relaxing and active hobbies. I love backpacking, painting and photo shooting but I am also interested in badminton and kickboxing.
Q: When not teaching at Bebegarten, where are you most likely to be found?
A: Most probably you might find me somewhere close to nature such as a waterfall, beach or country park. I usually just pick a spot that I have never been and discover it by my own. I get lost sometimes, but it always turns out to be the best part of my discovery.
Q: So what are your personal inspirations to work with Early Years children?
A: I believe that every child is different and I always appreciate the learning process of a child. Every child learns at a different pace, and we need to be patient – as when the children are well-prepared and confident, they will surprise us.
Children deserve to play and have fun during their childhood. Play-based learning indeed stimulates children’s interest to learn and motivates them to discover more.
Q: What influenced your decision to join Bebegarten?
A: Bebegarten is absolutely a great place to work as I agree and share the same vision and teaching philosophy with this school. At Bebegarten, children come first and we embrace children’s learning. Also, teachers here are very professional and make me very comfortable to work with them. I am very glad that I am part of this family.
Q: Can you tell us a bit more about the way we approach language acquisition here at Bebegarten, especially in the context of Mandarin?
A: We understand that Mandarin might be our children’s second or even third language. To raise our children’s attention and interest, we approach them in a fun, creative and play-based manner. We believe that children will be more engaged in learning if they choose to do so. In our lessons, several stations will be set up in the classroom, and children have the opportunity to decide what they prefer to do and learn. Also, we have Chinese culture days to allow our children to experience and appreciate Chinese culture.
Q: Lastly, can you describe a typical day in the life of Kathy Laoshi at Bebegarten?
A: I always start my day with our daily morning meeting. After the meeting, I begin to prepare everything that I need for my lessons and set up the classroom. Whenever I meet the children and parents, I greet them with a smile. Then, I will join the children to do morning exercises in the playground. After that I will spend most of my time teaching at different classes and having fun with our children here Bebegarten.