Q: Hi Annie, tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: Art has always been my passion since I was little, from organizing stickers in my sticker book, to painting the walls in my room, I loved spending my time making things. So I was in heaven when I went to the University of the Arts London to study Art and Design for my undergraduate degree! After that I worked in a textile firm as a Textile Designer for practical experience before I moved back to Hong Kong to pursue my passion as an art teacher.
Q: When not teaching at Bebegarten, where are you most likely to be found?
A: Galleries! I love going to art exhibitions and visiting artists’ studios. I am always surprised to find them in interesting places like industrial buildings or old Chinese houses on islands. Apart from that, I love being outdoors! Whether hiking and discovering hidden routes, kayaking and swimming in the sea, jogging along the waterfront or just reading and picnicking in a park. I do enjoy staying outdoors a lot on my weekends.
Q: So what are your personal inspirations to work with Early Years children?
A: I think being a teacher is never just a job, but a responsibility for nurturing our future generations and passing on all the good things we would like them to understand and absorb.
As an Art teacher in particular, I feel it is my responsibility to expose children to as many beautiful things as possible, and to also enable them to discover different methods and possibilities to approach things; something beyond the artistic skills they acquire in class. After all, not all may grow up to be artists, but the greater value is to have the ability to find wonder and inspiration in life and the things we do, and for them to think creatively.
Q: What influenced your decision to join Bebegarten?
A: It is wonderful to work in an environment where everyone shares the same vision; to bring a better learning experience for all of our families. It is amazing to work with a passionate and professional team, always inspiring me, and reminding me there is always something to learn. I truly believe Bebegarten is one of the best, if not the best, learning institute in Hong Kong. I am very honoured to be part of this big family.
Q: Talking about your classes now, what are some key curriculum focuses?
A: In our programme we focus on making art current and relatable to children. I believe children can get the most out of a class if the context is made relatable to them. So our art programme incorporates a lot of interactive activities and fun games together with art making. Acknowledging the importance of the art-making process is another key. Our Enrichment Art programme explores different themes every month, which allows children to have a richer experience when exploring each topic.
Q: Lastly, can you describe a typical day in the life of Miss Annie at Bebegarten?
A: I start my day by having a morning meeting with my colleagues, sharing important information for the day. After greeting children and parents when they come through the door, I will spend some lovely time with them drawing or reading stories before their class starts. It is always an energy boost to do the morning exercise with them in the playground! Then I start preparing my classes for the day and have morning art classes with Nursery Class children. In the afternoon, I will set up the classroom and get things ready for the afternoon Enrichment classes. When not teaching, I am usually busy preparing materials, creating mock ups or researching ideas for the next project.