Ms. Sunshine’s interview with Mangosteen Magazine!

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Earlier this year, Ms. Sunshine Goh, (Principal, Pasir Panjang center) was interviewed by the team from Mangosteen Magazine, a Japanese-language publication. Here is the English translation of the interview. Arigatou Mangosteen! 

House on the Hill is popular among Japanese families with Montessori education. We interviewed the teacher about the school!

It’s the time of the year to register your kids for preschool. But you might not be sure which school to go to. Besides the school’s information such as their overview and approach, parents can have peace of mind by knowing about the teacher who are in charge of the kids. Therefore, we decided to have a new feature for teachers at nursery schools and kindergartens. The first school featured is House on the hill which famous for Montessori education. This is Ms Sunshine Goh with a bright smile.

I was fascinated by the Montessori education and decided to work here

I liked to take care of little kids since I was young, and I wanted to study for early childhood diploma in the future. My interest in Montessori education grew when I learned about it in school, and I wanted to work in a Montessori education nursery or kindergarten. I visited House on the hill for the job interview and the rest is history. There are around 20 students enrolled at the Pasir Panjang campus, 100 students at the in the Mount Sophia Campus and 50 students for Balmoral Crescent. My main duties are to provide support for the kids to be independent and encourage them to be curious for 3 hours every day.

The school rule is to do your own work

The main basis in Montessori education is to watch over and provide support for the daily growth and stimulating curiosity of students. They would have to take off their shoes and put them into the designated shoebox when they reach school. The students are also involved in meal preparation and cleaning up, including washing the cutleries used for eating. I feel happy and moved when I see the students who could not do anything by themselves when they were new to here, to grow to be able to do their own work after several months and years.

The classroom shelves on the 1st floor. Students can choose the activities they want to work on from the shelves. They grow little by little each day with activities such as changing buttons, using zippers and cutleries, and how to keep things organised etc.

The irreplaceable memories of the days spent with the students every day

There was a student who left a deep impression on me. When I was newly employed, I was in charge of a Japanese baby. She was 18 months old and was the first Japanese baby I’ve met. She was only able to drink milk and sleep, and she grew to start speaking English and began to work on her own. She even talked in Singlish, enjoyed reading and grew so much every day. Despite being a preschool teacher, I was really happy to witness her growth from 18 months old onwards.

She returned to Japan when she was 6 years old, but I kept in touch with her parents. She visited me a few years later in school and I was happy that she still remembered my name. The precious days are still my irreplaceable memories.

House on the hill with great teachers and facilities

The school is one of the few preschools in Singapore with an outdoor garden. The jungle gym made of wood is both the favourite playground among kids and adults. The rich greenery allows kids to have fun in a great environment.

The parents and school (teachers) communicate using the diibear application. We mainly use it to send photos of their daily activities and what happens on the day. It is okay for the parents to send us messages too.

There is a total of 50 teachers across all campuses. 20% of the students are Japanese, and we notice the number to increase every year. The reason for the popularity might be the Japanese language class. Many parents are interested in the Montessori education, but House on the hill has great educational policies, staff and facilities too. Do feel free to contact us!

Ms Sunshine cleaned up the shelves and the classroom after the kids return home. She cried when she talked about the Japanese student who went back to Japan during the interview (You can see how much love she put in!).

There are many Japanese mothers who have concerns about their children in preschool of a foreign country, but if you can see a teacher with so much love, and it will definitely be a great experience for your child to be under the care of such a loving teacher. Do consider registering for the school!

Originally published in Japanese in Mangosteen magazine (April 2019).
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