From the very foundation of IMS, every single member of staff has been carefully chosen to ensure this nurturing environment continues, and that each child experiences the same opportunity to grow and develop into their own best self, naturally. Today, our community of teaching staff hails from all corners of the world.
We know that Montessori isn’t simply a method of education. It is a philosophy of life, and one where those preparing the environment must truly believe that the child can be guided to make increasingly complex choices and decisions which are critical at each step on their own journey of discovery, moving step by step towards independence, from birth to adulthood.
Every member of our team, from teacher in the classroom to support team is committed to creating a collaborative learning community which is deeply rooted in respect and kindness, where learning and discovery and becoming our best self is part of what we do every day.
It all begins with the Montessori educator, who is a passionate advocate of this approach to child development and learning, who trusts that each child is born with an innate need to master the skills needed to be successful and independent, and understands that these skills must be modelled by the adult for the child to emulate and learn.
IMS has brought together like-minded people, and today, our community of educators makes up of one of the largest group of Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) trained professionals in the world, ranging from new graduates who are just embarking on this journey, to experienced Montessorians with up to forty years of experience in classrooms.
IMS has supported many exceptional teachers to take the AMI Montessori teacher training over the past twenty years, and IMS now has one of the largest faculty of AMI trained teachers in the world!
IMS has a deep commitment to enable and support each of our children to become able to speak, read and write in Chinese. We have chosen Putonghua (Mandarin) as our spoken language, and thus recruit native-Mandarin speakers from China, who have a deep love for children, and are interested and experienced with the concept of child-centred learning.
This commitment to hiring and training exceptional teachers who are native Putonghua speakers means that today:
– every Foundation Group’s lead teacher is a native Chinese-speaking teacher,
– over 90% of our Putonghua-speaking Casa dei Bambini (3-6) faculty is now AMI-Montessori-trained!
– a significant group of faculty has completed AMI training at the Elementary (6-12) or is beginning training, including two native-speaking curriculum leaders.
– IMS sponsored a native-speaking faculty member to the AMI Adolescent training in summer 2018 to enhance IMS’ Chinese into adolescence.
– One of our senior teachers is currently being sponsored to become an AMI Teacher Trainers (TOTT) at the 3-6 level.
– Our Elementary Program Head is the first native-Putonghua speaking AMI Teacher Trainer in the world!
IMS keeps its best teachers, many of whom have stayed at IMS since their particular class was founded. We are committed to those talented and creative individuals who want to continue their own journey of development, and it is the IMS mission to make our school a “home” for our team. Most of the IMS faculty leadership has grown with us, and taken on leadership roles as the school has grown.
As a result, every member of faculty has a chance to bounce ideas off of others, and also has access to and support from a full-time experienced curriculum leader who is available in each campus to help parents, teachers and children alike.
With so much talent in-house, we work hard to encourage faculty members to share their wealth of knowledge, and have developed programme of Professional Development (PD) we call “Gourmet PD” as each educator can choose from a “menu” of options addressing a variety of questions which have been raised in reviews which faculty members. Gourmet PD occurs regularly throughout the year, and seminar topics are selected based on identified learning goals a number of faculty are interested in pursuing. Each member of staff is welcomed to contribute their expertise on a topic of particular interest as well.
IMS has always been fortunate that AMI teacher trainers and experts who have visited the school, observed classrooms and provided training to our faculty, From Sue Birdsall, to Susan Stephenson, to Shannon Helfrich. More recently, we have had Jean Miller train the entire faculty in Montessori Bells and Tone Bars, had Allyn Travis visit, and we are scheduling more such visits soon. In 2014, IMS worked with the International Montessori Council (IMC) to create the inaugural Hong Kong Montessori Conference “Life is a Journey, Not a Race!” which was a 3-day event for Montessori educators and leaders from around the world, and included a parent education workshop. The Conference was such a success that we held a second conference in October 2016, and are planning the third conference for October 2018. These Conferences offer such an invaluable Professional Development opportunity for all IMS faculty and staff, and directly benefited each child under our care. All IMS faculty are sponsored to participate in these PD opportunities to refresh and reignite your passion for Montessori education.