For our very first School of the Month exclusive interview, we had the pleasure of chatting with Roberta and Linda from Write Choice Early Learning Centre in Coquitlam to learn more about their school and their tips for success.
Linda Chou & Roberta Chin founded Coquitlam school ‘Write Choice Early Learning Centre’ and opened their doors January 2015.
Interviewed by Gloria Fan ("UK"), February 2015.
Roberta is married to a wonderful husband of 2.5 years, she's a “mom” to a very happy Pomeranian named Happy. Aside from her hands-on experience and education in the field of ECE, Roberta also have a BA joint major in Political Science and International Studies. During her spare time, she enjoys cooking, spending time with family and friends and boutique shopping.
Linda is a mom of 2 fun loving girls 6 and 8 yrs old with a very supportive husband. Their family enjoys playing board games and travelling around the world together.
UK: As a child, did you attend pre-school/daycare?
R: I had the experience of attending pre-school at the age of 3. My most memorable moment had to be playing with play-dough, dramatic play area and of course making new friends.
UK: We all know that it is a huge responsibility to open, own and manage a child care centre, what inspired you in starting your own school?
L: Having two children of my own, I know first-hand how important early childhood education is to building a strong foundation for learning how to succeed. In their first year of elementary school, I hear from many parents about their children struggling to adapt to grade school curriculums. That’s why I founded Write Choice Early Learning Centre with Roberta. Our goal is to help children develop the solid foundation necessary for success in lifelong learning.
R: As a teenager I always wanted to become a teacher, but after my experience in a few other careers, I still found myself having the passion to teach young children. After 5 years of teaching experience, support and encouragement from my family, and having a hard working and passionate mother as a business partner, our envision together made it possible. Six years ago, I actually taught Linda’s younger daughter at the school she attended. Over time, I got to know Linda and her family more and when her two daughters entered elementary school, we still kept in touch.
UK: We really like your school name, Write Choice Early Learning Centre. How did you come up with that name? (Who came up with the pun? Write (Right) Choice, wink wink)
L & R: Building this school for young children is the right choice with a program that focuses on social play and pre-academic skills such as “writing” and children having a choice to early learning, hence our name Write Choice Early Learning Centre. As for parents, placing their child/children in a group childcare can be a difficult decision, but we know the parents are making the right choice.
UK: We have seen many early learning programs that follow a certain teaching approach, such as Reggio Emilia style, or Montessori. What is unique about your program?
L & R: Since each child is unique and learn in their own ways, our programs are designed to combine both Reggio Emilia and Montessori by bringing out the creativeness of each child. By having both methods taught throughout our program by certified and qualified early childhood educators (ECE), the children will have the benefit of learning, exploring and playing in both well structured teaching philosophies. We also have a new Mandarin program that will be introduced shortly to help children learn Mandarin as a second language.
UK: I know that you both work closely together, how are your roles different in the work you do on a day-to-day basis?
L: My role within our school is marketing and building relationships with our families, and to continuously bring new ideas to enhance our programs.
R: Paperwork, emails and repeat. Just kidding, of course with paperwork and emails in mind, I ensure the school is operating smoothly. By that, I ensure all staff, students and families are happy. I greet and acknowledge everyone that comes by my office, and listen to their suggestions and concerns. I observe the classrooms and work together with the teachers to implement new ideas to make the program even better.
UK: What are your goals for yourself and for your school this year?
L: I would like to spend more time to get to know my staff and the children of our school more. I would like all families attending our school to engage and feel at home the moment they walk into our school. As a school owner, I like to connect with the Tri-Cities community, by attending children-related events such as the Teddy Bear Picnic in June, attend workshops, engage in local social media, and through our open house functions. At the same time, our school will build our own little community which can provide support to each other. By doing so, we can also educate the children to care for others.
R: Personally I would like to continue to improve my management skills and learn how to speak Mandarin. As for the school itself, I would continue working on improving the program, like the new Mandarin program we are introducing, create an environment where the children and staff can enjoy and love and have built a school where all families around the community is aware of our presence. I want our school and our students to make a positive impact within our community.
UK: How do you deal with challenges of being a school owner?
L: The only way to deal with all the challenges is to stay calm. When challenges arise, luckily, I have a good business partner, a support network and a team of experts in marketing and building maintenance who do the behind-the-scenes work that help contribute to our success.
UK: What tip would you give to an aspiring new school owner?
L & R: Other than to have patience, enjoy the process and passion for young children.
We would like to thank Linda and Roberta for their time and letting us get a glimpse of how their passion inspired them to owning their first school. Ulferts Kids wishes them a very successful journey ahead.
About Write Choice Early Learning Centre:
- Smaller class sizes for better student-to-teacher ratio
- Enrolment geared towards children 30-months to 5 years of age
- Hot lunch provided
- Summer Programs are offered; Mandarin program coming soon!
- Conveniently located inside Henderson Place Mall, Coquitlam
For more info, call visit Write Choice Early Learning Centre website.
Write Choice Early Learning Centre
1163 Pinetree Way #2027
Coquitlam, BC V3B 8A9, Canada
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