Ms. Tanya IImedo- Espinueva, Director, Jesus the Risen Savior School.
With a career spanning for 13 years, Tanya IImedo-Espinueva is a highly-experienced educator who is currently a Director of Jesus the Risen Savior School, a De Lasalle accredited institution in Laguna, Philippines, committed to elevating the quality of education leadership for the kids development.
Every expert starts from a humble beginning. As they always say, all who were born to LEAD started as a beginner until they master their fullest potential and discover what they are fated to be. But what does it really take to be a good leader in this modern time and an ever evolving educational system?
Learning Together, Empowering Others, Achieving Goals and Discovering our Potential. We can only describe Ms. Tanya IImedo-Espineuva in a four letter word, LEAD, as she conquers with her leadership not just within the walls of their institution but also on how she redefines education, revolutionize the industry with her leadership and shaping early childhood educators to be the best of the best.
We are honored here in Supermomglobal that an emerging educational leader in a progressive school in the Philippines had accommodated us for a special feature. Let us get to know Ms. Tanya more and see our feature interview with her below.
How did you develop your passion towards child learning development? When did it ever start to begin with?
Ms.Tanya: Growing up with parents that are also in the education industry, my parents setting up our school, our family has to live within the compound of the school property. I remember helping out a lot during summer when I was in grade school and high school. Then comes the time when I was taking up Early Education in College, I was already helping on setting up the curriculum. My parents played a big role on influencing me to be on this path.
How did you discover that you want to be an Educator or a Teacher?
Ms.Tanya: Given the history that I am already raised by two educators and the school grounds has been like my second home, my biggest turning point was when I found that fulfillment in educating kids during my volunteer days at our church Sunday school.
If you are going to educate a child between the age of 3-6 years old (most commonly known as the fundamental years of a growing kid), what would be the learning journey/ strategy to drive the key development of a child (in terms of verbal, written and capability to read)?
Ms.Tanya: We have been using the Progressive Approach (pioneered by John Dewey) for the past 13 years at JRSS. This has been very effective as it matches the culture of our community, and the needs of the children and families they represent.
What do you think are the most effective learning methodologies for the kids of this generation?
Ms.Tanya: As mentioned on question 3, we had been using Progressive approach that works well with our students. Prior to using the Progressive Approach, the Traditional Approach was utilized and the shift resulted to students becoming more confident, sociable, and able to explore all areas of development (e.g. physical, socio-emotional, cognitive, language, spiritual). The Traditional Approach only focused on cognitive, and this is not recommended for young children.
Could you share some of your success stories on your experience being an educator?
Ms.Tanya: For the past 20 years, more and more children are being diagnosed with having special needs. Some of these needs are detected very early, and such cases are only diagnosed as “at risk”. It is very fulfilling on our end to see children with special needs develop at JRSS, especially when their journey with us encompasses many years. Recently, I have had one student who finished Grade 10 who was with us since his Pre-Kinder who was previously at risk of ADHD. Working with her very supportive parents, and seeing the child develop as a leader was such a great reward for all of us in school.
What are the most common challenges you experienced when it comes to handling kids that has no classroom experience or first time to be in the school environment? What are the ways that you used to pacify them?
Ms.Tanya: Separation anxiety is very common and this is manifested in prolonged crying (sometimes turning to tantrums) and asking for their parents/guardians. Over many years, we have utilized the following in dealing with separation anxiety such as Conducting a new parents’ orientation before classes start to educate parents on how to transition their children from home to school, Prepare a very engaging environment so kids can enjoy their new surroundings and train teachers in handling prolonged crying and tantrums.
As a passionate educator, do you agree that a challenged kid must be given a chance to be exposed in a normal school set-up in order to adapt like any other kids?
Ms.Tanya: Children diagnosed with special needs must have development pediatricians and therapists who regularly see them, and recommend which particular school setting is best for them. I emphasize this because our school only accepts children with special needs who have been recommended for mainstreaming. We are very firm about this because if we accept all kids with special needs and not require a formal recommendation, we will not be the best school to provide the environment, education philosophy, and curriculum they need to reach their fullest potentials.
What is your aspiration towards child development?
Ms.Tanya: I would like to see children develop in ways that are age-appropriate, and not pressured by unrealistic standards. Parents and guardians nowadays are very conscious of having their children “advance,” “develop ahead of their age,” and have many achievements that can be shared and posted on social media. This belief and practice is not helping children at all and are only forcing them to become adults fast. That is why at JRSS, we do not remove play (casual and directed) as part of our preschoolers’ daily activities. We also have visual and performing arts, swimming, ballet, and martial arts to enrich our pupils’ experiences so they do not feel that everything about school is academic.
On a final note, it has always been an endeavor of any leader to build a culture of excellence in teaching and learning. Therefore, a leader in an education industry always perseveres to embark on a journey in empowering not just its students but also its teachers. As empowered teachers, will have more joy in teaching because they see the fruit of their labour from their students. This is every educators winning moment.
We hope that you all learned something from our feature about Ms. Tanya . Tell us, why do you think it is important for you as a parent to find the right school for your kid that has a passionate leaders? Drop us your comment on the blog below, because in Supermomglobal, we value your opinion.
To learn more about Ms. Tanya Espinueva’s leadership and school that she is currently affiliated with, please visit their facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/jesustherisensaviorschool).