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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bricktown Kindergarten School

My mom owns and operates a pre-school ever since I can remember. Technically since I was third grade. That's er... some 31 years now! And yes, it still operates til date! Hers was the first one in our neighborhood. In the early 80s, when my youngest brother started going to school, my mom decided it was high time she quit her demanding job and be a stay-at-home mom. This is the best way she can attend to all four of us! I have three sisters (each of us 'just' a year apart) and a brother (our youngest). My mom opened a pre-school with chairs and tables that her dad (my grandpa) put together. He has always been handy with wood work.

Here's a picture of me, my sister, Ima, and my grandpa, in front of the hand-painted sign that my uncle did.

The school had very few students on its first year of operation. My mom took her time in testing the waters and did not want to plunge too soon. Of all businesses, the business of dealing with little kids is one of the difficult ones, because of the high-accountability. My mom waited for the proper time and when things were ready, she planned a massive campaign. Her sister and brothers, were a huge help. My uncles made hand-painted posters on plywood that went to the front yard of our house. They hanged smaller signs around the neighborhood. The posters and signs did wonders.  The enrollment rose up and filled up mom's small cozy classroom. After some time, mom had to hire another teacher to accommodate the growing enrollment. The other teacher, Ann (technically employee, practically family) has been in our school for over 20 years now.

In the mid-90s, other pre-schools and daycare centers started to pop up like mushrooms all around the village. More and more parents recognized the value of sending their kids to school at an early age. The competition got stiff. Sadly at that time, mom's hand-painted posters were already fading and her signage have long been gone. She is a very good teacher, but she is not very good with advertisement. Luckily, her other teacher, Ann, (30ish) had better plans. She introduced my mom to the beauty of  business cards and flyers. It was all new to my mom then, but she agreed to do it. This innovative type of advertisement worked!  I even brought back a magnetic calendar with my mom's school on it. Thank you, Ann! Their dwindling enrollment rose up again.

Bricktown Kindergarten School has been serving our town for over three decades now. Most of my mom's students are the children of her former students. All my three nieces went to grandma's school too. Thanks to good advertisement, mom's school is still on top of its game!

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11 comments:

Cher said...

wow, now i know where your passion in teaching comes from!
my brother and his in-laws also put up a montesorri school some years ago in our hometown and now they have huge number of students. thanks to advance advertising campaigns! :)

Ann said...

Obviously your mom is an excellent teacher to have been in business for over 30 years. Good for her.

Luna Miranda said...

wow, 30 years! that's incredible. my grandmother, my dad's aunt, also opened her own kindergarten after 30 years of teaching first grade. the school was on the first floor of her house, and my younger sister was one of her students. i admire people with such passion about teaching because its no joke looking after other people's kids, some were not even toilet trained.:p

Self Sagacity said...

It is so sweet to hear that you mom had that much interest in teaching kids. I am so happy to hear that people came and made the classroom a cozy one. Wonderful to have read this today Tes.

betchai said...

i love the picture of you and Ima, you both look so cute, and actually, you looked like "mataray" too, someone who is very confident of herself and who would always stand up for her right. Now, I see clearly why you and Ima became teachers too, your mom's passion for kids had been shared to both of you, and no wonder why you both are very good teachers. miss you Tes.

Ruthi said...

no wonder you are a dedicated teacher, you were taught by example. my mom was my very first teacher too though she did not open her own school. but she was a teacher in her own right because she taught us to read, count, tell time and my brothers Japol and Gary and I already knew how to read and count and tell time when we entered kindergarten.

RNSANE said...

You must be so proud of your mom, Tes, and she must be equally proud of her lovely daughter. I am sure she had some influence on your becoming a teacher. It's has to be so special to her to be teaching children of her former students!!

George said...

Thanks for sharing the story (and picture) of your Mom's school. I'm happy to hear that it is still going. I guess we now know how you became a teacher yourself.

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

So this is where your interest in teaching may have come from. I like the picture of you, your sister and grandpa. Isn't it nice to have old photographs to look back on?

Icy BC said...

Wow..I'm impressed, Tes..Your mom is what I call "he-woman", a warrior, a hero, a role model and very inspiring!

Anonymous said...

Two thumbs up to Teacher Becky..I was one of her students way back 80's and i even plan of enrolling my kid there...missing those fond memories that made my childhood years a memorable one..You are always in my prayers ate TESS...--with much love...Dabbie

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