In 2011, I became a new mother. While preparing to return to work as an emergency physician, I searched for childcare options that met our family's needs and my, admittedly, very high standards. I wanted a school that was not only safe and nurturing, but also one that would immerse my son in Chinese language and culture. Nothing like this existed in our community.
I grew up speaking Mandarin at home and was immersed in English at school. I have always believed that being bilingual helped me in many ways throughout my life. Now there is research which shows that multilingual children are able to think and express themselves more clearly, achieve higher in math and sciences, and adapt more easily to new social situations. I wanted to give my child these advantages, in addition to the practical advantage of knowing another language. Chinese was an obvious choice for many reasons: our heritage, China's rising prominence in the world, and the challenge of learning Chinese at an older age compared to other western languages.
My parents taught me, through their own dedication, that giving your children the best education you can is one of our greatest responsibilities as parents. So, with my family's support, I decided to create the school I wanted for my own children, and that's how Panda Cub Academy began.
My mother and I started this school in order to provide children in our community an opportunity to learn Mandarin in an immersive setting built around the Montessori Method. My mother has been a Montessori trained teacher for many years, and has been recognized with awards of excellence in teaching. She creates the framework for our curriculum and continually trains our teachers and guides their professional development.
The inspiration for this school is my children.
The foundation of this school is my mother.