Heidi Du has been faithfully supporting and teaching the children of Early Years for the last 10 years. The Early Years building is full of Heidi’s special, creative care. Fiona Morris, Early Years Principal says, “Ms Heidi is the inspiration behind many of the creative structures within Early Years. Her ability to work with recyclable materials to create wonderfully new and stimulating environments for the children is amazing. As you walk around Early Years, we have trees, originally cardboard boxes, Ms Heidi has created these to be a part of our Early Years show and we have since been able to re-house them to help transform reading spaces in Nursery with each class now possessing their own tree. Some even include logs to sit on too!”
Where do you call home?
I was born in the beautiful and modern city of Shanghai. I used to do some catering, then quit because I needed time to take care of my family.
Starting from 2000, my son went to school and I started to work at the Big Learning Tree Child Care Center and stayed there for 7 years. The former name of this center is “Happy Learning Center”. One day I made a big tree and placed it at the front door for decoration. The principal announced in the meeting the next day, “We are working together like a big family. I would like to change our center’s name into ‘The Big Learning Tree Child Care Center’.” Everybody thought this was a good idea. Since then I have been known as the “Tree Lady”. If you walk through Early Years, there are a few trees that I are my creations!
What do you love about working with children?
I am the person who loves children very much. I always fancy if it is possible, that my family will have the largest number of members all over China! It is impossible to be unhappy, when you see children’s’ adorable smiles and hear their naive talking every day. When I was around 10-years old, every summer holiday, I helped take care of my neighbors children, playing various games like hide and seek. It was such a fun! My neighbor used to joke with me, saying when I grow up, I could be a Kindergarten teacher-and look what I’m doing right now!
To be very honest, working with children makes me feel so happy, and being a Kindergarten teacher is best job that I could imagine. I love to share what I know—my life experiences and inspiring stories, to these little angels.
When did you start to work at WISS?
This is my 10th year working at WISS. Currently, I’m the Teacher Assistant in Nursery Green. I have been witnessing the growth of WISS, the continuous improvement of facilities, the endeavors of every single member of the WISS community. I feel so lucky to be in this warm, harmonious community.
What do you love about working at WISS?
WISS is a fantastic school to work in. Even just talking about the size of the Early Years’ classrooms, they are the biggest classrooms of all the international kindergarten that I have seen.
WISS is a big family, a culturally diverse community. Communicating with the families from all over the world is enjoyable for me- I get to know the differences between us, as well as to find the common things.
I enjoy working with my colleagues, we share the same understanding of educators and always endeavor to make our classroom to be a fun-filled and meaningful learning environment for our students.
What are some special things you are involved with at WISS?
I have a number of various hobbies including painting (face painting especially), music, travelling, making piñatas, traditional Chinese medicine (fire therapy especially) and many others.
It feels so good to share with others the happiness of what I love to do. Every year I help with the Face Painting stall in Wisstival (WISS Winter Bazaar). It is a very popular stall. We are always the last one to pack up. “Sorry, we are closed now,” is possibly the most difficult words I utter, when seeing them still waiting so eager and patient in the line.
I still remember last year when I finished painting the last student and the staff bus had already left. However, when looking at the students saying goodbye to me with big smiles on their faces, I feel very happy and satisfactory. I enjoy the sense of accomplishment when I can contribute to my community.
What do you think about the IB curriculum at WISS and how it is taught?
Personally I like the IB curriculum a lot. Here in WISS, we have an abundance of teaching resources which help the students in their intellectual, emotional, personal developments as well as social skills. Each Unit of Inquiry is full of fun and flexibility. There are different learning centers in the classroom and we transform the centers into different stations according to the content of the Unit of Inquiry being taught. This makes it easier for the students to feel comfortable in the new Unit of Inquiry as soon as possible. Students also learn through playing various games. The activities happening during circle times are specially-designed and inspiring. We record the precious moments of new findings of students with the camera, and share them with parents through Storypark.
I am so happy to witness these gorgeous children’s learning journey, to spend time with them and to do my best to help them. I love WISS!