Thirty-eight-year-old and vibrant KesineeVatanasombot is director of the family-owned Maneerut Kindergarten School in Bangkok, Thailand. She just earned her master’s degree in London when she enrolled, and later graduated from the Instructional and Curricular Excellence in School Leadership for Southeast Asia (ICeXCELS) Thailand, Class 4 under Dr. David Catanyag as Flexible Learning Tutor.
What challenged her imagination the most, in the course, was the concept of “instructional leadership” in Module I. Based on this concept, Kesinee understood that her role as an instructional leader, was to inspire all stakeholders of the school to work as a team towards the attainment of the vision of offering quality education, through a holistic approach that necessitates curricular revision, improved teachers’ competencies and attitudes, increased participation of students in the learning process, and parents’ active involvement. With the competition posed by other schools in the area, Kesinee was determined to try on this leadership style to enhance the school’s service quality.
Kesinee and the teachers made the curriculum more responsive to the learning needs of the kids, based on the student-centered Reggio Emilia Approach to education. Science and technology courses were enhanced, balanced with lessons in the arts, music, language and the opportunity to explore the natural environment. Positive discipline was reinforced, making students more responsible for their actions. Publicising the curriculum engaged the parents to give their views and comments.
Trainings improved teachers’ competencies to match curricular enhancement. Teachers started utilizing technology to prepare their lessons and to create interesting presentations. Their knowledge of pedagogical methods and skills in classroom management were sharpened. They shifted paradigm and attitude by focusing the teaching-learning spotlight on the students. They made learning an avenue for latter to express their creativity in a fun way.
With the cooperation of all stakeholders coupled with a sense of cultural sensitivity, Kesinee was likewise able to successfully modify one of the parents’ practices, that previously had a negative impact on the community. She was also able to protect students from the swine flu scare; and positively dealt with some of them who were disturbing the school’s neighbourhood by their noise.
The number of students on the school’s waiting list for next year’s enrolment has increased. Kesinee is assured, her instructional leadership is working magic.