Shintoku Kindergarten was founded in April 1906.
Our school vision, “Cherish Life”, is centered around the teachings of Amithaba-Buddha.
In order to fulfill this vision, our three education principles are “Enjoy”, “Get Along” and “Be Yourself”.
Enjoy—Spending every day at ease in a safe and secure environment.
Get Along—Learning how to relate to others through a repeated trial-and-error process.
Be Yourself—Not fearing differences but praising originality.
Children love dangerous things. I used to be the same way. Making dangerous things overly safe will hinder their learning and growing process. Instead, it is the responsibility of adults to control risks by tuning and processing them to a level where children can play safely.
For this reason, we carefully observe our environment and activities. Interesting and stimulating things and activities, while avoiding unnecessary risks, are important to “Enjoy” every day.
Children are naturally self-assertive. They often assert themselves with a logic that adults cannot understand. In addition, every child has his or her own way to view the world. This is why fights also happen between them, which provides them with another opportunity to learn about the world. To help them learn, adults also have to make certain efforts of teaching. We go through a trial-and-error process because we want them to understand each other, and to strive to understand whenever they do not. When we do this, children will show adults words and expressions they cannot think of themselves or have forgotten. For us educators and parents, the actions, ideas and thoughts of children are also a learning experience. To be able to always “Get Along” with others in good spirits is an important lesson that will last a lifetime.
When we become adults, we give up a lot of things in order to fit into society. This process of surrendering in order to get along with others is something children do not yet have to do. While it would be easy to deny children their individuality in order to get them to conform, we at Shintoku Kindergarten want to offer an alternative. Nowadays, it is important to feel that one’s individuality is cherished. We want to make our students feel that they are cherished for who they are and therefore enable them to enjoy every day of their childhood and experience the happiness you feel when you can “Be Yourself”.
To be recognized and accepted for who they are will teach children that others deserve to be treated with the same respect. It is my wish that our students will grow up feeling that their existence matters to their communities at kindergarten and at home, and that they are being supported by the people in their life.
In addition, I hope to evoke their interest in the people, things and matters that shape the society and world they live in. It is my wish to provide an environment at Shintoku Kindergarten that fosters growth and learning through daily interactions and allows children to explore their interests with their eyes, ears, mouth, nose and body, because we are treating these interests with respect and care.