Every Child Deserves To Sparkle

【Interview with Rosa Tse, Founder of GEM Education】

GEM Education is a child development therapy center. By offering psychological and behavioral therapy as well as educational programs, GEM Education aims to help children in their growth and development so that they can discover and explore their talents after receiving proper treatment. Rosa Tse, the founder of GEM Education, believes that every child is gifted and talented. With proper training and education, every child is capable of developing their strengths. Every child deserves to sparkle!
 

Prior to establishing GEM Education, Rosa was a passionate teacher with ten years of experience. “My first job after I graduated was as a teacher in an education center. Then I taught at a kindergarten and an international school. I became a qualified kindergarten teacher and finished the Postgraduate Diploma in Education program at Hong Kong University. Throughout my teaching journey as a kindergarten and secondary school teacher, I found that I really enjoyed working with children - especially the younger ones - so I chose to become a kindergarten teacher in the end.” After giving birth to her daughters, Rosa decided to quit her job and become a full-time mother because she valued the quality time spent with her children. “When I was a full-time mother I noticed that quite a few of the families around me had children who were experiencing particular issues such as problems with concentrating or behavioral or emotional problems. Some children may have serious problems, but most have just slight issues. There are also some situations in which societal pressures can cause parents to be overly fearful and concerned about their children’s development. In any case, parents are worried that these conditions will affect their children’s learning progress and future growth.” As a result of her observations, Rosa decided to set up GEM Education to provide support to children with mild developmental issues and their parents. Through customized treatment and educational programs, children learn to become more capable of solving problems in school and daily life. In order to better understand the needs of students and parents, Rosa has also just completed a master’s degree in Educational Psychology.

GEM Education’s main target is children with mild behavioral or emotional issues, or learning difficulties. “Even though their issues are very mild, it does affect their daily lives and learning at school. For example, anxiety can impact their sleep quality, impulsive behavior can affect their social lives, being easily distracted can affect their learning in the classroom, etc. If proper treatment is given to children at an early age, their issues can be solved more effectively. Therefore, GEM Education hopes to help parents and their children from the ages of 3 to 8 years old - the golden age during which problems can be more easily detected and corrected. We hope to reduce stress for parents, as well as build a strong foundation for children to handle problems in the future” says Rosa.

GEM Education offers two types of classes; small group classes and 1-on-1 classes. Small group classrooms are all designed for small class sizes to ensure that teachers are able to closely track the progress of every student. GEM Education allocates students into groups according to various factors, including the students’ actual age, their intellectual age, the teaching language, the content of the courses, and the students’ learning progress. Most importantly, they take into consideration the chemistry between students when assigning students to particular classes. For example, children who are good at expressing themselves may be able to stimulate those who are more reserved; children who struggle with reading emotions may learn from those who use a lot of facial expressions to communicate. Another factor that is taken into account when assigning students to classes is the social experience that they can gain from interacting with other children of different ages i.e. from looking after others, or being looked after by others.

For group classes, Focus Masters and Emotions Explorers are two of the major courses offered by GEM Education. Focus Masters is designed to strengthen the attention and concentration skills, and reduce impulsive behaviours of children with ADHD, while Emotions Explorers is mainly for training emotional regulation skills. The Focus Masters program is based on “The Learning Habit” by Dr. Robert M Pressman, and aims to train and improve students’ attention skills in order for them to perform better at school and in other fields. Emotions Explorers, which takes WeThinkers® from the United States as reference, places emphasis on emotional management and social skills to teach students proper emotional expression and regulation. Rosa points out “in order to better understand the difficulties students and parents are facing, our therapists meet with them before assigning students into any group class. This way we can adjust our lesson plans to take into account the needs of each student.”

For students who need to attend 1-on-1 classes, we first meet with the parents and student. Then we will have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for each student. This is customized to cater to each student’s specific needs. We also set short-term and long-term goals for students to achieve, in the hopes of correcting the problems gradually. Because the range and severity of symptoms is diverse, we need to have an IEP for each children to work out a tailor-made solution for them. “In the meetings with parents and students, we and the parents can understand each other’s expectations. At the same time, if parents have any questions or concerns, we can answer the questions right the way.” says Rosa.
 

Rosa also emphasizes the importance of parental involvement in a child’s growth and development. “We regularly give parents updates of students’ progress. This gives us a chance to explain to parents how to handle certain situations and encourage them to use the same approach as we do in class to deal with children’s behavioral problems at home.” Rosa stresses the importance of consistency in bringing up children. Keeping with the same method of teaching and using a consistent way to deal with a situation helps children learn more effectively and understand what is right or wrong. She shares a success story at GEM Education. “Thomas is one of our students. When he first came to us, he exhibited aggressive behaviors towards his family and others. His actions sometimes hurt other children unintentionally. Through the training in our course and our close relationship with his mother, we advised her to use the same approach as we did in class to deal with Thomas’s behavioral and emotional issues at home. After five months, we see a significant improvement in his problems.”

Rosa believes that a change of environment can be one of the factors leading to a child’s behavioral or emotional issues, especially in the transition from kindergarten to primary school. Parents can pay more attention to their children in these situations and try not to put too much pressure on them. “Positive parenting is also significant. For example, if a child is easily distracted by sound, does it mean that he is good at hearing? If a child does a lot of talking, does it mean that he can be a good speaker? I suggest that parents spend more time discovering and nurturing their child’s talents rather than focusing on their weaknesses” says Rosa.
 

Since its establishment in 2017, the team at GEM Education is comprised of professionals with varying backgrounds including clinical psychologists, behavioral therapists and parent advisors. They also have guest therapists and consultants to provide all-round service catering to the needs of students and parents. “In the long term, my wish is through GEM Education to reach out to more low income families and children to provide support to those in need.”

If parents have any questions regarding their children’s growth and development, GEM Education welcomes parents to their center and the team will be more than happy to meet with them. The GEM Education team will first meet with parents to briefly understand their situations and then interact with the child. After observation, they can provide suggestions or customized courses for the child.

 

Focus Masters is now open for registration for children ages 3-8. 10% off discount available for new students!

If you have had experience with GEM Education, please share your views: https://whizpa.com/listings/gem-education