You’ve likely heard the Spanish saying, Mi casa es su casa (My home is your home). This is an expression of hospitality and welcome that epitomizes the Latin culture! At SSH, it sums up our desire for students and their families to feel at home in our schools. In fact, we embrace it in our mission statement – “to provide a warm, positive learning environment where children build confidence, self-esteem, and respect for others.”
Affectionate gestures are a vibrant part of the Latin culture and they come naturally to Spanish Schoolhouse teachers and staff. That’s why at nuestra escuela, we start every day with a warm, loving welcome that sets the tone for an exciting day of learning! Smiles, hugs, and high-fives greet students and families alike as we invite them into our “home.” Lively Spanish music plays in the entrance, adding an upbeat rhythm to the start of the day. This helps even the most reluctant little ones begin their day on a positive note and associate school with warmth, caring, and fun!
Building a Respectful Environment
We emphasize etiquette and manners within our daily curriculum to help foster a positive and kind atmosphere. Students learn about respecting classmates and teachers, and about the beautiful respect for elders (especially grandparents) that is cherished in the Latin culture.
In Latin families, it’s strongly emphasized that children to learn to greet others politely. They’re taught that it’s important to make eye contact and listen closely when engaged in conversation. Acknowledging adults with a greeting (or saluda) is a sign of respect and good manners. Very quickly, they learn expressions of greeting, farewell, gratitude and apology. Soon after each school year begins, you’ll hear buenos dias, buenas tardes, adios, (good morning, good afternoon, goodbye), and por favor, gracias, lo siento (please, thank you, I’m sorry).
Even our friendly mascot, Periquito Azul, helps teach about manners and greetings! Ask any SSH student about Periquito’s cheerful song, and you’ll see their faces light up as they sing,
“Buenos días, buenos días así nos saludaremos. Buenos días, buenos días y la mano nos daremos.” (Good morning, good morning, that’s how we greet each other. Good morning, good morning, and we shake hands.)
From morning drop-off to afternoon pick-up and throughout the day, SSH finds and takes advantage of teachable moments.
Speaking of Latin Greetings…
Did you know that a kiss on the cheek is an almost universal greeting in Spain and Latin America, and not just with family? It’s interesting to see how gestures of welcome vary around the world. If you’re planning a trip to a Spanish-speaking country and are curious about local customs, click here or here to read some helpful tips!
We Couldn’t Say it Better!
At Spanish Schoolhouse, we pride ourselves on giving children the gift of bilingualism and excellent academic preparation. However, we take just as much pride in our unique atmosphere of warmth and affection. Parents often tell us that it sets us apart from other preschools. Here are just a few of the comments we have received in recent parent surveys:
“You can’t help but feel like you’re walking into your family’s home when you walk into Spanish Schoolhouse. Everybody is so welcoming and makes sure to say hello and hug each student.”
“We love the music at drop off and pick up times. From the time you walk in the door, it’s like a big party! Thank you for greeting us daily by name with a warm smile, a hug, and great energy.”
“My son and I both look forward to the warm smiles, high fives and kind greetings from the staff and teachers. Their welcoming personalities make him feel loved and excited to go to school.”
“When we walk into school, my son insists on stopping to hug each staff member he sees. They all seem to know his name and love him like their own. Their compassion, not only for him but for me, is something I’ll never forget.”
Who wouldn’t feel welcome in an environment like this?! Remarks like these help us know that we are succeeding in our mission of creating a warm and positive learning environment. We are so proud of our students and the role that we are privileged to play in helping them develop into respectful, globally-minded, and enthusiastic young learners who will shape a bright future for us all.
If you’d like to tour Spanish Schoolhouse, check out our 18 Texas locations at www.spanishschoolhouse.com. We’d love to see you!