Berkeley International Montessori SchoolCommunity Subscriber
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Our mission is to partner with parents to develop bilingual children who are confident, empathetic, mindful, and have a life-long love of learning. We provide a unique Japanese-English bilingual Montessori learning environment for children between the ages of 2.8 through 6 years.
We miss BIM so much! My son went to BIM for about 1.5yr until we relocated to SoCal. It's been a couple of months since he started his new school, and he still talks about how he misses his friends and wants to go back to his old school. The teachers at BIM are so patient and caring - they take the time to cater and guide each student to their specific needs, and they would partner with the parents to ensure we help them thrive.
Although my partner and I would speak English at home, my son would come home speaking Japanese and was able to communicate with his grandparents in Japanese. We were impressed. We also miss the other BIM families - such a fantastic, irreplaceable community that's warm and supportive of one another.
I cannot speak highly enough about our daughter's experience at BIM. Under the care and guidance of the BIM staff, we have seen our daughter grow leaps and bounds. I really appreciated how well each of the teachers understood our child and her unique needs and how the school went to great lengths to incorporate Montessori methodologies in the home. Not only did my child benefit from her time at BIM but I also gained the confidence and tools to be a better parent. The teachers were all extremely warm, patient, yet firm and consistent which as any parent to a young child will tell you is vitally important. They really do such a wonderful job at recognizing even the youngest toddlers as an important individual as evidenced in the the littlest details down to the way they warmly greet each child in the morning with a handshake as they enter the classroom.
Though we have moved out of state due to jobs, our daughter still regularly speaks of her teachers and her friends at BIM. We also benefited from the warm parent community and have made great friends from our time there.
If you are looking for a Montessori immersion preschool, you would be hard pressed to find one better than BIM.
BIM is a gem of a school. This Japanese-English immersion Montessori (along with its sister-school, American International Montessori) provides an experience we’ve not found anywhere else. In addition to learning the regular curriculum, our son has learned to be responsible, confident, and interact with kids of varying ages.
Our son started at BIM soon after he turned two. Like some bilingual children, his speech was a bit delayed as he navigated the mix of English and Japanese words in our home environment. However, his language skills blossomed soon after he started BIM. Not only did he rapidly acquire fluency in Japanese (without an accent), so many people comment on how politely he speaks…he often uses formal Japanese even with us!
We have continually been impressed at how he’s developing and learning new things every day and how he continues to do them at home without much prompting. The instruction at BIM is individualized, rich, carefully considered, and the environment is peaceful. Under the direction of Saki-sensei, each of the highly-experienced teachers at BIM are nurturing, firm, kind, and patient. Our son often has positive stories that included his friends and teachers. All of the teachers understand our son, help him where he needs help, encourage him to go beyond his comfort zone and expand his untapped potential, let him learn at his own pace, and generally made BIM a place he couldn’t wait to go every day. In our limited experience with Mahr-sensei, the director of AIM and BIM, it is clear that he is focused on making sure our son gets the most out of BIM, that we as parents feel comfortable and safe, and we have a good relationship with the teachers.
The families that we’ve gotten to know are warm and friendly. Our son has made some wonderful friends and we have too!
We highly recommend BIM to any parents seeking this kind of experience for their child.
We know head teacher Tomoko Schocker from her time at Growing Light preschool. Tomoko is an exceptional teacher. Her approach to the classroom felt structured but she was also very warm with the children, and she worked with each according to their needs. Her respect for the children is evident. She also communicated very well with the parents.
This is a review for Tomoko Schocker, head teacher. Tomoko was my daughter's (age 4 at the time) head teacher at Growing Light Montessori School in Kensington. She is phenomenal. I don't have enough good things to say about her. Tomoko is incredibly professional, really relates to the children, always energetic, and just a good human being. Every day I dropped off my daughter at school, Tomoko would greet her with open arms, a smile, and engage her in a fun activity. Tomoko was very communicative with me during my daughter's time there. She is observant, creative, and fully reliable. My daughter took Japanese classes from Tomoko during an after school program, and still embraces the language and its culture. My daughter still talks about Tomoko and misses her dearly.
I almost left Growing Light Monterssori to follow Tomoko to BIM. Since leaving Growing Light, Tomoko has stayed in touch and we actually just had a preschool class reunion. Tomoko is a true educator and child lover. Your child will be lucky to have her as his/her teacher.