We sat down with our Early Childhood Education Manager, Randi Kearney, to learn more about her MUSE story and role within the MUSE Global team as we begin to expand our operations. Randi has been with the MUSE family for five years, and was recently joined by her 3-year-old son, Levi.
What drew you to MUSE’s approach to early childhood education?
I began my teaching career at a very traditional preschool, and eventually started to feel that the established approach to education just didn’t resonate with me. I wanted to identify what the individual child was actually interested in. At that time, I didn’t know that passion-based learning was an actual model being applied in schools – and that MUSE was really pioneering this approach – until it was brought to my attention by a parent. And once I joined MUSE, it was really amazing to find this like-minded group of educators that understood the power of teaching a child through their own passions.
How much of a hand do you have in designing MUSE’s curriculum?
Our admin team works together to develop curriculum that’s in alignment with passion-based learning principles, informed by the latest research published by NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) with respect to what’s developmentally appropriate. So we integrate their research into our own philosophy, and then establish standards and overall goals for each age range. Then, as the ECE Manager, my job is to ensure those standards are being upheld in each classroom.
Why do you think the Blueprint evaluation is so much more beneficial to a young child, as opposed to a traditional report card?
In traditional settings, ECE report cards are very basic; children are scored on whether they can write their name, count to ten, etc. What our Blueprint does is assess the whole child. While academics is one component, we are also very focused on the child’s social, emotional, and self-efficacy skills. Are they able to ask for their shovel back on the playground if someone takes it from them? Can they effectively advocate for their own needs? Do they have a growth mindset? Are they critical of themselves when they make a mistake? At this age, fostering these skills are just as important. The goal of our early childhood program is for children to develop a love of school, become curious learners, and learn to socialize well with their peers. And there’s so much science to back up the importance of play and social-emotional learning at this age, that we can confidently stand behind our approach.
What surprised you most about MUSE?
I think the biggest surprise has been how impactful PCM (Process Communication Model) is, in all aspects of life – but particularly in a classroom environment. I thought I really understood children pre-MUSE, but it wasn’t until I went through PCM training for the first time that I realized how individualized each students’ needs are, depending on their personality types and communication styles. And, the personality types are really universal, and transcend culture or location – whether you’re here in Calabasas, or in a rural community, you’re still going to have your students that respond better to logic and time structure, and those who perceive things through their feelings and emotions – it’s all relative. And that’s why I feel so strongly that this model can be effective anywhere.
You’re also a part of the MUSE Global team! Tell us a bit more about that.
Since I started working here, I’ve always asked myself, ‘why aren’t there more of these schools out there? Any community could use a MUSE School!’ I eventually started meeting potential franchisors and giving them tours of the school, since I’m really on the ground floor of running our ECE program. When Jeff and Rebecca approached me to officially join them in their plans to expand the MUSE philosophy to communities everywhere, I was so eager to be a part of those efforts. Within MUSE Global, my role is to guide new MUSE administrators and teachers step-by-step. There are so many important decisions made each moment in this type of environment – and we want to be there to support new MUSE Schools in this transition, because we’ve lived it. We will be there to ensure our mission and vision is upheld, assist with staff and teacher hiring, classroom aesthetics, maintaining our sustainability initiatives, and so forth. And it’s incredibly exciting to be a part of that process and momentum.
To find out how to bring a MUSE Global School to your community, please visit our franchising opportunities page or email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our team members will be in touch.