Gazel Razavi, currently Principal of EtonHouse International Pre-School Hong Kong, is an experienced early childhood educator who has a diverse and rich teaching experience. Her exposure to the IB, Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), and local curricula has empowered her with a diverse and innovative approach as an academic leader. She sees children as individual learners who work best in an environment which provides them with opportunities to grow and develop a range of skills.
In today's Meet & Greet, let's hear from Gazel.
1. Full Name/Nickname?
My name is Gazel Razavi, I do not have a particular nickname but some people find it hard to pronounce my name. Hence, I have been called Giselle, Gazal and many other names, and interestingly, the children call me “Madam Gazelle”.
2. Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I grew up and studied in different countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Iran and Hong Kong.
3. How long have you been in Hong Kong? What do you love most about Hong Kong?
I have been living in Hong Kong for more than 11 years. Hong Kong has become a place that I now call home. I love the diverse community, its rich culture, beautiful nature and delicious Cantonese cuisine. Over the past decade, I have come to appreciate how efficient and open-minded people in Hong Kong are.
4. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
My children are at the age where they will be moving to their next chapter of their lives - university. I try to spend as much time with them as I can. Also, being an expatriate in Hong Kong means that you have to make time for your friends who have become like your family here. We also love hiking with our dog that has been with us for 8 years!
5. What inspired you to become a principal?Being a mother and a teacher, you always think about the best education system. I truly believe that the children of 21st century need something beyond rote learning. They need to be critical thinkers, problem-solvers and good communicators. I have always had this passion for changing the mindset of educators, parents and eventually the society. When the opportunity of working in a Reggio Emilia-inspired school came, I was very eager to take on the role and fulfill my passion.
6. What is your most memorable moment in your years of teaching/ being a principal?
I love when I walk to the classrooms or even around the school, and the children ask “out of the box” questions. Moments like this reaffirm my work and makes me proud of the school and our philosophy.
7. How would you describe your school in a sentence?
Beautiful environment, simulating curriculum and caring staff.
8. What is your favorite spot in the school, and why?
The classrooms. It is amazing how unique every classroom is and how children interact with their environment. The settings are so organic and are adapted according to the children's interests and inquiries.
9. Favorite children’s books?
That changes a lot, but I certainly enjoy reading Julia Donaldson’s and Dr. Suess’ stories to the children.
10. Any advice for parents in choosing a pre-school/supporting their child?
Spend time with your children and get to know them. There is no formula for choosing the right pre-school/school for the children. Every child is unique and the worst thing you can do as a parent is to place them in a system that inhibits them from striving.
Secondly, let them be children. As Piaget said “Play is the work of children”, they learn to think, socialize, communicate and solve problems.
Visit EtonHouse International Pre-School Hong Kong and learn about our unique bilingual inquiry-based curriculum.