Next Vancouver speaker
February 2, 8:30am • SFU Woodward's — Goldcorp Centre for the Arts • part of a series on Curiosity
Natacha V. Beim is recognized internationally as an educational leader, author, speaker, child advocate and parenting expert. She created an educational approach based on children’s brain development and the values of contribution and empathy. In 1996, she founded Core Education & Fine Arts Junior Kindergarten schools, which are highly recognized in North America. Born in Uruguay and raised in Montréal, Canada, she has traveled extensively and studied educational systems around the world. As a pioneer in the field of modern education, Beim continually pursues studies in the field developmental psychology focusing on the early years.
Beim strongly believes in the power of a well-rounded education. A published poet at the young age of 16, Beim speaks three languages and has worn many hats including teacher, ballerina, model, journalist, painter, writer, actress (theatre) and runner. While she still devotes time to these interests, her passion now lies in helping the next generation of young learners by creating North America’s most regarded junior kindergarten program.
Natacha V. Beim won Top 40 Under 40 Entrepreneur Award; WOW Woman of Worth Award for Empowered Educator; and was a Women of Distinction Award finalist for Education Training and Development, two years in a row.
The CEFA methodology has been used successfully for more than 15 years in schools across North America. Beim designed the curriculum as an open learning source, meaning leading educators continually contribute to it, allowing the most creative, up-to-date and advanced philosophies to be incorporated. CEFA teachers are great thinkers, trained to question “what and why” they teach their students. They are empowered to adapt the curriculum to meet the unique needs of each student.
Beim’s progressive view on education and incredible passion for life, have made her a fascinating speaker, enriching parents and educators alike. She now resides in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two sons. There she divides her time between research, writing, speaking engagements and her most important accomplishment to date – being a mom.
“I always wanted to be a teacher, to help others find their passion in life. Through Core Education & Fine Arts, I know that children have an incredible opportunity to not only explore and learn, but to discover how they can contribute to the world.” - Natacha V. Beim
You can find out about CEFA at www.cefa.ca
CMV: How do you define creativity and apply it in your career?
NB: Creativity to me has so many definitions, but the one I want to talk about is creativity as being a a way of thinking.
For some reason, since I was a little girl, I always looked at the best way of doing things rather than looking at the way they had been done up to that point. If there was a better way, I would do everything I could to make sure everyone benefited from what I had come up with. That is why I see it as a way of thinking. Creativity affects absolutely every decision you make, everything you do.
My career is a perfect example of that. Since I was two years old, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. When I finally became a teacher, I realized there was a better way to teach, and tried to convince others. When everyone decided it was too hard to change things, I opened my own school. Now we have 12 schools, and we are opening two more each month. And still, my job each day is to research and develop new ways of teaching, new material, new games.
CMV: Where do you find your best creative inspiration?
NB: Everywhere! Everywhere we go, everything we look at is a catalyst for creativity to me, but if I have to pick the one place where all of that gets distilled into more concrete ideas, I would have to say in the shower :) I think that’s the only place where I am not doing two things at once, so my mind is free to start putting things together. Plus there’s something about hot water!
CMV: What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person?
NB: Collaborate. The synergy you get when collaborating is amazing for all involved, and takes you places far beyond your own reach.
CMV: Who would you like to hear speak at CreativeMornings?
NB: Raymond Boisjoly.
CMV: What keeps you awake at night?
NB: A million things I still want to do but would need another two or three lives to do :) I have so many ideas, so many books I want to write, so many things I missed for lack of time!! Last night, my son was not feeling well and woke me up at 3am. I took care of him and within 15 minutes, he was asleep again until this morning. But those 15 minutes getting medicine and sitting quietly by his bedside stroking his hair till he fell asleep were so amazing, that I stayed up till six just recording all these articles I had been meaning to write, and thinking about a couple of projects that have been on my mind. Then I finally went back to my room to sleep.
CMV: What are you proudest of in ?
NB: Giving children a voice in our community. The children in our schools, as young as 1 and not older than 5, all know that we value their contribution (be it art, ideas, a point of view, projects, whatever). We also expect them to contribute to our community. They helped me design classrooms and spaces the way they wanted to have them, they built schools in developing countries, they contributed to re-building Haiti after the earthquake, and they also invented songs, wrote books, and shared their wisdom as equals.
Imagine children’s thoughts being taken seriously:
- We’d have about 1/3 more contributing, committed citizens
- We’d have thousands of excellent, fresh ideas
- We’d have a new way of looking at things.
If you missed Treana Peake’s talk at CMVan last month, you are in luck. The video of his talk is now up on Vimeo. Check it out! If you appreciate the work the CreativeMornings/Vancouver volunteers are doing, please click the “Donate" button below to help ensure the continued success of these important creative community events.