Ms. Xiang was born in mainland China and moved to California in the late 1990s. She graduated with an B.A. degree in English Literature and holds an International Montessori teaching certification for 3-6 year old children. She has held the Texas Childcare Director certification for over 10 years and has 25 years of teaching experience at both public and private schools across both China and the United States.
School Background and Early Days
After her only child was born, Terri found it challenging to spend time with her daughter while working full time as a single mother. When her daughter reached toddler age, she couldn’t find a preschool which taught Chinese near her home. Terri decided to relocate and follow her dream of spending more time with her daughter, and have the opportunity to watch her grow, while running her own Chinese preschool.
In the summer of 2007, she sold her home in southern California and relocated to Round Rock, Texas. One year later, she started her Chinese preschool business by offering half day mornings (formerly called 77 Mandarin Preschool) with a small group of children in her home. Her enrollment increased to 6, and eventually she had to upgrade her childcare license to serve 12 children. Even then, there was a waiting list of parents who wanted to enroll their kids.
Parents were amazed at what their children could do. When they witnessed their children speaking Chinese, singing/dancing to Chinese songs, and writing Chinese characters, they were in disbelief. During their time here, some of the preschoolers gained the ability to compute first grade math work, and upon preschool graduation, were academically ready to pass the TAG (Talented and Gifted) test entering kindergarten.
By November of 2015, Terri realized her lifelong dream of opening up a childcare center to serve families with the same needs as hers. Therefore, Little Hands International Preschool was born.
By January 2018, Terri opened a second location across the street from the preschool: Little Hands Learning Academy. This location serves a wide range of ages from K-5 and develops inquisitive thinking, various interests, and abilities, contributing to the education of all the kids to facilitate well-rounded, engaged students. Little Hands Learning Academy offers afterschool programs, as well as various camps for elementary-school age kids. With provided transportation (pick-up at nearby elementary schools), students are offered one hour of Chinese lessons each day, as well as integrated weekly math, Spanish, STEM, and Lego Robotics classes.
Terri is continually grateful for everything she has today. “I am very lucky,” she said. “I have the best teachers and staff working for me, and all the parents are very supportive. We will continue to work together to make our school a loving place for all our budding international students.”