I was 4 years old when my mom enrolled me here as a nursery student (Mont Michel was known as Little Angels then). When I left for college, I was already 16.
For 12 years, at least 5 hours a day, I was here. Can you imagine that? Pre school aside, I spent more time in school than at home!
Wow. Every year for 12 years, it was a cautiously and consciously made decision that Mont Michel had the best learning environment for me. I never put thought into it until I was asked to address you parents this morning. But yes— for 12 years, my parents chose Mont Michel over at least 10 other schools that tried to tell my parents, “their strategies are more fitting for your daughter’s needs.”
Now it wouldn’t be fair to say Mont Michel indeed was the best for me since I didn’t have the chance to experience what it was like to study elsewhere. But what I wish to share with you today, as I represent our alumni, are two preciously exceptional experiences Mont Michel allowed us to have, that I know FOR SURE I wouldn’t have had in any other place— even at home.
One. My relationship with God. Growing up, our religion teachers did well in familiarizing us with the Catholic faith. But growing up, we weren’t forbidden to ask our why’s. Our teachers knew how to address our doubts, our curiosities. We had an incredible support system that gave us the sense of belonging that is so important to a child to have.
We weren’t dictated to live a certain way. Religious references were used with tenderness; reminding us that ultimately, we gain a better understanding of life when we choose to be compassionate with ourselves and other people. And this is how we discovered God: not through the good things we’re expected to do but the good things each of us is innately able to give. In hindsight, this is probably why we don’t pay much attention to our differences with others. We never felt the need to compare because we were raised to relate instead of struggling—trying too hard to be unique. It’s okay to be different, it’s okay to be just like someone else. Gosh was it easy to make friends and deepen bonds.
Two. It’s okay to fail. In fact, we were constantly reminded that failure is one of the keys to success. I’m sure, not all schools would say that. But here in Mont Michel, it was taught to us that we owe it to our failures our capacity to accept our imperfections. I remember, I was in third year high school, when Sir Reinald told me that the only people who need our good grades, are our parents! They’re the only ones who will remember every subject we aced and immortalise it by framing it on the walls. Seriously though, he said, when we start working, we have no use for them.
It was instilled in us that mistakes were mandatory for us to discover parts of ourselves that can make us even better people while helping better others.
Essentially, we here at mont Michel were not taught to just thrive. We were guided to develop a strong sense of self and to live everyday with purpose. After all, our successes are not defined by how we outperform others. Instead, we are fulfilled when we know we have done service to others, our community.
Did you go to Little Angels Nursery School or Mont Michel School?
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