Mrs Chaillan, Principal of Anglo-Chinese School (Junior), recounts five school scenes in a letter to her students, and what they mean to her. Watch her video or read her letter below.
Today, I watched you in the classroom. Bright-eyed and eager, you raised your hand to give your response. I saw you excited, learning about energy forms in your Science lesson and wanting to share your knowledge with your friends. You were curious to find out more about biofuels and perhaps, just perhaps, I imagined that you could change the world. Maybe you would advance mankind’s knowledge on how we power the world today. I felt your zest for learning, I saw the sparkle in your eye. I believe that tomorrow, you can change the way we live.
Today, I watched you in the playground. You were sitting by yourself, watching your schoolmates playing. You wanted to join them but didn’t know how. Then after quite a long time, you decided that you would make that effort. It was not easy, but you tried. You walked up to the group of boys and followed their actions. At first, the boys did not realise that you had joined them. But a while later, they included you in their game and I saw you smile. Your courage made the difference. In the future, remember that with a little bit of courage, you can accomplish much. I believe that tomorrow, you can achieve your dreams.
Today, I watched you in the canteen. You held on tightly to your bowl of noodles, taking care not to spill the soup. You walked past me and stopped. With your bowl of noodles in your hands, you bowed and greeted me. You did not have to do that, I would have understood. But it came so naturally to you. It was not convenient but you stopped. I was moved. At 7 years old, you demonstrated respect for others, not sparing a thought for yourself. When you respect others, others will respect you. When you have consideration for others, others will reciprocate with trust. I believe that tomorrow, you will be a trustworthy gentleman.
Today, I watched you in the field. It was a tough game and your opponents were leading. But I saw the determination in your eyes and I saw the indomitable team spirit displayed by you and your teammates. Swiftly, you received the rugby ball from your teammate and stood strong despite the hard tackles from the opponents. You did not give up. Your team did not win but I was proud of you, the spirit of grit will stand you in good stead for the future. When troubles come your way next time, remember that you made it through before and that you will make it through yet another time. I believe that tomorrow, you will overcome.
Today, I watched you in the hall during morning assembly. You spoke to your fellow schoolmates about helping an ex-student who was battling cancer. You told them to give part of their allowance to help this older boy. At recess for the next few days, you gathered your friends to mobilise the school to donate generously. I am touched not just by your words, but by your actions. Together with your friends, you fought for a worthy cause. You put others before yourself and know that you can make a difference. If you can do this at 12 years old, imagine what you can do in the future. I believe that tomorrow, you will make Singapore a kinder place.
Every day, I watch you. I watch you learn, I watch you play, I watch you fall and pick yourself up, I watch you argue with your friends then make amends, I watch you try and fail, I watch you try again and succeed, I watch you make mistakes and then learn from them, I simply watch you grow.
But you know something? You will not always be little. One day, you will be big. You will become somebody’s best buddy, become a hubby and daddy, perhaps become an entrepreneur or pastor, or inventor or therapist, who knows, perhaps even the Prime Minister of Singapore. But while waiting for that day to come, I hope that each day, you will learn and grow so that you will be the best ‘best buddy’ and the best ‘hubby and daddy’ that you can be. Don’t give up doing good each day. Don’t give up being diligent and curious. Don’t give up being adventurous and fun-loving. Don’t give up being kind and respectful to others. Don’t give up making friends and making your friendships last a lifetime.
Today, while I was watching you, I saw tomorrow come. I saw you changing the world and achieving your dreams. I saw you as a trustworthy gentleman who could overcome problems. I also saw you take action to make Singapore a kinder place. When tomorrow comes, don’t forget that ACS (Junior) helped to make you who you are.