As students, we have memories and highlights of school that we keep close to our hearts. There are a lot of things we recall about ICS because we’ve spent a great deal of time there. We all have different perspectives on these events, but have you ever wondered about how our teachers remember these situations?
For a lot of us, some of the fondest memories we made are from the retreats we attended because of the carefree environment. As we were so busy having the time of our lives, most of us must never have thought2 of how our teachers viewed the circumstances. Recently, our curiosity has brought us to interview Teachers Angela Maulion and Josh Agoncillo in order to view certain memories through their eyes.
When asked about retreats, Teacher Angela stated that she enjoyed coordinating them in general and is fond of the preparations because she feels a sense of fulfillment when she sees how the students enjoy the activities planned for them. She feels that each retreat, regardless of the grade level it was organized for, had a specific purpose, and so it was a pleasure for her to serve the students.
Teacher Josh, on the other hand, enjoyed connecting and socializing with the students. During his first time on an ICS retreat, he got to know more about the 6th grade students. Prior to that, he hadn’t really known most of them, and if he did, they only got to interact during guild time. He also felt like it was a given that the food and place were both enjoyable and comfortable.
Teacher Angela had a similar sentiment. She felt that retreats were a great experience that allowed her to leave campus, take in the environment, and get to know the students. During the time she spent there, she felt like the students were more relaxed, so interacting with them was a very different experience from mingling in school.
She also particularly enjoys the Grade 6 retreats because she gets to know the students better, so when she encounters them the next year in classes or in the hallways, she already has a connection with them. She explained that the retreats are designed differently to suit each grade level’s maturity, age, interests, and to encourage character development. Although all the retreats focus on establishing a stronger relationship with the Lord, they also focus on other things the students can relate to. For example, the retreats for Grade 12 aim to answer students’ questions about college and their careers, while for Grade 6, the retreats help the students learn about transitioning to high school.
The opportunity to speak during a session one night was something Teacher Josh remembers fondly. It was memorable for him because he felt nervous while sharing it. Overall, he still enjoyed teaching the message about loving one another and forgiveness. Aside from teaching the students important values and character, he also enjoyed watching them work on team-building activities.
Loving God with all our heart, minds, and strength was Teacher Angela’s favorite theme during one retreat. One of the fundamentals that they taught the students was the importance of spending time and bonding with family. Another lesson of importance was building everyone around them up by encouraging. She liked seeing how much the students got to bond in many different ways through the teachings of these lessons
Both Teacher Josh and Teacher Angela had specific highlights in mind when we asked them about their experiences. For Teacher Josh, it was getting to know Teacher Irwin better and listening to the Grade 6 boys talk about themselves while pouring their hearts out. For Teacher Angela, it was watching TV with the students she was roommates with and doing devotions with them when they woke up in the morning. She felt like it was an intimate time when they could all share their insights about the certain topics and reflect on it.
Like we said in the beginning, we all have ICS memories we hold dear to our hearts. What we don’t realize is sometimes, hearing another person’s perspective on these memories allows us to see these moments in a different light. It was especially heartwarming to look back on our retreat experiences, while hearing what it was like from the teachers’ point of views. Despite the current situation, we are sure to have more memories to look forward to. Being able to look back on past events can help keep us going. Even as we stay in our homes, we can continue to live in the moment and make this period of time memorable. After all, it is up to us to have hope for the future while still making the most of our circumstances and reminiscing about the past.