“The happiest man in the world is the one who makes the most people happy”
For the well-being of the children, the different actors in the school’s day-to-day operations (staff, parents, external parties) need to get along and work in harmony. The focus is on mutual respect and team spirit.
Director of the group La Petite Ecole
Maria Lamrani Alaoui
My professional life is rich and made up of many experiences in different countries, all sources of discoveries and encounters.
Indeed, after studies in Literature (‘Lettres’) in Bordeaux 3 and in Sciences of Education in Paris, I found my passion for teaching, first with older children, and then with Early Childhood – which, to me, is a beautiful age.
After working in Africa at the Lycée Louis Massignon in Casablanca and in Australia at the Lycée Franco-Australien in Canberra, I moved to the Asian continent.
My first contact with Singapore was as a coach for an AEFE (Agency for French Education Abroad) training programme offered in the area. Indeed, I had the pleasure of co-facilitating the “Innovative Practices in Kindergarten” training session at the Lycée Français in Singapore as well as in Australia – first with the Canberra team, then the Melbourne team.
I had the opportunity to share and reflect with several colleagues on the contribution of neurosciences and their impact on the posture and daily practices of educational teams.
Questioning our practices allows us both to be as close as possible to the needs of our children but also to be ambitious with them and for them.
I was School Principal at La Petite Ecole in Singapore for five consecutive years, before becoming the Pedagogical Director of La Petite Ecole group in South-East Asia. Today, I devote myself exclusively to the management of the La Petite Ecole group: I support the teams by being as close as possible to their needs in order to ensure the smooth functioning of our 4 establishments at every level.
Since the beginning of the year, La Petite Ecole has become a part of the Odyssey educational network, a specialist in French education abroad. I work closely with the Odyssey team to ensure our common mission: that of leading each student on the path to success and personal development.
For more information on La Petite Ecole's methods, you are welcome to visit 'Our Pedagogy' pages for nursery, preschool and elementary classes.
We build ourselves through the people around us, those we meet, the places we go to and the exchanges we have. This happens from an early age. It is what led me to move into the field of education: passionate teachers who made me want to do this job, a multilingual family environment and a need to share.
After 5 years of working in France as a school teacher, I had the opportunity to move to Mongolia for the first time in 2014 and help open the first French school in Ulan Bator. This management experience then led me to Siem Reap, Cambodia, where my mission was to develop the language offer of the establishment as well as the expansion project into secondary school. I later moved to Hong Kong for an assignment consisting in restructuring a school’s pedagogy and administration.
My concern, and those of my teams, has always been to make children happy to come to school by offering them a reassuring and caring environment, varied and motivating learning situations while arousing their curiosity. Giving a place to families is just as essential for happiness and success: it is together that we will go further.
I am delighted to join La Petite Ecole’s team in Vietnam, one of my countries of origin, and I look forward to continuing to develop the projects in place and to propose new ones! I will invest the same passion, the same dynamism, the same dedication as in my previous missions. It is a real pleasure for me to take charge of an establishment like this one and to support each of the children in their academic and personal development.
Tâm Nguyen Mary
I was born in France in 1980 from Vietnamese parents, so I grew up with both cultures and languages. My origins naturally attracted me to Vietnam and in 2006 my husband (a teacher) and I decided to pack our suitcases and embark on a new experience.
What was supposed to be a short experienced turned into over a decade of expatriation in the country of my origins, and it is here that my children were born, and that I settled in both my professional and private life.
I studied to be a specialised educator and I worked in a number of establishments in France (inc. places for children in difficulty, or coming from socially-challenged backgrounds). In my first job in Ho Chi Minh Ville, I was responsible for a group of children at Bambou-Bulles nursery.
I later had the opportunity to become the director of the nursery, and after its fusion with Antonia, I took the role of general administration director part-time, on top of my role as a teacher in nursery.
Having followed the evolution of Antonia over the years, I was delighted to embark on this new chapter with La Petite Ecole, in September 2017. This year again, I will be heading the nursery while continuing to take care of the 2-3 years-old and manage the school’s administration team.
I wish to preserve the drive that has guided me throughout my career: to listen to parents’ needs and opinions, and advise them to the best of my abilities. My role is first and foremost human-centred; hence the necessity of putting empathy, warmth and benevolence at the heart of our relationship to family and children.