MAST teacher Monica Floreani cultivates students like a gardener does her roses

“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in all the seeds of today.” ~ Indian saying

Versión en español

MAST teacher Monica Floreani cultivates students like a gardener does her roses

Teaching 9th through 12th grade Cambridge and Maritime English the past years at MAST Academy has kept Monica Floreani as sharp as a needle, her heartbeat slightly uneven, and her ideas a bit more newfangled. Basically, she learns from her students as much as they learn from her. This approach allows for freer communication and expression of ideas and knowledge.

“When students tackle higher-order thinking skills, I see their facial expressions morph into intelligent features easily projected onto future leaders and problem-solvers I will want to rely on in my old age,” Floreani said.

Through literary studies, Floreani said she hopes to impart to her students an empathetic mindset, allowing them to relate better with fellow human beings. As a mentor for adolescents awakening to shared experiences, she said she feels privileged to be there as they step into the light and wrestle with cognitive dissonance. Watching the thought process of her students develop complexity is extremely gratifying.

Bumping into former students is endearing to Ms. Floreani, whose goal is to try and shape the next generation of leaders and trailblazers. “I always pray they make good choices as they navigate adulthood, and (I) advise them to focus on their studies.”

Ms. Floreani said seeing successful former students is like seeing a blooming rose -- a sweet reminder of the effort she put in caring, teaching and grading their carefully crafted papers.

As Saint-Exupéry put it, “It is the time you have dedicated to your rose that makes your rose so important... For the essential things in life are seen not with the eyes, but with the heart.”

As a teacher and civil servant, Ms. Floreani believes it is her duty to contribute to a better collective experience. “If my work helps shape more humane and literate citizens, then our taxes will have been well-invested.”

In her leisure time, Ms. Floreani reads, cooks and swims. And riding her bike around Key Biscayne, with her little dog in the front basket, always delights her. She also dabbles in classical guitar and listens to lectures on YouTube.

Above all that, however, comes family. “Most importantly, I cherish serving my family with joy. They are the best company I know.”

With the support of her family and an admiring Key Biscayne community, Ms. Floreani serves as an excellent mentor for future generations.


Jonathan Mendez is an 11th grader at MAST Academy. A lifelong Key Biscayne resident, he is very involved in his hometown.

“I love meeting new people on the key, and understanding how the local government functions, so I hope to expand my horizons with my Islander News internship. Writing and reading are two of my biggest passions, and I hope to hone my abilities with this opportunity.”

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