June 28, 2012 4 Comments
Last night was commencement ceremonies. Buddy is now officially a grade 12 grad. She obviously did her exams and in fact, she did extremely well with them. So well that if she had kept her marks up prior to the exams she would have made the honor role. I was really pleased to see that she was the one to have figured that out herself without me having to point it out. Not that it will make a ton of difference next year but you never know.
The ceremony wasn’t bad as far as graduations go. It was crowded and hot but the speeches were short and to the point and the valedictorian speech was really quite funny.
I’ve talked before about how good it is for kids to have other adults in their lives, other than just their parents but teachers can play a really special role. If kids who are struggling are able to feel like they belong as part of their school; that at least one (preferably more) of the teachers at the school support them and are there for them and if they are able to invest in trying to do well on any level then these kids have a much higher chance of doing well even if home life is not a good place.
It was interesting for me to be there and see the kids who were graduating. There were a number of kids who I’ve been involved with professionally who were marching up on stage, getting their diplomas, getting awards, scholarships, bursaries and plaques for jobs well done. These are the kids that are coming from lives that would destroy most adults. They have had to do well despite what’s gone on in the rest of their lives and rise above some very significant personal challenges. In fact, I was quite taken back by the number of graduating kids that I knew. And yet, there they were, having achieved something they should and hopefully are very proud of.
There were a lot of things that I noticed that many of these kids had in common. Kids who had nothing and worked hard versus kids who had everything and never learned how to try. One thing in particular that stood out was that these kids all had at least one teacher that they ran up to and hugged (buddy included) and that they personally felt like they had helped them through and felt connected to. When you ask them, they hold that teacher(s) responsible for helping them get to where they are. I have no doubts that those relationships are some of the most important relationships those kids will ever have. When teachers are able to do this for kids who have nothing, they’ve achieved something far greater than teaching how to conjugate a verb (or whatever it is you do).