Day 187 (of 184) winding down
Grads. Sometimes I think there are too many – especially as I see some Kindergarten “grads”, Grade 5 (or 6) events, Grade 7 (or 8) events and then the ‘granddaddy of them all’ Grade 12 Grad.
I’m not opposed to marking transitions, but I’m more about celebrating “whats next” as opposed to “you’re done” when it comes to learning.
There is something about kindergarten grads that I do like, because in BC, kindergarten is ‘optional’, and I like marking the transition the students are making into the not-so-optional 1-12 learning experience!
Having taught students from K-12 (admittedly prep library/tech with kindys and full grades/courses up to English 12) I do maintain an attitude of ‘minor transitions’ for students until they reach the Dogwood Diploma and lifelong learning becomes….optional (very debatable topic). But achieving a Dogwood (grade 12 completion) is an event worth celebrating – and schools & districts always do a very nice job of it – especially when they highlight the accomplishments of our learners – both academic and co-curricular (sports, extra-music, etc) to show who they are as well-rounded learners.
While winding down for the second year in my current K-5 learning community, I found myself doing more “celebrating what’s next” with my grade 5s than “celebrating an end” to their time at our school. It might have something to do with my thinking about anxiety that makes me sometimes hyper-aware that the question about “whats next” is a lot scarier than what-has-been…but I want students to know that learning is not coming to an end, just shifting to another school that is part of our ever-expanding learning community!
Likewise while attending a grade 12 grad tonight, I found myself drawn to the comments about “what was next” and how so many schools have been of assistance in the journey of our #83learns learners (and thought we were sending a high number of students to the Maritimes! – I blame the influence of one of our principals who is proud of his eastern alma mater!) – I think I’d love to hear more about the journey of our graduates (what elementary/middle/other schools they attended) and I still like the idea of kindy teachers handing out the diplomas….
Even though we are winding down on our “traditional calendar” of schooling, it doesn’t mean that learning is coming to a close. So even though I take some critiques to my relaxed approach for acknowledging those students who are ‘moving on’ from my school (though I encourage others to take the leadership of these events if they are of importance to the learning community!), I know that my end to grade 7 was that we got to sit on the benches…..just for that final assembly….and I turned out fine (another topic for debate/discussion I’m sure), in large part because my focus as a learner was on “whats next”.
One eye on the past and one to the future! Acknowledge what was done to help us get to where we are and what we are going to ‘own’ as we make things even better for the next generation!