Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Graduation Season ~ Commencements Galore & More

Kids Tossing Graduation Caps
Graduation season is upon us, and the season of commmencment speeches.  My daughter, graduating from 5th grade, is even giving one, a few days away.

'Tis the season of reflection, the state of transition and change.

And perhaps even a hanky or 2!

As a teacher, this time of year is always a time of assessment--for students and teacher alike.  Report card season begs the question of where we are, and what we still need to work on.  From the teacher-side, again, it's a question of where we are, what worked, what didn't--both personally and professionally.  These are the times that always get you thinking!

In a way, it's like being "reptilian," this "being a teacher" thing:  As you wind up the year in your class, you also begin wondering how you are doing, which "skins" are worth saving, and which ones you want to shed.  Some things, not all things, are keepers for next year.  The same holds true for personality traits, moods, and habits of behavior:  as a teacher, which ones are worth saving, and which are worth shedding?

It doesn't take much to get me in a wistful and thoughtful mood, especially here at the end of the year.  Especially when you have a graduation speech or 5 on your brain like I do.

  • I have an elementary-aged girl, who is going to middle school in the fall, complete with the presentation of a speech she wrote.  Times 10.  I taught 10 of the 13 students in her class, including my girl herself.  That alone serves as a double-hanky event!
  • This year is the last time my 2 kids will be in the same school at the same time. Ever.  It's all my li'l buddy knows, is to be there with his sister.  In a way, me too, since we started the school the same year, my graduate and I.
  • Lastly, I'm just coming off of a reread of Randy Pauch's "The Last Lecture" book. As a man who was dying of Pancreatic Cancer back in 2008, he has a poigniant he says goodbye to his trio of "under 7" set.  I have decided that "The Last Lecture" should be seen/heard/read--as a COMMAND PERFORMANCE--annually, by everyone! Period. Exclamation Point. No questions.  There are so many pearls of wisdom in there, and it helps to see things well it should be.

So this season, I open up a challenge to you.  Write your own "last lecture," graduation speech, commencement address..whatever you want to call it.  Really look at what you would write--what you feel is important on a human level!  Then reread it...really READ it!  But more importantly "HEAR" it!  Then, live it!!  Insert "Pomp and Circumstance here!"

(And yes, this is a "continuation of a theme for anyone who has been playing along, taking notice, or who is equally wrapped in this graduation season ahead!!) See:  GTG's "Balancing a Life, a Blog, and a 3 Day Weekend".

Images from:
Kids graduating:
Ralph Waldo Emerson quote pic from
Last Lecture book pic from
Last Lecture video from