Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Our Oyster Graduates

A friend of mine posted this video on Facebook recently. It is a video montage of an early fall day ten years ago at one of my favorite places: my former school where I was the 3rd grade teacher. I've often said it was perhaps the greenest school in America!

Oyster Day became an annual tradition at Eagle Cove School. Typically our eldest, the 5th graders, won the right and privilege to put on the hip-waders and be the ones to get in the water to put the oyster spat cages and bags in the water. In this video of a decade ago, though, the 4th & 5th graders were both on their annual team building outdoor trip, based on the way the calendar dates fell. So this special year, our 3rd graders, as the oldest on campus that day, earned this surprising privilege. As their 3rd grade teacher, I can guarantee, I had a lot of ecstatic kids in my class that day who got to do the really cool, big kid, important stuff.

I think it's fitting this year (AND at this time of the year) because my 2010 third graders are heading to college this fall. They are the ones that experienced their senior year spring in the middle of a pandemic and remote learning. They are the ones who had a topsy turvy, unique, & unexpected graduation. Our seniors at my current school had a socially-distanced graduation on the school campus lawn, with paper-faced faculty posters stuck to chairs so the students could have an audience there supporting them. Our seniors received their diplomas in a special, almost militarily-scheduled, individualized Diploma Ceremony, crossing the stage... all the while being video-taped, and this footage was sewn together to create a Zoom-style graduation that no one ever expected. The school did it right, and the faculty, staff, and parents were proud. As I watched our 2020 graduation (where many of my former 3rd graders were graduating), I was touched, and often thought of those environmentally-active third graders of a decade ago.

Now, as we have hit this point at the end of summer, these once-third graders are heading to college. Some heading to campus while others are readying for a semester online at their own homes. For that reason, this video seemed more than just memories to me, but a tribute to all of those former students of mine as they head off into their next adventure. Masks in hand, ready to put on when they get to campus... maybe getting a Covid test along with all their text books... and ready to dive into this next chapter. May we wish them well as they pack the car, deck out their dorms, and find new passions and pals. They will rock it! Of this I know!

Video created by Carl Treff, from, Image from and

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