Proud as a peacock!
Ah, graduation ceremonies – Pomp and Circumstance, the caps, the diplomas, the laughter and the tears! I’m British, so I’m doing my best to keep a stiff upper lip, but I have to admit that my bottom lip has started to wobble whenever I think of this year’s graduates. This is my fourth year as administrator at our school, so I have known all of our graduates for all of their years at the Montessori School of Pullman, even those who are completing their fourth year.
Now we are doing a lot of reflecting and remembering. I am very busy giving tours to new and prospective families. When our soon to be graduates see the new families, they ask questions.
“Did my Mom and Dad visit before I started school?”
“Was I that small?”
“Was I shy?”
“Did I cry on my first day?”
I try to give our soon to be graduates accurate descriptions of my first memories of meeting them and their first days at school.
“I remember meeting you in the hall with your parents. You were about this tall, and very shy. You wouldn’t talk very much at first.”
“I remember when you volunteered to act as Goldilocks when we were acting out the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. You got into the middle of the circle, and then you were too shy to do anything else, so we all helped you out. Then when you went home, your Mom said that you acted out all of the roles for the whole story.”
At our school, we have some important graduation traditions. Along with receiving a diploma, the teachers share some special qualities of each graduate with the class and our guests.
“She is a big sister to all of the younger children.”
“He makes us laugh every day.”
“She loves math, and shares her excitement about numbers with all of the other children.”
“He is so kind, especially to the younger children.”
Our graduates also choose a peacock feather to take home, because they all should be as proud as a peacock of their accomplishments. During their time at Montessori, they have learned how to read and write, count, learn about other countries and cultures, sew, clean, create, and be leaders in their communities. (Thanks, Ms. Linda, now retired, for starting the peacock feather tradition.)
In recent years, our graduates have also chosen a special item from nature – a special rock, a shell, a pine cone. (Thanks, Ms. Heather and Ms. Megan for starting this tradition.)
Such items are so much more memorable than a plastic toy that will soon be forgotten.
Proud as a Peacock! May 25, 2012