Monday, April 7, 2014

Senioritis? Really? Maybe its not wanting to grow up...


Dr. Miletto, "I know I'm supposed to be excited about graduating but what I also wonder...you know...about...is what will happen next? What if I can't make it? What if...? You know...None of my friends are going to the school I'm going to... I'm not sure that I want to go. Maybe I just should do what my friends are doing..."

I was always amazed at this conversation. It happened many times during my twelve years as a high school principal. At some point, especially after spring break, a student would try to see if I could answer their questions about...you know...the world after high school. Everything was becoming real. They were afraid to change. They were afraid that they would say goodbye to friends, family, familiarity, their childhood.


It reminds me of AA Milne's words in the last Winnie the Pooh book...

"Wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the forest a little boy and his bear will always be playing."


Kids grow up. High school graduation is probably one of the real separation events in our society for most of them. In their last semester of high school, I truly believe that one of the reasons that seniors become frustrating to adults in schools is because they do not recognize the signs. Oh, sure...some will say it is laziness. Some will accuse them of not taking life seriously. You can probably create and fill in your own commentary here....but is that what is really happening or is their Christopher Robin trying to figure out how to let go and at the same time look forward to what is new?

Anyone who knows me, could tell you that I am a huge Buzz Lightyear fan! (Yes, I do know that he is a cartoon character.) Disney/Pixar hit it big with the trilogy. I think it is actually the funniest of the three movies while also hitting the heart strings more than the others. If you saw the movie at the theaters, you could tell who the parents who had kids leave and go off to their own worlds... college and so forth...were...
They were the ones struggling to wipe the tears away as Andy gave away his toys.

Ok, Steve... so what...?!

Pay attention to the signs...Don't get angry at them...keep them focused!

Help them think about the new adventures they will have.

Remind them that social media helps them stay in touch with each other just as much as the cell phone. (No one my age had those....)

Help them balance the challenges and fears with the potential of the future...


Most of all be ready to help them talk about what is next...