Across the United States, it is now graduation time. High school kids are about to start on a new journey and pursue their dreams, but what is standing between them and that almighty future is their graduation ceremony. (Check out my audio podcast about this topic- Graduation Time!)
It will be a glorious day!
Family will be gathered.
Friends will be melancholy and ecstatic all in one!
And fun will be had...
Are you going?
You should...no matter what your role...be part of the amazing ceremony!
Be part of their memories at least one last time.
Once upon a time, I was asked to talk about what I liked about my job as a high school principal.
My answer was easy to come up with but took time to explain (of course those who have talked with me before know that there are never any short stories).
Here is my answer...Graduation.
This usually creates a chortle or guffaw or at least a smirk from my audience.
Why? Because they think that I am being funny.
They think that I want to get the kids out of there...gone...you know..."Get away from me kid you bother me" (as I paraphrase WC Fields).
But the truth is so very far from that...
This is what we live for as educators; to see the kids graduate with plans for their future.
We want to see them off as they pursue the next journey in life.
As a principal, I got a chance to be on stage and hand them their diploma (or at least diploma cover...I can explain that another time).
I stood across the stage and saw the smile that crossed faces as names were called.
I got to extend the diploma, my hand and my arms. Hugs are a must. handshakes work but if there is a hug coming don't turn away accept it and hug back!!!
Let them feel the energy and celebrate!
Let the crowd react! Don't stifle the fun and celebration! Enjoy it! Be a part of it!
Say no to the naysayers.
Just make sure that your name caller stops when there is cheering and waits for the opportunity to say the next name!
By the way, if you get a chance to talk, don't shy away...talk, but talk about the kids and their families and make sure that it is about many different events so that all can remember something...especially the funny things like when you may have made a mistake and it created a mess at a lunch or on the first day of school...just wait, they will remember and laugh...
Also, stay to the end of graduation. Be there all the way to the end of the day. Be with the very last family. Be Mickey Mouse. Be Donald Duck. Be part of the Magic! Meet families. Take pictures. Tell stories.
Do you feel it? If you have any connection with the kids.
Be there with them! It will be worth it!
So with all of that being said, Here are my ...
7 Do's at Graduation Time!
1. Do Buy a yearbook and ask the kids to sign yours and if
they ask you to sign theirs-do it
2. Do go to senior breakfasts/lunch/dinners/bar-b-ques and
interact and play
3. Do go to other celebrations and interact/speak if asked
4. Do go to graduation
5. Do talk at graduation-just make it about the kids
6. Do stay to the end of graduation-close it down-be there
with the very last family
7. Do go to graduation parties-just don’t be dumb and partake
of adult beverages (focus on ones with adult supervision)
Have fun! Put the events on your calendar and go and participate!
You will be glad that you did!