Friday, May 26, 2017

When the Principal Can't Quite Get it Together...

Students leave our school after fourth grade and go on to intermediate school. We don't have a graduation, but instead have an end of the year program. Students are recognized for perfect attendance, good grades, the usual school stuff. They sing a couple of songs, and then their principal says something inspirational. After that the fourth graders do a "farewell parade" through the halls with music, dancing, and pom poms. It's great fun.

Unless the principal can't handle the inspirational speech part. Which, in my case, is the case. Two years in a row.

This year I made it through the whole program without the hint of a tear, but then I had to talk. I looked at those faces, those kids I've seen every school day for two years now. High fives. Stories about weekends and spring breaks. School projects. Leaders in assembly. Lunch on Tuesdays. I looked at them, and I realized they were leaving us. And I just couldn't do it. The inspirational speech went something like this:

"Students, *deep breath* you will always *blubber* be a part of our *sob sob* school family *blubber blubber*. Gosh, I'm really not good at this part. *crying and tears* *something mostly inaudible and strongly dumb-sounding* leadership, character, blah blah blah *more tears and crying*"

Y'all. It was bad

So here is what I would like to say to them if I could speak instead of being a mess:

Parents, thank you. Thank you for loving your kids enough to send them to school every day and encourage them in any way you can. Thank you for sharing them with us. It's truly a gift.

Students, we see you. We know you're not perfect, but it doesn't matter to us. We look at you and see what you are and all that you can be. We see people who are capable and smart and kind and unique. When growing up gets hard, and it will, I hope you'll be able to see yourself the way your parents and your school sees you -- full of promise. 

No matter where you go or what you do in life, you will always be a part of this school family. We love each and every one of you just as you are, and we can't wait to see you change the world. Thanks for letting us be a small part of your lives. 

Maybe next year I'll just write something down and have someone else read it. It sounds MUCH better without embarrassing sobs!