The following is my written address in the programs for my upcoming "Moving Up" ceremony for my kindergartners. I intentionally worded the message in a way that lets the parents and the children know that while the little graduation like ceremony is nice and cute, it is a far cry from the end. I have to say that because too many of our parents come to the moving up ceremony with balloons and other trinkets and in an extreme celebratory mode when in actuality it really is only kindergarten. What I am really trying to get at is the work has just begun and I need the same amount of energy that was expended to purchase balloons and new clothing and to yell and scream "OOH My Ba-Baaaayyyy" when it comes time for homework and study in the upcoming years. The same amount of energy for attending PTA/PTO meetings, report card nights, school board meetings, making sure the child is reading and everything else that goes into making a successful student. So indeed congratulations to my kindergartners who are moving to first grade, however, everyone must know that the work has just begun.
Moving from kindergarten to first grade will probably be the biggest “little” step you will take in your academic journey. I say this because in the grand scheme of your educational career, it is a tiny step; however, unless you were a preschooler, it is your first step in the right direction. We pause to celebrate this first step with you because we want to make sure that you know that you must take this same type of step at least three more times with pauses at eighth grade, high school, and then college. We also hope that you will pursue additional degrees participating in this process yet another time. Some may be saying that it is too early to talk about a kindergartner obtaining his or her doctorate degree, and I say to you that I disagree. It is never too early to chart the course. To our kindergarten parents, congratulations, but you have a long way to go in making sure that this is repeated at a minimum of three more times. To our kindergartners, congratulations as you enter the first grade. Don’t ever lose your love for going to school. As your principal, I wish you nothing but the best and I look forward to seeing you in September in grade one.
Something to critically think about. I welcome your commentary and you are invited to follow The Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritical01.