The class of 2014 has now graduated. I always have mixed emotions when students leave after several years of working together. I remember all the struggles along the way, and how they made it through those struggles to graduation day. Most are elated to be leaving and look forward to a new life free from the boundaries of school. It is hard for parents and teachers to let them go, but it is time.
Here is some of what I hope my students learned from their parents, other teachers, and me as we worked together.
- It is not always the smartest people who are the most successful in life; it is the ones who work the hardest.
- Always tell the truth, even when you really mess up, because it takes years to build trust and only seconds to lose it.
- Be passionate about something, for it will be the source of joy in your life.
- You don’t have to be good at everything, but don’t sell yourself short just because something is hard for you. Some things take years to truly understand.
- All life is interconnected. It is up to you to take care of the environment.
- Every person has potential.
- Listen to the viewpoint of those who disagree with you, for there is truth in both sides of every issue.
- Friends are important. You need them, and they need you.
- Be who you are, not who someone else wants you to be. (In other words, it’s OK to say no to a friend.)
- Say thank you to those who helped you get where you are. These people are still there for you even after high school.
To the class of 2014—I wish you well. Call your parents often; let your teachers know what you are doing and how you are. You will be missed.