Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dear Graduates

Dear Graduates,

I am aware that there were only six of you, one of the challenges of living in a small town and attending a K-12 school.  I know that that limits your options as far as what courses are available to you as electives.  I know that you have persevered anyway.

I have had the honour and privilege to teach you, off and on, since you were in grade seven.  I have been privileged to teach you humanities in grades nine and ten, and to share with you what I have learned in my life, and to share my stories, my experiences, my admittedly limited wisdom...

Thank you for the opportunity to learn from you.  Thank you for the chance to watch you grow up.  Thank you for the chance to see the light bulbs blink on.  Heh, heh. 

Thank you for your patience.  Thank you for your inquisitiveness.  Thank you for challenging me.  I hope I was able to challenge you.

Thank you D and TF, for letting me use your music to begin and complete my Masters degree.  Thank you for letting me share it with the teachers I have met across the province.

Thank you, as well, for stepping up to learn, to question and to create.

Thank you C, TA and DA for your strength, your perseverance and laughter.

Thank you R for never giving up and never doubting yourself.

Do I want to do the old Good luck, have a good life?  Well, yeah.  But let’s be honest as well.  Life is not always easy.  I have shared with you my challenges, not to scare you or seek pity but just to ensure that you are prepared.  You know challenges; you have faced them all your lives.  They aren’t going to disappear, but I think you can handle it.

The one speaker yesterday said “You all could be Chiefs.”

I would encourage you to be so much more.  Please don’t limit yourself.  We often find ourselves helping our communities, it seems to be ingrained, but do not be afraid to look beyond the community right now.  We need to grow, to continue to learn, to gain wisdom and experience.  We resist by learning.  We resist by succeeding.  We resist by not limiting ourselves.

Thank you for trusting me to teach you.  I wish you the best of everything in all your future endeavours.  I am so excited for you, so many paths to choose from. 

Live your lives with good hearts and good minds.  Be happy.

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