June in schools… The amount of things on the “To Do” list grows exponentially and it is easy to get overwhelmed. The beauty of June in schools is the sheer quantity of things to celebrate. Monday I was called in as an extra adult for the Grade 7 kayaking trip in Deep Cove. My desk is a mess, I’m behind on email, I have a few more learning outcome checks to do with the class I enrol and the list goes on but duty calls… and I go kayaking with Grade 7’s.
As soon as we started out, our guide commented on how well our kids were doing. The kids were quick to point out they had kayaking experience from Camp Elphinstone when they were at Grade 6 camp. Some of these kids who were hard to lure off the dock during grade 6 camp were now confident venturing out towards Indian Arm in their two person kayaks. When I perused the group, I could also find the kids resistant to speak English when they started at the school, laughing and talking with their friends. Kids who worried about being part of the group were very much part of a community. Venturing out to share the day with this group of Grade 7 students was a gift. These same students will be walking across the stage tonight to celebrate their transition to secondary school. The day promises to be busy with the preparations but the evening will encompass the pride of reaching this milestone.
We celebrated my son’s graduation from university this Spring. The bursting pride, the verge of tears, the over the top amount of pictures were very much the same as all those accomplishments and transitions along the way. It could have been riding his bike on his own, The Test of Metal Competition up Whistler, leaving elementary school or high school graduation. The pause to come together and celebrate lasts and become the stuff of stories that endure for years. I’m trying to keep this in perspective as I rush to attend end of the year professional commitments and retirements. In each event is the opportunity to celebrate the big and small accomplishments along the way. Enjoy people. This is the stuff of our stories and the stories of our students down the road. The promise of summertime relaxation is within our grasp.