A whirlwind few days in Dallas where I went to my grandkids piano recital, their sports banquet and the 8th grade graduation of my oldest granddaughter. I posted some pictures of these events on Facebook, including a video clip of her speech. I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize the significance of her speech, given that I often write and read blog posts of the importance of relationships: between teachers and students, teachers and parents, teachers and faculty and staff. But somehow one of the most important relationships was off my radar (not that I wasn’t aware of it but haven’t addressed it in a post in awhile) until it was brought home by my granddaughter’s graduation speech. She talked about what her school meant to her; giving praise to the educators, education and her parents. And then the rest of her speech was devoted to talking about her friends and the relationships she will always cherish. In this bittersweet reflection (her family will be moving away for a year or two on sabbatical), Sydney reminds us all what relationships mean from the students’ perspective. I am so proud of her, claiming what was most valuable to her. As Sydney said, “What I’ll remember most are the relationships, it’s the people I’ll remember most. They stood by me during my hardest times.”
We often talk about peer relationships and the importance of our students’ social emotional development. However when they can articulate that for themselves, what a powerful reminder on the impact of school culture and what it means to them, in order to thrive.
I hope we all have time to look back and reflect on how the year went and the impact it’s had on our students.