June 12, 2020 Message to Members
I have been a secondary school teacher and a Principal for most of my career. So, at this time of year, I am usually caught up in the electric sense of excitement that pervades a high school, and that unparalleled feeling that there are bright futures unfolding right before our eyes. My own nieces Chloe and Amanda are graduating this year, and they have each demonstrated amazing poise and a calm acceptance of their circumstances. I have been impressed by their grasp of the priorities as they acknowledge the global impact of the pandemic. There has been some sadness and a sense of loss that was immediately followed by – true to their personalities – a focused charge to find the absolute best ways to commemorate their time in high school.
Graduation is an important time for families and students, but also for teachers and school leaders. Many educators see it as a cherished institution that demands a level of rigour to validate academic accomplishments. For others, there is a glowing pride in what has been accomplished by these young people, many of whom have literally grown up in our care. For students and families, the emotions can vary widely. It is one of the singular occasions in our lives that pull together our awareness of so many things – wins and losses, family and friends, connections and relationships. Everyone linked to a graduate feels something special as they witness this transition, and each of us experiences it quite differently. Those bubbling emotions can catch us off guard: we are struck by an intensity of feeling when the child we have known for so long appears in their cap and gown.
Graduations bring us together to share in this powerful experience. It’s a time that makes us smile as we reflect on what was, engage in what is and step forward into what will be. There are many things in our control, yet so many that are not. We can learn from our past, participate in our present and create a vision for our future together. Our BCPVPA celebration of the graduating class of 2020 is something that I am so excited to embrace, and I can share that – just like every graduating class before them – our 2020 grads cannot predict the future, and they will certainly find their way in this changing world.