Saturday, 24 October 2009

Class of '09

I spent the whole of yesterday at school. Fortunately I went of prepared with recess and lunch food! On the Year 12's last day you just never know what will happen or whether the thing you'd planned to do will actually get done!

Yesterday the theme was Pirates and the Year 12's dressed up as characters from Peter Pan. Captain Hook made an imposing figure. Peter Pan, clad in tights, had grown considerably! Of course, everyone of the cast were there....and each made their own grand entrance into a whole-school assembly. Each class presented the Year 12's with something precious. Food, which is always a winner with teenage boys, treasure maps to find their VCE ENTER score, prayers, notes of encouragement, a key to the real treasure ~ the Bible.

We had the traditional staff vs Year 12 game. This year it was lacrosse. The staff won :) We had our traditional guard of honour and farewelled some very special young people. Now they'll go and study for exams and their school life is finished.

A little sad really. And very exciting. And a bit daunting because in five short years my own daughter will be experiencing her last day. The year after, the next one will have hers.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

After such excitement and frivolity (and a few tears from the library tech whose son is in Year 12), we knuckled back down to the business of preparing for Year 6 Graduation.

We do 'Tiny Toastmasters' with our Year 6's and they present one of their speeches on Graduation Night. They have an 8 week program during class, where formal meetings are run and each student performs different functions within each meeting. Each student is required to present 3 speeches during the 8 weeks, and they are critiqued by their peers. The teacher and I determine who wins the 'Burnt Toast' award for the best speech and then we work with the kids to refine their chosen Graduation speech. Not to mention some meeting etiquette refining along the way!

Yesterday Miss Mischief was the Toastmaster ~ the one who emcee's the meeting and keeps it moving. She did a marvellous job. We just need to have her turn up her volume!

I love this journey with the Year 6's. I love seeing them develop from uncertainty to confidence. It is one of the last instances where they willingly allow themselves to be molded in preparation for a significant event in their lives, before the final years of high school.

In Year 7, their willingness disappears.

One of the greatest pleasures for me is that I've done this with Miss Sunshine and I'm now doing it with Miss Mischief. I have the very rare pleasure as a parent of seeing my daughters through this program. And in a few year's time I imagine I'll see Mr Busy through this process too. Miss Mischief's teacher is very keen for me to continue being involved, now that I know how it all works.


Left-Handed Housewife said...

I love the "Burnt Toast" award--what a great name! I'm impressed at all the tiny toastmasters have to do--what great training!


Tracy said...

It is great training!! The kids don't see it yet, but one day when they're our age and running a Preschool Management Committee or running their own businesses, they'll appreciate it.

Miss Mischief is working on her first speech as I type :)