To Ceremony Or Not

This week’s #youredustory question:

 Why are, or aren’t, graduation and promotion ceremonies important?

Graduation Ceremonies

Yes, I do think these are important – maybe more so in some communities than others. It is a way for the rest of us to celebrate the accomplishment of those that have worked hard to meet a goal. That being said, I need to clarify that, for me, graduations are at the end of high school and college – be it a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate’s. I am also a firm believer that ALL students should be recognized, by name.


Not a fan of these. I had a whole rant written here but deleted it. Why? Because I would rather focus on what my school does.

The 'Tunnel' Photo by: Maricela Cuevas
The ‘Tunnel’ Photo by: Maricela Cuevas

The last day of school has a celebratory feel. In the morning, each classroom has their own traditions. Starting at lunch, the Luau begins. Each year, we BBQ hamburgers for the students and staff. Then teachers sign up for a game station (I do a wet sponge challenge each year. Students race with a wet sponge on their heads). Then about 30 minutes before school is dismissed, all grades K-4 form a tunnel, or aisle, for the departing 5th graders to go through. The tunnel ends at my classroom door, so the 5th graders file into their classroom to say their final goodbyes. As they all go through the tunnel, the rest of the students give the 5th graders high fives. I love this tradition.

Why do I like this so much? First of all, it’s understated and simple. Secondly, it still acknowledges the fact that these students will not be at our school next year, and that they are moving on to the next phase of their lives. Then there are the parents. Parents, siblings, and other family members often join us for the festivities. The parents love this tradition too. I talked to several, who don’t have 5th graders, who really like this.

So, we celebrate the 5th graders without going ‘over the top’.

Thank you to Maricela Cuevas, Vanessa Reyes, and Elizabeth Zuniga for the photos.

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