These were my words of wisdom at our Grade 7 Farewell ceremony today…
These are two words you will hear for the rest of your life. Usually they will come when you are soon to be involved in a challenge of some sort: exams, job interviews, presentations, hockey games…
The thing is, there is no such thing as luck when it comes to personal or professional accomplishment. Sure, luck exists when you’re talking about winning the lottery but there is no luck when it comes to achievement.
Charles Kettering, one of those dead guys that gets quoted in various settings once said “If I have had any success, it’s due to luck, but I notice the harder I work, the luckier I get.”
I strongly believe that luck has nothing to do with chance, rather it is a time when preparation meets opportunity.
With that, you can walk away from Caulfeild feeling confident that you are prepared for whatever opportunities present themselves.
Through your learning experience here, you leave with the tools to be critical thinkers and collaborators. You don’t regurgitate facts – you form opinions. You know that working in a team is more than just simply everyone doing a part. You know that the sharing and discussing of ideas with others leads to a deeper knowledge and understanding of concepts and that the connection of ideas is what leads to innovative thought. You leave Caulfeild as someone who is both creative and analytical. Working through the IDEC inquiry model you have learned the process of design thinking and applied it to your learning in a manner that creates meaning and messaging in the work you share with the world around you. Finally, you leave us as a digital citizen. You know more about the use of digital tools than many elementary students in the district, definitely the province and likely more than even your own parents. You are ahead of the curve.
So you leave here prepared. It is now up to you to seek and embrace the opportunities.
In your high school years join some clubs. I don’t mean just the clubs you already have in mind. Seek out and join a club that takes you out of your comfort zone because truly, the best things in life can happen out of that zone.
In your high school years ask lots of questions: critical questions, clarifying questions, how to get more involved, about possibilities, how you can improve, simply for help. Just ask. You are the curator of your own high school experience so make a statement by being actively involved in your learning.
In your high school years be a leader – and not just the leader at the front of the pack leading the charge all the time. Leadership is about mobilizing a team and helping a team succeed. This form of leadership is as important as leading it yourself.
In your high school years look for those opportunities that take you beyond the traditional high school experience. Visit foreign countries on a student exchange. Be part of a project that makes a difference in a community here and/or abroad. Become a mentor by getting involved with learning that connects back to an elementary school. These are just some examples you have to choose from.
When you are at high school you’re probably going to hear – these are the best days of your life. I’ll tell you now, I hope they aren’t. There is a much bigger world beyond high school with prospects you can only imagine. What high school does provide though is a wonderful opportunity to explore your interests and shape your character, to challenge yourself academically and socially, along with an array of possibilities for getting involved in school life and broadening your horizons.
So, elementary school was a special time. A time I can confidently say, you will never forget. You probably won’t remember a specific Math, PE or Language Arts lesson but you’ll remember those moments that you felt connected to the learning, the activities, the staff and/or other students. I personally will never forget Wyatt’s DIY rocket making it’s way to space. Toby and Brayden bouncing their basketballs in the hallway on a regular occurrence or seeing the wide eyes of all the grade 7 leaders who at one time or another realized that the students in their care weren’t listening to them and they had no idea what to do.
It is your time to move on. Remember, you are prepared for the opportunities that await you.
So, make each moment worth remembering. It will not be easy so be prepared to work hard, to fail and learn from that experience, to be faced with difficult decisions and to not like everything you have to do. No matter the situation though, have the character to tackle every challenge that comes your way with a positive attitude because they are not random moments, they are opportunities.
So, I will end this speech with a wish. My wish for each and every one of you is that you will embrace all that you have learned here at Caulfeild, you’ll stay ahead of the curve and that as you continue through your learning, and through your life, that you will have the confidence to Dare to go Further.