These are the words of wisdom I shared at our Grade 7 Farewell ceremony today…
The Chicago Bears
The Spirit Bear
The Grizzly, Black and Brown Bear
Smokey the Bear
The Three Bears
The Bad News Bears
The Caulfeild Bears
I know that at your age, sometimes when we talk about “being the bear” as a school, it’s easy to act cool and be dismissive of the whole bear identity. I have news for you though, as a group, you have truly embraced the traits of the bear, and defined for future years what it means to be a Caulfeild Bear and I want to thank you for that.
I mean, you may not even know you’ve been modelling it or leading the way, but make no mistake about it, you have. You’ve been the first group to go through a full year as a Caulfeild Bear and you’ve exceeded our expectations. Throughout the year you have taken on leadership roles – Kindergarten Play, HOPE Committee, Classroom Monitors, Office Monitors, Roadies, — and what appears to be a real favourite, Four Square Monitors – though I think that might have something to do with the appeal of wearing the orange vests – and you know who you are.
In fulfilling your roles you have consistently demonstrated responsibility, empathy and probably the one that matters the most when working with the younger ones, perseverance. But it hasn’t just been you fulfilling your roles where I see you making an impact and contributing to the community. At recess and lunch many of you are playing soccer, manhunt, basketball and other activities with the younger students in a fun and caring manner. During multi-age activities and buddy work you learned together and mentored leadership to students across the grades. You helped them understand how to work as a team and ensured everyone was heard, and involved. I can tell you, the younger students appreciate this. I know because I often hear them using your names when speaking to friends about something positive that happened. They speak of you like you are their hero.
More than any other year, this group has made the greatest connection to our younger students and you should be very proud of that. We are certainly very proud of you. Like it or not, you have truly demonstrated the characteristics of the bear and will forever be a member of our Caulfeild family.
So now in a few days you will be moving on. You can walk away from your time at Caulfeild knowing that you are prepared and well-equipped for your next stage of life. Being progressive in how we facilitate learning here, we taught you to be collaborative in your work – we helped you understand that two heads are often better than one. We taught you to be communicators – that to truly have your ideas understood they need to be explained – well. We taught you to be critical thinkers – to question and wonder about the world – not simply accept what you are told. We instilled in you an entrepreneurial spirit that pushes you to self-advocate, self-organize, to take an idea and make it a reality and to identify your own personal excellence. You really are assembling the tools to be whatever you choose to be.
Don’t waste it.
Learn as much as you can. If it’s hard, persevere. If it’s interesting, take it further.
Experience as much as you can. Join clubs, volunteer, go on school trips to other countries, embrace new situations.
Most importantly, leave yourself options because.
- some of you will go into business
- some of you will care for others
- some of you will design stuff
- some of you will build things
- some of you will have traditional jobs – some of you won’t
To make sure you have those options get involved as both a leader and participant – and in everything you choose to do, strive to be the best you can be.
I am excited for you because you are ready. You’re ready for life in high school – though I am not sure your parents are. Your ready to make responsible decisions. Your ready to learn from your mistakes (yes you’ll make some), your ready to excel in your strengths and further develop in areas you know you need to improve.
Adventure in life and learning awaits you.
Just remember, when it gets hard you’re not alone. We are the Bears and we look after one another. This is something you have taught us each and every day through your leadership and actions. Thank you for making our school community a connected one.
Congratulations, good luck and remember to always …Be the Bear.