Grade 5. Here we are. Some say it is an end but I prefer to think of today as another beginning.
I like to think of life as chapters. This is the closing of your elementary chapter and wow, it was an interesting one for sure. You have had a very unconventional education over the past two years. Learning at school, learning at home, learning at school part of the week and at home the other part of the week, staying distanced from one another and each and every day wearing a mask over your mouth and your nose. What this experience has done to shape you will be seen in a few years I am sure, but here is what I think you have learned from it.
You have gained perseverance and resilience. Over the past two years you have been educated differently than any recent generation and you have done exceptionally well. You discovered shortcuts with tech, you collaborated on screens and at a distance, you learned how to learn. All of these skills will serve you well into the future.
You understand the importance of connection. You experienced how much other humans around you matter, to both your mind and your soul in a way that will strongly shape how you seek to be interconnected with others in the years to come.
Finally, I think you fully comprehend that you are the masters of your own success. You all had excellent teachers supporting and challenging you. You had parents and family who would encourage and help but at the end of the day, it was you that brought you success. It was your mindset and your drive that propelled you to where you are today. That is no small feat for children of your age.
A while ago we met as a group and I said at the time that in your last year in elementary that you are role models for our students. What I didn’t tell you is the job of being a leader doesn’t end here. I want you to continue to be people that are looked up to through all that you have learned in elementary as Thinkers, Collaborators, Researchers, Communicators, and Self-Managers because you will impact the world with those skills and attributes. Contrary to what I told you at our meeting, and you’re smart enough to have figured this out yourselves already – role models aren’t just in grade 5, 8 and 12. They are everywhere each and every day. Choose to be the person that will make your school proud, your family proud and most importantly, you proud.
So your next chapter is Middle School – here or around the world – and I have 3 pieces of advice for you. Before I share those though, I want you to know that you are ready for Middle School. My question is, are they ready for you? Inquisitive, driven, empathetic, respectful, joyful and ready to question the world around you. That is who you who are – and that is who you should be. I know they’re going to love you!
And with that I will close with three pieces of advice as you begin your next life chapter:
1. Dare to Dream but don’t just dream, put in the work to make those dreams a reality that inspire others.
2. Think Different and make sure to put your ideas into action so you leave your mark on those around you.
3. And be Kind. It’s the right thing to do and you’ll make the world a better place.
Congratulations grade 5. I look forward to seeing how you impact the world in years to come.