As I reflect back upon the 2011-2012 school year, it is difficult for me to believe the end of the school year is only two weeks away. It does not seem as though we have already gone through 38 weeks of school!
I know many of the students are counting down the days until their summer vacation arrives however, as a classroom teacher, I get a little down around this time of year. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my summer vacation just as much as the students, but I also miss the kids and wonder how they are all doing at their homes. I sometimes come out to St. Joseph’s campus during the summer and think to myself,
“Wow, it sure is boring here without all the students running around and chatting.”
Eighth-grade graduation is upon us. Some of our students will be attending our high school program, while other students have made alternative plans for their future. It is a time of excitement and pride, but also anxiety for both staff and students. As staff, we have known some of these students since they were in first grade. We have developed relationships, shared stories, shared laughter, had disagreements over rules or assignments, and sometimes even listened through our students’ tears.
Regardless of what our students have gone through in their lives, they can look back on their time at St. Joseph’s and realize they have grown, whether it be physically, emotionally, or simply that they are graduating from eighth grade. They have had many accomplishments; they have formed many bonds, both with adults and their classmates that will continue no matter where they choose to go in their lives. They should be proud of themselves, for they have made it. It may have been difficult, but they have fulfilled the requirements for their first eight years of schooling.
On May 25, there will be a chapel full of people watching as each student is handed their diploma and shares their favorite memories of being a student at St. Joseph’s. As I look forward to that day, I can’t help but smile. For I, too, have a feeling of accomplishment. I was given the wonderful opportunity of being a part of these students’ lives and I have helped them grow. I can only hope I’ve done my best because more than anything these children deserve the absolute best, as they are our future. The smiles on the graduates faces as they receive their diplomas is my motivation to continue on with my work here at St. Joseph’s, as I can see by both the piece of paper in their hands and the twinkles in their eyes that I have made a difference.
This difference would not be possible without the donations from our many generous benefactors. I want to take the time to thank you for your generosity and kindness over the 2011-2012 school year. Without you, none of this would be possible.