In our lives there appear choices to make; often a time for choosing appears before us. Some of these choices seem to run to the trivial; what am I to order for lunch, what suit will I wear today, should I take one route or another, and yet the consequences of an action lie outside our control. As humans we have power only over our own actions, not anyone else, although we are affected by other’s actions. Therefore the only thing I can change in a situation is myself.
For students this means that how their classes go, what grades they get, etc., depends on their actions, namely how they interact with their fellow students and with their teacher. For teachers, the only way their class can perform well depends on how the teacher acts. It is by working together that learning is accomplished and the goal of education is reached. If I wait for the teacher to do their job before I do mine, or as a teacher I wait for the students to get their act together, in all likelihood nothing will happen. Only by both parties participating can success be achieved. St. John Paul II would call this a mutually revelatory experience where, because actions both reveal and determine who we are, both sides reveal their true selves. This is not to say we shouldn’t encourage and correct, actually this is an argument for encouragement and correction. Still one cannot forget the only ‘actor’ for whom I have control and responsibility is myself and on the day of Judgment we shall be called upon to give an account of our actions, only ours.
The best part of everyone working together is the result. If you have ever rowed a boat with someone else you know how much faster and further you go when all are pulling in the same direction. We are pledged here to work with your student for their success and we thank you for trusting us with your child.
It is clear that every transition in nature contains in it some distinct episodic sections. First there is the determination of the new form, embryonic and immature, than there is the transformation where that organism shapes and molds into it’s final form, and then finally there maturation where the organism reaches the state where it can achieve its promise. At each change dislocation occurs and it can be discomfiting.
So when you graduate, you reach one of these stages. Then the next stage begins. There you will find new skills and abilities scarcely imagined now appear forefront and your horizons daily are lifted. For each of the four years of high school new challenges and new opportunities came your way and you had the chance to grasp them and make your mark. In all of this there was the backdrop of your family and classes, your friends and your not friends. In sports, in class, working on projects and homework, in plays and music, during lunch and after school you developed the muscles and skills that are now ready for the next phase.
The next phase of your life is likely to be filled with awkward and difficult moments each one harder than the next. The amazing truth is this; at no time will you be tasked with something you cannot do, you will often be asked to do things you don’t like. Science and life has taught us that growth occurs through pain and stress. And when the muscles and fibers and the nerves and sinews, when the skills and abilities come to fruition, it is not the end of the story but rather the end of the beginning. The real story starts, the curtain has lifted the players shuffle onto the stage, the practices are over, the starting pistol has sounded, the whistle has blown and it’s time.
Congratulations graduates, the world is yours for the taking, but it wont be easy, it will be hard, and wonderful and exciting and difficult and in the end totally worth it.
An Independent Education Consultant
If you have questions about your school and its future I am just a click away. With 30+ years experience running and working in schools across the country I can help your school develop a real world plan that will could save it.
The plan will be simple enough to follow and easy enough to understand but it might prove difficult to do which is why my help remains essential for successful completion.
Lent is a time of prayer and reflection in the hopes we become better versions of ourselves. (Matthew Kelly) As a Catholic Institution we have certain practices we follow in an effort to achieve this goal. Particularly there are three most noteworthy. They are prayer, fasting and mercy. As St. Peter Chrysologus said “ Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains and mercy receives.” These three are essential to keep faith alive an active and to prevent it from becoming simply a show. He goes on to state, if you want God to know you are hungry (fasting) go feed someone who is hungry, if you want God to show you mercy, go and show mercy. The paradox of the Christian message is that we can gain nothing if we do not first give it away. I suppose it can be likened to a house that is being expanded. There will be a portion of the old house that will need to be removed for the new to be added. Perhaps the old section is not in bad shape, but it needs to go if something better is to be built. The old and the new cannot occupy the same space. So if we want God to do something new in our lives or in the lives of our children we need to get rid of that which is in the way.
We see this in the lives of our children, they must let go of childish ways if they are to become adults. Sometimes this is hard but it has to be done if we want our kids to grow to become the young men and women they were meant to be. This is why we encourage students to be advocates for their education, why we challenge them to develop new skills and why we hold them responsible for work. Parents and schools want the best for the students, namely for them to grow into young men and women and then graduate, making space for the new students.