Tuesday, June 02, 2009

A Little Rant

One quick thing before I head off to add to my work in progress...

You can't graduate from kindergarten, or eighth grade, or whatever arbitrary break in grades moves you from one school to another.

Six-year-olds in shiny caps and gowns are adorable. They finished their first year of school, and yay, they're on to big-kid classes where they actually get to learn stuff. Sixth or eighth or even ninth graders (my junior high was 8th and 9th, high school 10th-12th, and we didn't have a ceremony that I remember in between) are transitioning to, usually, a new level of responsibility and perspective and challenge.

But they haven't completed anything. In most states, they are required by law to go on to the next grade level. You don't get a diploma until you finish all of the requirements of high school, and then you're graduating.

Someone could probably pull out a dictionary definition that proves me wrong, and I admit this is just a peevish opinion, but it's been bugging me. Being able to "graduate" from every grade kind of diminishes the final accomplishment, doesn't it? That's why I was so pleased with Step Up to High School--that's exactly what it is, with equal emphasis on the achievements to date and the goals to come. The celebration is warranted, but in the right way.

I place too much importance on word choice, I guess. But, hey, that's my job! LOL

7 comments:

MJFredrick said...

I agree. We call the kinder ceremony the "bridging" ceremony (and have a little wooden bridge for the kids to cross) and the 5th graders have a "completion" ceremony, since they completed elem.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Those are excellent! :) I picture all the little kids either jumping on the bridge or walking with solemn dignity. LOL

MJFredrick said...

I've not seen the bridging ceremony, but I can imagine the former more than the latter ;)

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

LOL!

Susan Kelley said...

I've never really heard the 'movement' ceremonies from one level to the next called graduation. I agree that there are too many celebrations for things that aren't really achievement. One of my pet peeves is the awarding of trophies and medals for athletic teams no matter their record.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Yeah, "Participation" awards. I think they're good for the first couple of years (like ages 5-6), and one year Number One's coach gave everyone a certificate that awarded something specific (top defenders or whatever), but beyond that is silly. Competition is healthy, and reward should be for achievement. It's meaningless if all they have to do is show up--and the kids know it.

Though I wouldn't be against an exception if, say, a team played their hearts out and worked hard and just...sucked. Hard work and dedication deserve reward, too. :)

Ava Quinn said...

Amen!