The End always Signals a New Beginning

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The end of the school year is always a bitter-sweet time. As a teacher, some of your students will be moving on to another grade and the realization hits you that you are going to miss them, shenanigans and all. You will never see some of them again. It is also a difficult transition for students. They are leaving some of their closest friends and going to new teachers or new schools. But change is a part of life and the end of something always paves the road for a new beginning.

On June 21, 2019 we had our last day of classes. The big celebration was for our 6th graders. Over 40 of our students finished primary school and are moving on to middle school. The primary school next door organized an elaborate ceremony to celebrate their 6 years of commitment and hard work, to congratulate them for their accomplishment and encourage them to continue their education. To many people outside of Mexico, finishing primary school and enrolling in middle school is not a big thing. It is almost a guarantee. Here in these impoverished colonias, nothing is guaranteed. That is why we are here, to make sure that we do everything in our power to help them stay in school and to dream big. Watching over 40 of them graduate elementary school gave us a jolt of satisfaction because we know our teachers and program helped them stay focused.

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”

C. JoyBell C.

The 6th grade graduation ceremony was a special event. The 6th grade “escolta” (flag team) did a march in their immaculate blue and white uniforms to honor the flag. We all had our hands over our hearts in salute as they high stepped and shouted in sync around the blacktop. It felt like a military parade. After they did their routine, they solemly passed the flag (“cambio de escolta”) to the 5th grade flag team who were wearing red and white uniforms.

After a brief speech by a city representative, all our 6th grade students were called one by one to receive their graduation certificate and to shake hands with the members of the “mesa de honor.” They all walked proudly with their parents, tutors or guardians as they received all the congratulations they deserve.

After this, the 6th graders treated us all to a beautiful dance they had prepared, thanking their teachers, parents and everyone else who had a hand in keeping them focused and encouraged.

It was a beautiful event, worthy of the special occasion. It was a celebration of a bright, new beginning.

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