The Principal’s Year 12 Graduation Speech 2020
It is a great pleasure to be here with you all on this special day and to honour you, our wonderful Graduating Class of 2020. I also feel particularly proud having known and observed many of you, as you have journeyed, grown and changed through the years from Kindergarten to Year 12.
A key aspect of our job as Steiner Educators is to find ways to remove hindrances for our students, so that they can grow, learn, dream and reach for their stars.
It is this that teachers strive for, in providing creative and enabling educational environments, so that all of our students may flourish, grow confidence and skill in themselves as learners, and ultimately mature into fine young people. And as you sit before us today, we can see that you have indeed become a graduating class of very fine young people and the kind of class that every teacher dreams of growing.
And now that you are old enough to understand I thought I would share with you, a mini explanation of the uniqueness and some of the reasons we do what we do here at Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School and maybe a little bit of what lies behind all the colours of the rainbow at ‘Steiner’
In a nutshell, Steiner Teachers understand that children learn differently at different ages and stages.
Picture this….You are 5 years old in Kindergarten….
You learn best through play….think sandpit, dress-ups, block construction, tree climbing and you learn with your whole body through imitation. Your Kindergarten teachers understand this and offer nourishment to this powerful imitative impulse within you, in an atmosphere of calm and predictable rhythm; Monday drawing, Tuesday painting, Wednesday cooking, Thursday handwork, Friday outside day, your Kindergarten teachers tell you stories, sing songs, bake bread, show you how to sew, twist, and felt wool and you learn how to interact, take turns, wait and help….eventually in harmony with others.
Picture this….you are 6 years old when you enter Class 1 and you journey through the years so that you are 12 years old in Class 6. From the ages of 6 to 12 you learn best by forming a strong feeling and imaginative connection to the lesson content presented by your teachers. Your Primary teachers understand this and offer a learning environment filled with an artistic and warm classroom approach (think colours of the rainbow); they tell you stories, sing, play music, engage you in drawing, writing and modelling, and rhythm and repetition in all subjects. Your teachers observe that such warmth in your learning environment provides you with a foundation for clear thought and moral strength later on and in these years, you thrive surrounded by the calm authority of your teachers, who strive to be reliable and nurturing.
Picture this….you are 13 in Year 7 and you journey through the High School years. Now as an adolescent you begin to build a future intellectual life learning best through questioning, testing and later analysing and comparing. Your High School teachers understand this and they design activities that require you to engage in self reflection and critical observation rather than simple immersion and activity and in senior years, your teachers set increasingly complex work that builds your capacity towards an adult skill set. However, your High School teachers know you still learn best in an atmosphere of respect, trust and continuity, surrounded by adults who can provide fine role models of creative problem-solving and respectful interaction.
Picture this…….you finally arrive at the finish line of Year 12 and here you are! Your effort, enthusiasm, focus, determination and persistence have served you well.
Know that you have achieved great things and that the fruits of your work have filled us with joy, awe, wonder and great excitement for what will come towards you, and from you, into the future.
May you relish and savour the wonderful feeling of satisfaction that such completion and accomplishment can bring and may you also now find the balance and the space in between and seek some well deserved rest and relaxation when you can.
We hope we have given you the time, space, creativity, skill and inspiration, to always be able to learn whatever you wish to learn, to know yourselves well, to have a developing deep sense of your destiny and of your many possible life-pathways, and ultimately, to come to know your own true purpose and place in the world, with a sense of comfort and confidence, for now and forever.
May your presence, ideas and contributions make the world a better place and may you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung!