Every graduation day, I am genuinely proud of all our students; I know I will truly miss having most of those Seniors around the hallways and in the Commons every day. And though I always freak out about what to wear, how to do my makeup & hair, if I'm going to get all the names right, and whether or not I can avoid crying, it is one of my favorite series of moments as a teacher.
In less than two hours, I go from seeing these kids as children who seem to need me to remind them every hour how we use our time wisely and engage in rational discussions and stop throwing shit across classrooms to seeing them as grown-up people who really don't need me to give them directions or define respectful behavior or explain the value of education. It is moving and miraculous and marvelous.
Today there are a few students graduating whom I have known throughout their high school careers. They were in Freshman English with me during my first year at Hayes Freedom. I've seen their baby faces mature; I've watched them make friends and lose friends and make friends again; I've heard them build opinions and craft dreams and take charge of their lives. I am so proud of the young adults they have become, I look forward to witnessing their successes in the world. I just wish they didn't have to leave us.
If you have a moment at 2:00 PST today, click to watch our Renegades step out in the world. It is a magnificent transformation.