The End of Elementary School

Fifth Grade is over for Alexander. Elementary School is complete in this household. I’m a little sad for my son because I’d love for him to have another few years of 10 minute homework nights and no group work. I’m delighted that he’s completed elementary school at the same place he began. Six years, some better than others but all of them mostly good.

After chapel there was a commencement ceremony for the fifth grade. I love that the school doesn’t treat this as a graduation. Graduating fifth grade? I’ll buy you a slurpee. Everyone graduates fifth grade. The kids sang a song then they got certificates and honors. Then they sang Forever Young. I didn’t cry… much. Mr. G got teary.

We just love that little guy so much.

The Head of School then read the following poem:

The Man In The Glass

Peter Dale Wimbrow Sr.

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest
For he’s with you, clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

He went on to challenge each and every child to go home, look in the mirror and love themselves. He made no mention of becoming loveable but rather talked about how very loved they already are.

It’s exactly how elementary school ought to end. With a room full of adults loving a room full of kids and giving them tools to love themselves.

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4 Comments

  1. Angela

    I absolutely love this poem! Self acceptance and love for one’s self is key to success. If you don’t respect and love who you are, how can you expect anyone else to?

  2. What a beautiful poem! My daughter completed 5th grade this year as well and it was a bittersweet moment knowing that there will be no more elementary school visits for this family! Mixed with that is the pride for how well both of my children have done in school over the past year!

  3. I balled like a baby when my kids “graduated” elementary school. They had a little ceremony that sound’s similar to Alexandar’s and both sang “My Wish” by Rascall Flatts and that was it – I was done. You’d think I’d have been more prepared the 2nd time, but nope, total waterworks.

    Congrats Jessica. And you’re right of course, oh how I miss the 10 minute homework. (And just wait until Jane gets to high school – Oy!)

  4. Ann

    Mr. Wimbrow and the Head of School are wise indeed; as as you for ending this post with such perception. Alexander is a fortunate kid. Happy summer!

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