Sunday, 18 June 2017

Grade 6 Celebration
Rundle College
June 2, 2017

My whole life, I’ve been totally enthralled by the idea of superheroes.  Literally, it is the one thing I have always been most curious about.

It all started when I was about 6 years old.  At this age, I had discovered cartoons and comic books.  My favourites cartoons and comics were Hercules, The Incredible Hulk, and, of course, Superman.  Some of my earliest memories were when I wanted so badly to be superman that I used to make my younger brother pretend to be in danger and I would pretend to fly around my backyard and save him.  Now, don’t try this at home, but I actually wanted to fly so badly that I used to jump off the third stair of my house wearing only a grocery store plastic bag on my back.  It never worked.  But truth be told, I think what I loved most about Superman was that he was a normal guy until something bad occurred and then he needed to go to a phone booth, change into his cape and then save the day.  I loved that there was something about his inner strength that made him invincible!

When I was a little bit older, it occurred to me that maybe there were real life superheroes in my community.  I remember a time when my family was in a small car accident.  Within seconds, the police and the fire department arrived and made sure everybody was okay.  It seemed like a miracle that they could arrive so quickly and exude such kindness.  It was shortly after this, that I decided that I wanted to be a firefighter, because they were the true superheroes.  There was something about the kindness the were able to show us, when we needed it most, that made me want to be just like them.
Later in life, as I progressed through high school, my interest in becoming a firefighter shifted.  I think it was mostly because I was struggling with some of my high school classes.  Throughout my struggles, my teachers were always there to help me.  I remember in highschool I would show up to school at 7:15 AM and get extra help from my teachers, just so I would graduate and be able to attend university.  It was my teachers, much like your teachers, that teach us how to reach our potential and remain resilient.  It was their help that inspired me to become a teacher!  To this day, I believe teachers are some of the most amazing superheroes ever!
Which brings me to the fall of 2016 - and up to that point, I have to admit, I still believed teachers were the only true superheroes.  Now to be clear, I haven’t changed my mind - they are true superheroes.  That said, what changed this school year is that I have a brand new perspective on who are superheroes.  I still believe that like superman - superheroes need to have an inner-strength, and like the firefighter, they need to be kind and like the teachers, they need to support us in resilience….. But what I learned this year is that the real superheroes - the most strong, kind, and resilient people in the world, sit here in front of me.  Yes, Grade 6 students, you are the real superheroes.

Grade 6 students, you have demonstrated what it means to have an inner strength, you have come together as a group and are learning the lessons of what it means to be kind to one another and you have demonstrated resilience in the face of the ultimate adversities.   Sometimes, I have no idea how you did it… but I am guessing it must have been your secret superpowers.  
Thank you - and congratulations.  

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