It is that time of the year, everywhere we look there are graduation celebrations occurring and lots of happy faces. I have fond memories of my graduations from high school, college, and graduate school. My high school graduation was held in the same building that my dad graduated from and graduations are still held there. College was on Mother’s Day and it was h-o-t but the moms didn’t seem to mind. Graduate school was indoors and even though I wasn’t chosen as the graduation speaker, I think the guy chosen was fabulous. So, you may be asking yourself, where is she going with this……well, Webster’s Third New International Unabridged Dictionary, copyright 1986 defines graduation in definition 2a as: the act of completing a phase of one’s formal education; especially the act of receiving a diploma, certificate, or degree from a school, college, or university.
So, could someone please explain how we have devolved to having graduation ceremonies for every grade starting with pre-K? What in the world happened to being promoted? A cute little girl from church told me she was graduating from pre-K and I told her that she was being promoted to Kindergarten. Yes, call me Debbie Downer but I refuse to embrace this new trend. Nothing is “special” any more. The high school student’s graduation is mentioned in the same sentence as the pre-K graduation as if they are equivalent. People WAKE UP they are not the same measure of achievement.
We are lulling these kids into thinking that they have accomplished something special and yes finishing that grade is special but it is not the same as completing high school which represents a cumulative process that began when they were young. What will they do if/when they go to college – there is no hey, you finished your freshman year graduation ceremony. They are being programmed to expect some type of celebration after each year and that is not life.
In our current economic and global system, a high school diploma is really not enough. College is mandatory and still our youth are not guaranteed to find employment. Take a moment to google world education rankings, we are far behind others so shouldn’t we stop this foolishness of graduation ceremonies and focus more on preparing our children to function in the real world?
Have a party at home to celebrate but reserve the cap & gown for true milestones like high school, college, etc.