Last Sunday my 3 younger children and I went to the 5th grade graduation at Prairie Creek Community School (PCCS). It was a sweet and lovely affair. At the head of a procession, the teachers lead the students on the lawn "humming" Pomp and Circumstance on kazoos. Under the shade of an ancient ash tree, 18 students sat facing parents, friends and family. After encouraging words from Caroline, the administrator, the guest speakers rose to share a few words. This year's speakers were Tara, the children's Kindergarten teacher and Diane, her assistant. Tara has since moved away; there was a sense of a "celebrity" in our midst because she is so well- loved and a truly gifted teacher. Before and after the ceremony parents and children crowded around her wanting pictures and e-mail addresses.
Speaking of well-loved, the bulk of the ceremony illustrated how cared-for our children are at PCCS. The two teachers of these boys and girls, Simon and Michelle, called his or her students up individually. Earlier in the week, classmates had written about character qualities, personality traits, and special talents that they admired in each one of their 5th grade friends. Simon and Michelle read from these comments and added some of their own insights. I enjoyed watching these maturing young ladies and men receive the accolades of their peers and teachers. They smiled, nodded in agreement and glanced at their classmates sitting off to the side.
This whole event cause me to think: How am I doing at expressing appreciation and praise of the everyday people in my life? How are we doing as a family, congregation or community?