This morning, after assembling for their final Lower School class photo, the Class of 2027 gathered in Mary Eliot Chapel for 4th Grade Recognition Day. Head of School Lisa Lyle welcomed the audience, which included classmates from other grades in Beasley, family and friends. From musical performances to poetry readings, the program was filled with creativity, laughter and memories. The audience joined in singing America The Beautiful and enjoyed a rendition of Take Time in Life. The students also presented the MICDS Alma Mater. Poetry selections included original pieces where 4th graders shared their memories of time in specific grades, and what it was like to grow so much over the past few years. They compared their lives as babies and toddlers to where they are now, on the cusp of becoming Middle Schoolers.
Teachers offered helpful advice to the students as they prepare to leave Beasley in this video:
Head of Lower School Janet McMillion shared her wonderful remarks from the morning:
Some of the most fun conversations I have is at the lunch table with students is when we are telling jokes and riddles. Some riddles make us laugh, some are more like puzzles, but they always make you think outside the box.
Here is a riddle for you: How is a 4th Grader like a tree?
Let me help you think about this riddle.
A tree is a great image for this day, a day where we mark where you began, who you are now, and where you might go in the future.
Most of you are around 10 years old. A 10-year-old tree has pretty deep roots. Your roots began to grow in your home when you were a baby; you were fragile and needed a lot of care. Let’s take a moment and clap to show our thanks to our families for taking care of us when we were so small.
At some point, your family knew their young tree needed additional care and feeding and so they searched out the best garden for you. Guess what garden they chose? The Beasley Garden! They chose this because it was a place with everything you needed to grow tall, strong, and unique. The Beasley Garden also had the best gardeners (teachers) who carefully tended you with you important knowledge about reading and writing, about math and the science, culture and history of our earth and about all the ways you share who you are, through drama, music, PE, or art and about respect and responsibility. These gardener/teachers helped you grow so that you could someday be on your own in the forests of the world, and give back to the world that gave so much to you. Let’s take a moment and clap to show our thanks to our teachers for taking care of us.
How can you tell how old a tree is? If you are able to look inside the tree, you can see growth rings circling the inside, one ring for each year. I guess if 4th graders were trees, and you looked inside, you would see 10 or so rings. But we are not really trees, are we? We are human. Wonderfully human. Teacher and author Lucy Calkins has said: “Being human means we can remember and tell stories and pretend and write and hope and share, and in this way, add growth rings of meaning to our lives. Being human means that in addition to going through the motions of our lives, we need to turn back and celebrate our lives. We need to paint and map and write and make believe and tell stories and represent and reminisce. We need to develop the eyes to see – ourselves and one another.”
Fourth Graders, that’s what today is all about. Today we recognize what you have shown us, through your words and with your actions, the meaning of how you have grown, and who are becoming.
When you and I met the other day, you shared with me some of the most wonderful thoughts, about who you are grateful for and why, as well as what you do to make others grateful for you.
Understanding gratitude and its importance is a big sign of growth; it’s one of the most important ways we take care of ourselves and each other. I’d like to share just a few examples of what you wrote about gratitude, that represent for me how well you have grown, and what strong meaning you have already brought to your life.
Who are you grateful to and why? Moms, Dads, people in our families, so many of these 4th graders up here are grateful to you because you love them, you hug them, you cook for them, you make them work hard, you encourage them, you comfort them when they are sad or scared and you drive them, sometimes an hour, to school each morning. Teachers, you make your students grateful because you greet them with enthusiasm, you listen to them, you support them, you help them learn in a kind way and you make them laugh. Friends, you are grateful to each other because you make each other laugh, help you feel good about yourself, care for you when you need someone.
4th graders, you also understand that you can make a difference to others, to help them feel the blessing of gratitude, by sharing your smiles, by helping out even when you’re not asked to, by comforting people when they are down, by making your family breakfast and by sharing. One person wrote, “I would carry kindness in my invisible bucket and spread it to people who need a refill of happiness.” These words give all of us an idea of who each of you is, and what kind of person you intend to be, as your roots grow deeper and you stretch your branches as high and wide as they can go. And so, Beasley 4th Graders, from all your teachers and me: Good growing! You are strong and marvelous, with many seasons of joy and learning ahead.
Congratulations to the Class of 2027. The Middle School is looking forward to seeing you in the Fall. And a heartfelt thanks to our wonderful 4th Grade teachers – Ms. Donna Waters, Mr. Chris Brennan and Ms. Lauren Engbert – for your amazing work this year helping these students add another ring to their tree!