SLP IP Graduation 2013
February 27th marked my last day as a teacher at Suji SLP. The IP graduation was set to take up the entire morning with two plays, presentation of the certificates, and finally the “Graduation Tears” finale. I had agreed a few weeks beforehand to be the master of ceremonies and write short welcome and closing speeches, on top of which I decided to make a video for the parents. I knew going into it I would probably end up crying.
IP Alligator, Bear and Cat classes were as prepared as they could be that morning, and the energy and excitement were palpable. Me, I was a nervous wreck. We made sure the students were dressed and ready for their plays and then I went to welcome the parents. I couldn’t even manage the first sentence before I started crying and had to pass the duty over to someone else. Getting through the plays and certificate presentations was much easier.
IP Alligator performed “Everybody Wants to be a Cat,” a play written and put together by the wonderful Kelsey Teacher. Musical numbers included the title song from Disney’s Aristocats and BSB’s Larger Than Life. Here we had a story about cats and dogs setting aside their differences and working together.
IP Bear and Cat classes performed “Peter Pan,” which I wrote and put together. They sang and danced to Bon Jovi’s My Life and The Sound of Music’s So Long, Farewell. Hook is upset that Peter Pan and the lost boys and girls are young and happy. He plots to steal Tink’s fairy dust, duels Peter Pan, and eventually they reach an understanding and live carefree and happily together.
They all did well and I was so ridiculously proud of them. Once they had finished their plays, they went to change into their graduation robes while the parents watched a commemoration video. The students were called up individually to receive their graduation certificate as well as a class personality, best reader, most creative, etc. After a few individual pictures, the students stood together to sing “Graduation Tears.” Apparently it was a really popular song a few years ago, so graduation classes at our SLP have been singing it since then. It’s horrendously catchy.
Cue the waterworks halfway through my closing remarks. Some rather long pauses and deep breaths later, we were ready for class pictures and pictures with the parents, and sending the kids off to the start of their elementary school years. While this was my second intensive preschool graduation at SLP, it was the first time I really felt the breadth of what I had accomplished with these kids. I was so immensely proud of them and everything they had achieved over the year, and I’m so grateful to have been part of that experience. Teaching these little ones has made my year in Korea, hands down, one of the best years of my life.
These are wonderful students, and I know you will see great things from them in the future. The year I have spent with them has been unforgettable, and I wouldn’t change a single thing. To the students, congratulations to each and every one of you. I am so proud of all that you have accomplished. And to the parents, on behalf of all the teachers and the staff here at SLP, I would like to say what an honor it has been to teach your children.
May you rise up to meet any challenge set before you, and find happiness in achieving your dreams.
Thank you for attending Suji SLP’s IP graduation of 2013.