Ty’s grade 8 graduation night was a moment that I will not soon forget. All the hopes and dreams I had for the legacy he would leave at his elementary school, culminated in the most beautiful ceremony that included recognition for the amazing kid he is. He walked away that night with an Honour Roll Award for his marks, but blew our minds when he also won the Physical Education and Citizenship Awards (“Ty never turns away a classmate, whether it’s including them in a group task or just engaging them in a conversation”). I was beaming with pride, naturally, but Ty was also so incredibly proud of his own accomplishments that night, giving him a head start on the confidence he will need in September, when he starts Catholic high school.
I had hopes, dreams, and wishes for my son for the 9 years of his academic life at our community elementary school and so many of them were realized by the time he graduated this past June. I had those wishes for him, way back in SK when he arrived at the school and they developed over the years as I saw him blossom as a young student. Those early wishes evolved from making friends, being kind and learning to keep his cubby clean to winning an award at grad, getting a school “agreements” award, joining Student Council, going on an overnight class trip and being adored by his teachers!
What I’m learning now is that I need to create NEW wishes for him as he enters this new experience at the Catholic high school this fall. Here are my NEW wishes for my amazing son, as he enters not only a new school board, but a new life adventure!
Wish 1: My first wish is that Ty continues to conduct himself with respect for teachers, a love of learning and a willingness to be a good classmate…that he continues to be a great Christian citizen who cares for others. I feel confident that the school we have chosen for Ty will offer him the support he needs to accomplish this wish!
Wish 2: I wish for Ty to find that one amazing and influential Catholic teacher, who will make a difference in his life. I hope he finds that role model that he can learn from, one who inspires him to do more, one who understands him for who he is and motivates him to get more involved in the world, his community and his own future. One who can teach him “lessons for life” that go beyond the classroom.
Wish 3: I wish that Ty makes new and important friends with students from all backgrounds, religions, cultures and beliefs. I wish those friends to be a positive influence in his life. I hope that he celebrates all of his peers, including the LGBTQ students who are welcomed and embraced at Catholic school. I hope he finds other classmates from his own cultural background and learns more about acceptance and diversity through the life lessons in the curriculum. These views on the world will only help provide him with the Christian foundation to go out in the world and live his life with acceptance and celebration for difference.
Wish 4: I hope that my son learns to be confident in who he is and what he can do. There is no greater gift that a teacher can provide than nurturing a child who is feeling insecure and not as confident as they should be. I know this will become important for grade 9, especially. I hope that his new Catholic school teachers can see the incredible person he is, push him to be at his best and foster a confidence in him that is eager to be brought to the surface.
Wish 5: This final wish is for Ty to find a moment in his four years, maybe like Cheryl in grade 10 civics class (watch her inspiring video below), when it hits him…a cause or issue stops him in his tracks and moves him to do more to help those impacted by it. Just the other day, I told the boys about the White Ribbon Campaign that I started in my own high school growing up. Violence against women was that cause that kept me up at night and I sold ribbons to raise awareness and money for a local women’s shelter. I hope that the Catholic teachers at Ty’s new high school will continue to emphasize global citizenship, social justice and empathy in a way that ignites a spark in my son.
Ty, I have all these wishes and more for you, as you enter this new chapter in your life! I can’t wait to see what the next four years hold for you!
This post is part of the YummyMummyClub and Ontario’s Catholic Teachers #CatholicTeachers sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.