Yesterday on a sunny May morning I attended her preschool graduation and witnessed her finding courage once again, this time as she was preparing to leave the comfort of her preschool home and head off to Kindergarten.
As the ceremony evolved I was immediately impressed by the strong relationships that had been fostered by the teachers with their young students. This was never more evident as the students concluded thier singing performance and the program moved on to the distribution of awards.
Each graduate received an award and a comment about their future aspirations. Some were "most kind", while others were, "most funny"or "most dramatic." We learned that some of the children wanted to be firemen or policeman or teachers, and we were told of the inspiration behind each one. Clearly these teachers had invested time and energy in building relationships with each one of their students over the course of the past two years.
As the ceremony neared conclusion it was time for one final song. This was perhaps my favorite moment. I watched and listened to the graduates proudly and confidently sing " I don't know but I've been told that Kindergartens the place to be."
While I am quite sure that my niece has mastered all of the necessary skills to be "Kindergarten Ready", listening to the confident rendition of this song signaled to me that she also posesses the necessary social/emotional skills to take the next step on her educational journey.
Taking these steps into her kindergarten classroom will again force my neice to face new risks, but I am reminded of a Henry David Thoreau quote that calls for us to "go confidently in the direction of our dreams." Due to the guidance, support and nurturing of her preschool teachers, she is ready to do just that.