Here is my speech from the Farewell to Grade 7's.
Good morning students, staff, parents and special guests. It is my honour to say a few words today at this assembly, as we bid farewell to our friends in the seventh grade. I am so grateful to have had you as my first grade 7’s at McNeely. You have set the bar incredibly high for future grade 7’s with your kindness, your helpfulness, your work ethic, your intelligence and your creativity. I am proud to know you, each and every one.
As you go off to high school, you may experience a little nervousness, maybe some anxiety. For some people, change is terrifying. For others it is energizing.
One thing I know for sure is that change is inevitable and the more resilient and confident you are, the more you will be able to adapt and adjust, riding the wave like a surfer.
To that end, I’ve made a short list of things I would have liked my 12 or 13 year old self to know.
1. Don’t take things personally. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”
2. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Find your funny bone. Exercise your imagination. Life’s too short to worry about things that are out of your control. We all do it. But try to do it less.
3. If you’re feeling afraid, fake courage! I do this all the time. Don’t let fear stand in your way. Don’t let fear win. Because there really is very little to be afraid of.
4. Know that you are loved. And because you are loved, those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. That’s a funny way of saying that not everybody’s opinion counts. See rule #1.
5. And finally, do the right thing, even when nobody’s watching!
So as we say farewell, I hope you will leave our school just a little smarter, braver, and kinder. Walk into high school with confidence and pride. Come back and visit, and remember where you came from: Kathleen McNeely, where we care about each other, we care about ourselves, and we care about our school.