A few weeks ago, Joshua School Arusha held its annual graduation for the seventh graders who leave to join high school next year.
Graduations fulfill two roles: a celebration of accomplishment and a marking of a specific time where you are moving into a new phase in life. It is also an opportunity for students to understand transition; learn to speak, listen, and perform, and further build a healthy home-school connection.
Parents, teachers and students sat together on this in JSA’s dining hall. After a quick introduction by the headmaster, the graduation kicked off.
JSA is a close-knit school, with relationships spanning from students to teachers and it showed on this day, as the different classes stood to bid farewell to the leaving students in their own expressive art forms.
The seventh graders too had their own message to pass along. They thanked their teachers and parents for helping them get this far while promising to keep up the good work. They also bade farewell to their fellow students.
Before the students received their certificates, Lynda Stephenson, the school’s director offered more advice to the leaving students, encouraging them to not only keep the good ethics that they had gained while at JSA, but to serve as an example wherever they landed.
The certificates to the students was followed up by gifts by parents who felt that the teachers of JSA had done an excellent job and wanted to thank them.
Gifts, photographs and a light lunch later in the afternoon marked the end of the graduation. School is not just about academic progress (while still important), it is also a time for social emotional growth that teaches about interaction and relationships with people and communities. The interaction between the students and their relationship towards their parents and teachers left us feeling blessed.