Graduation Ceremonies...Good or Bad

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by mrgrinch09, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    Mar 14, 2009

    I see a lot of posts about suggestions of what to do for preschool graduation ceremonies.

    Does anyone else, besides me, think these graduations, ceremonies, and performances are completely inappropriate for this age group?

    Our school does one every year, and I hate it. I've made my feelings about this known to everyone, but the director and assistant director insist that we do this. We've been doing them for years, and every year they would get more bigger and more complex. Finally, last year it was toned down a great deal, but we still had to do it.

    Does anyone else think this is a stupid tradition that needs to end?
     
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  3. wItalia

    wItalia Rookie

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    Mar 14, 2009

    I think everyone should keep in mind what is in the best interest of the children and concentrate on a celebration of learning instead of a performance.
     
  4. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    I thinnk it's fine as long as what is expected of the children is DAP. Our graduating class (kindergarten) always enjoys doing the ceremony and the parents really appreciate it. We have found that it helps our Kindergartners grasp the concept that Kindergarten is over and they will nto be coming to our school anymore but going to a new school for first grade. It also helps the parents begin making that adjustment as well.
     
  5. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    I think they are stupid and won't do them. I just received an flyer for the purchase of Preschool Caps and Gowns!

    The aspect of an event focusing on the children "graduating" makes it very uncomfortable for the families whose children who need a bonus year in Pre-K. I usually have at least one child every year. We have an end of year celebration for everyone. No graduation songs or ceremonies. It is enjoyed by all of the children and families.
     
  6. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    We did it every year in CA for the Pre-K class, at a low income school that I taught at. The parents seemed to like it and the children didn't seem to care one way or the other, BUT we had to get it done. There was the POMP & CIRCUMSTANCES, :whistle:beyond our control, a party :cool:afterwards, and a lot of cheers and tears. It was neat to see the children enjoy the party. My thought was, "Yeah! Bring on the next group!" I didn't mind putting it together but my team teachers hated it. Any excuse for a party, I am there!:D
    Later,
    Rebel1
     
  7. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    We do one for our kindergartners and I find it a bit over the top.
     
  8. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    I hold a "celebration of learning" at the end of the year. It isn't a graduation ceremony but rather a "Look how much Ive learned ceremony". I put a together an individual portifolio of every child's work throughout the year that shows how much progress they have made. It is very individualized and meets every child's need and success. I also make a dvd that highlights our year in pictures and song. It is a great keepsake. I have a cake and punch but really this is a celebration of each child and not about graduation.
     
  9. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    YES, YES they are inappropriate. Those posters who know me, know how I feel about any performance by Prechoolers or Kinders. The first week of my last job, the school had a Christmas Program. I paced back and forth at the back of the auditorium, promising myself that no more performances would happen at that school. I cancelled the graduation, spring show, and end of year show. Needless to say, I was not popular, but I knew I was true to DAP.
     
  10. Kase

    Kase Companion

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    The place I worked at in Kansas did it for all the Pre-k kids. It was more of a little program than graduation. One teacher goes all out with a picture slide show. The kids do a couple of songs which they want and love to do and then they pretty much have a bbq with the parents. She grills burgers and has side dishes and gets a huge cake! It's pretty awesome. I don't see how its not appropriate. I can understand maybe some teachers being so picky about how a graduation should be with buying caps and gowns for preschoolers but if it's just a little performance I think it's okay.
     
  11. Historygeek

    Historygeek Companion

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    My kids had one, but it was more of a program than graduation. They wore little caps they made in art and then sang a couple of songs and did a little "swearing in" type of graduation. They all said I will to a little vow the director gave them -
    " I promise to always do my best in school, learn everything I can, follow directions, and be the best student I can be" - They all said "I promise"

    Then we had cookies and punch in each of their classes to see some of the things they had worked on. I thought it was sweet.
    They both were always in the Christmas Choir too.
     
  12. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I've had to prepare a Graduation Program every year. The kids wear white caps and gowns, sing and have a party. I hate it and think it's ridiculous. Parents generally think it's pretty "cute;" most are oblivious to the amount of work I do to prepare them. No purpose in the program at all.
     
  13. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I don't like those little programs either. I believe it puts children in a position to be embarrassed, exploited, and set up for disappointment. I know it's a stong opinion, but children have so many opportunities later to "perform".
     
  14. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    The state Pre-K program here in Georgia does not allow Pre-K graduation ceremonies because it is not DAP. I agree. I would much rather do what we do and have a family get-together such as a picnic or cookout to celebrate the end of the school year.
     
  15. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Exactly. For all the work I put in to it, I get very little satisfaction and usually just a pat on the back. Practicing for the program cuts into my lessons and the kids get so sick of singing the songs. They don't get a thing out of it. Then there are parents who bring their child a huge bouquet of roses while the others wonder why they didn't get one. Then there is the child with stage fright who ends up crying hysterically and sitting on their parents lap blubbering through the performance of their class mates. Ridiculous. I suggested we scratch the whole idea and was told, 'WE WILL HAVE GRADUATION." o.K. THEN, let's not try something different for pete's sakes.
     
  16. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    I don't generally do new stuff for graduation--- I use songs etc that wehave done throughout the year so its more a review of what we've done than learning a lot of new stuff. We do a couple of dress rehearsals, and we talk about it a lot. If a child gets stage fright, they can come down off the stage and sit with me. No big deal. I think it's all what you make it -- if you make it a stressful thing it's stressful, if you hve fun with it, it can be fun for both yoruself and the kids. I don't hink it's any nmore less ap propriate than having them do a Christmas concert and such---. I am all for DAP, but sometimes I think there is more concern about DAP then there is about the children's actual wants/needs/abilities. Most of it is common sense really. And I don't do anything to purposefully make an impression on the parents. I concentrate on the children and how they respond is what makes the most impression on the kids. I don't care about recognition from the parents for things like this---it's not what I became a teacher for. I became a teacher to teach and help young children not to get pats on the back and impress people. If I do a good job at what I'm supposed to do, it will speak for itself and I get all the reward I need to feel good about myself when I see the children are soaking up the teaching and are happy and glad to come to school. My sense of purpose and gratification has tocome from within myself and not from outside sources. If I realy ony on outside sources for that , then I set myself up for failure. yes, it's nice, and I'm not saying i don't like hearing it, I jsut don't have to in order to feel satisfied or like I'm doing a good job.
     
  17. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I considered being a movie star because I love the attention, but figured teaching would be the next best thing. I just love all the money, gifts and cards, but the problem is ,I'm running out of places to store it all.
     
  18. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Totally inappropriate. I don't like them at the PreK level, the 5th grade level, the 8th grade level, etc.. I do not like them at all.

    It also lessens the value of a REAL graduation.. which is when you are finished with 12th grade and ready to go to college or otherwise enter the real world.
     
  19. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    I respectfully disagree. I think they mark the ending of one phase of life and the beginning of another-- they mark an accomplishment and if done right boost a child's self esteem and not undermine it. That's my opinion, and I'll say no more about it.
     
  20. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    One child who gets stage fright and has to come down off the stage is not worth the glory of the performance.
     
  21. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    We did Pre-K Graduation in CA, with the County Pre-school I taught at, 'cause we were told that it was the tradition. Any parents who didn't:(want their children to participate were excused BUT to our surprise NOBODY wanted to be the graduation pooper. :D
    It was :cool:,
    Rebel1
     
  22. TXTCHR29

    TXTCHR29 Cohort

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    Our kindergarten does one every year, and when I was teaching Kinder I absolutely hated it! I don't think its appropriate at all!
     
  23. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Our kinders did it too and I thought is was just silly. I think it is mainly as a cutesy thing for the parents. If if was a parent of a pre-k or kinder, then I would probably like it if it was my kid.
    I guess it kind of also bugged me that kindergarten had this whole ceremony, caps, songs but no other grade level did anything! Just kinder! Weird! I'm all for plain old end of the years parties.
     
  24. teacher36

    teacher36 Comrade

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    I agree with Sarcazmom. I think it is fine to have a ceremony for the children if kept within limits. All year long, my children have learned the days of the week song and the alphabet song in sign language. This is what they will show to their families. They will also sing a song that they have sung many times during the year. There is no pressure to learn anything new. Also, the ceremony is short (about 20 minutes, including the handing out of diplomas, and the Pledge). Then we have a party. I think it could be dev. inappropriate, if you are forcing children to learn new thnigs in order to perform them in front of a large audience. I don't think the way many schools do it is dev. inapp. The kids love it, and of course any child who does not, doesn't have to take part. I really don't see the problem. Yes, it's a lot of work for the teacher to prepare, but what isn't? The reward is seeing the children proud of themselves and happy and I think it is a special thing for these young children to finish a whole year of preschool. It should be celebrated. Again, we don't do the caps and gown thing or the learning of new things just to perform them. The graduation takes no time away from my lessons, because the songs are things we do daily anyway. I look forward to this day.
     
  25. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I also got an advertisement recently for PreK and Head Start "class rings." YIKES!
    Kim
     
  26. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I agree...and it can be done well. We celebrate the end of PreK with an art show. I save paintings and other artwork (not pre-cut crafty things...real artwork) through the year and display them all around our Multipurpose room, in a nice mat that I buy from Abrakadoodles. The kids, both classes, sit in a giant cirlce in the middle of the floor, and we sing some songs that they've chosen from all of the ones we learn througout the year. I think it's important that it's THEIR choice. They usually choose the Tooty Ta and Peanut Butter by Dr. Jean! The parents stand and watch us, then look at all of the artwork, and then we have a cake. It's an "ending" celebration (since after this, most of my kids go on to other schools), but there is NO pressure, almost NO preparation, NO "diplomas," NO teacher dictating parts or lines to the kids. It's a party.

    I think it's important to note that each grade in our school does some sort of ending celebrations. Kindergarten does a learning showcase (similar to my art show, but more writing-based), First grade does a "meet the authors" tea, second grade does a dinosaur museum exhibition, 3rd does a performance of child-written plays, 4th does a math festival, and 5th does the standard promotion ceremonies.
    Kim
     
  27. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    I thought caps and gowns were bad, but I cannot believe anyone would market PreK class rings. :dizzy: It sounds too ridiculous to be true. Sad to say, I could imagine some of my parents buying one!
     
  28. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    OMGosh! little CHILDREN with jewelry is Not A Great Idea At All, especially rings that they can put in their mouths and probably choke on them! It might be the IN THING but those businesses pushing it are just thinking of $$$$$ and no concern of where these RINGS WILL GO IN, if given to CHILDREN; whose parents are going to be the SUCKERS and WILL BUY them,:2cents:JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE SOOOOOOOOOO CUTE and they're keepsakes.:angel:
    They'll just lose it in the yard or where ever, and it will be one more thing to NAG the teachers about, "Ummmm, Ms. Now! What's your name again? Can you put a note on the door to see if someone found my daughter's GRADUATION RING?"
    My reply would be, "How about if I ask the children if one of them ate it?":lol:
    NAGIAT,:(
    Rebel1
     

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