Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hug for the Last Day

As I have mentioned in the past, the boys go to a nice little uber-liberal free-to-be-you-and-me, cozy educational cocoon of a school. They both love it there. I mean really love it there. But, to be honest, there are times when I have to try my best not to roll my eyes when there are things that I think are just a little over the top.

But, on Tuesday afternoon, what I thought was going to be one of those things (a little over the top) turned out to be quite an endearing end of the year tradition at the SFSchool. Last Day Hugs.

Thanks to my friend, Goldie, I was brought in to the loop on this unpublicized, but annual event. We headed over to the school, camera in hand, to capture the group hugging.

The kids were all still crammed in the all-purpose room finishing up the business end of things - have a great summer, remember to be a life-time-learner, embrace curiosity, remember to be kind to the earth, recycle, give back, yadda yadda yadda and then the final gong was sounded indicating the official end of the year. And yes, they really have a gong - it is also rung at the beginning of the school year. Bong, Bong, Bong. Now we symbolically begin. Now we symbolically end.

The teachers file out first followed by the graduating 8th graders who are the first through the line. Each teacher hugs each student. Then the 8th graders join the line and get to hug everyone else in the school.

As you can imagine, I'm initially thinking - - what a load of new age feel-good bunk is this - - but I confess that it didn't take long for me to well up at the scene. There I was having to throw my cynical views to the wind while watching these kids really connecting with their teachers.

What's was so great about it was that each teacher took the time to say something to each and every child. They were pretty much basted and marinated in uplifting, confidence building sauce for about twenty solid minutes as they heard from a line of 20 or so people that they were s-u-p-e-r!! I nearly got in line myself. Let's all drink that kool-aid...

And for those that remain unconvinced at the power of educators who truly care about their students, I submit the following. The first picture of George the Younger shows him being squashed and squeezed by his PE teacher - aka "Coach". Those who know him know that this is not surprising. Where the proof is in the pudding is photo #2. That's George the Younger in the embracing warmth of none other than the - - wait for it..... Music teacher. Now that's the SF School. Hug away.

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