Sixth class graduated from Bunscoil Bhríde on the 22nd of June 2018. Their teacher Ms. O' Halloran had these lovely words to share with all those who gathered to celebrate.
Good morning everyone. I would like to thank you all for being here today on this very special occasion. I won’t keep you for too long because I know you’re all eager to begin the celebrations and the girls are sick of listening to me waffling on at this point!
I would like to begin by congratulating the girls on reaching this important milestone. It’s hard to believe that they spent 8 years in this school, growing from adorable little Junior Infants back in 2010 to the fine, confident girls they are today. You really were a fantastic 6th Class- trustworthy, reliable, responsible, helpful and mature. You set a shining example for the younger children with your respectful and mannerly behaviour and positive attitudes, and we really couldn’t have asked for better role models. There is no doubt that the class of 2018 will be warmly and fondly remembered by all here in this school for many more years to come.
I would also like to congratulate you, the parents, families and friends of these children. They really are a credit to you and I can’t imagine how proud you must be of them. I don’t know anything about child-rearing as of yet, but I have heard that it is the toughest job one could ever do, and it also happens to be the most important one. These girls wouldn’t be who or where they are today only for you, and with your love and support they will be able to overcome anything and achieve everything in their lives going forward. I would like to thank you for all your support and understanding throughout the year- I want you all to know how much your kindness and encouragement meant to me and how appreciative I am to you all.
This is my second year teaching in this very special school. I taught First Class last year, and I have to admit that I was a little bit apprehensive to the point of being terrified when I found out I had Sixth Class this year. On Friday September 1st 2017 I walked out to collect my new class from the yard, knees knocking as I surveyed them with apprehension. Many thoughts raced through my head- will they eat me alive? Will I make it through this day so I can go to the All-Ireland Final on Sunday? Why are they so tall? Did she just give me a dirty look? The cheek! God bless us and save us look at the size of the tables and chairs! One look at the maths book was all it took to send me over the edge- what did I do in my past life to deserve this sentence?!
Today on another Friday, June 22nd 2018, I stand before these girls again, but with very different thoughts and feelings. I feel happy because this is a happy occasion and the girls are happy. I feel proud because each and every single girl in front of me has achieved so much this year and grown so much- I am bursting with pride today. I feel excited because I know they’re going to love secondary school and go on to live fantastic lives, and I can’t wait to hear what becomes of them. I also feel sad and a little lonely because I am going to miss these girls so much, and I know I’m not the only one who’ll miss seeing their smiling faces in the corridors, yard and classrooms. Our loss is their secondary school’s gain.
I’ll give you an example of the kind of people these girls are. On the day of the school tour, one of the girls got upset while standing on the top of a very tall pole, and she climbed back down again. At the bottom, each and every single member of her group were waiting to embrace her with a hug and whisper words of comfort and encouragement. The instructor commented ‘they’re very supportive, aren’t they?’ and despite only knowing them a few hours, he encapsulated what this class is about perfectly.
It was a privilege to teach this class, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. They are intelligent in ways that test scores will never reflect, creative, sporty, musical and talented. They are drama queens in the best possible way, which suited me down to the ground. They are funny- sometimes a look was enough to set me off-, kind-they really know what life is all about-, and helpful- some of them would do literally anything for myself and other teachers and children in the school. That’s not to say we didn’t have our tough times or downs as well as ups, and I’ll affectionately remember every Friday when they’d roar- ‘Inniu an Aoine, BUÍOCHAS LE DIA’. These girls are tough, resilient and brave and they got on with things and did the job to the best of their abilities and I really saw them grow in confidence, achieve their goals and reach their potentials. They made my job very easy, and I loved coming into school every day. I hope the same can be said for them and that they leave primary school with happy memories of this year along with the previous seven years.
Steve Jobs said "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition." I hope that you will always have the courage to stay true to yourselves and do whatever it takes to make your own life happy and fulfilled, and of course whatever it takes to make the lives of those around you that little bit better. As Eleanor Roosevelt said ‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams’. The future belongs to you, and I really hope that it is as bright and brilliant as each and every one of you are. Enjoy the rest of the day, and thank you for listening.