Thursday, May 16, 2013

Seminary Graduation and The End of The Year

12 more days to teach Seminary this year (but who is counting???)
What traditions or ideas do you have for end of the year and Seminary graduation?
Although the focus is always Jesus Christ and His teachings, I feel it is important to end on a note that reminds the students of what we learned all year as well as congratulate them for all their hard work.
The reality is, my students are in class at 6am every school day, which means most of them are out the door long before most of their peers are even awake. This is, indeed, something to celebrate.
Early morning Seminary students make a huge sacrifice to attend Seminary and I know they are blessed for this effort. It is a large piece of their armor of God and I know Seminary protects them spiritually and physically.
With this in mind, I will share a few of my plans for winding up the year.
I am combining a tradition from our former area, Wellington Ward, and adding a few new ideas.

Stake Level:

  • Last weekend, we had a Seminary Scripture Bowl, Fireside, Dinner, and Dance. It sounds like a lot was packed in to one night and it was, but it was a wonderful way to bring all the Seminary students together to celebrate a great year.
  • This Sunday, our Stake is hosting a formal Seminary Graduation. The Seniors will receive their diplomas and one Senior from each Ward will speak.

On a Ward level:
1) Graduation Breakfast:

  • Students, 8th graders, Parents and Leaders are invited. 
  • In addition to tables for the invited guests, 
  • 4 tables will be set up and decorated specifically for students.
  • Simple graduation decorations will be used, with a little more detail given to the Seniors' table. I have some cute little graduation hats for the Seniors to wear.
  • Students will sit by class (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior)
  • As we finish eating, students will have the opportunity to express their feelings about the Seminary year, the scriptures, etc.
  • I am preparing a slide show that will run while we are eating. It contains all the photos from our year together.
  • At the end of breakfast, everyone will be advanced (graduated) to the next level. 8th graders are invited to sit at the Freshman table, Freshmen will move to the Sophomore table, etc. SENIORS are walked out the door and handed their set of scriptures, journals, and any other class supplies that are theirs. (Thank you to my boys' Seminary teacher, Kate Estey, for this idea-it was a fun tradition for many years in Wellington Seminary)
2) Seminary Sacrament Meeting:
  • I have arranged with both Bishops in our building (my students come from the 2 wards that meet in our building) to have a Seminary Sacrament Meeting. My students will attend both wards on that day.
  • Our class is  scheduled to sing "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" (we are practicing it in English and Spanish
  • The Seniors (5 of them) are invited to speak. Their assigned topics are taken from Seminary Scripture Mastery scriptures
  • All students will be recognized for their efforts in attendance and reading. Scriptorian and Master Scriptorian awards will be presented. ( I found plaques for Scriptorian and Master Scriptorian Awards-not as fancy as the ones I have been looking for, but these are nice)
  • This will provide an opportunity for parents and ward members to hear and see the blessings of Seminary.
  • On this day, I will also hold a brief Seminary Pre-registration meeting for parents. I will give an overview of what the Seminary year will be like and ask them to make sure their student has a set of scriptures to use for Seminary class next year. Since I did not start the year with this class, I never had the opportunity to set a few basics in motion, such as each student needs a set of their own scriptures (I know...basic, but it was hard to come in and set that in motion mid-year)
Please share any other ideas you have for end of year, graduation, summer preparation, etc. 
I am going to miss these kids and the beautiful spirit I have with me as I am immersed in the scriptures.
The 4:35am alarm...not so much.

Happy Teaching!

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