Karisa Scott, Assistant Principal of Milpitas and Calaveras Hills high schools, shared this metaphor for parenting our teens through adolescence: teens need guidelines similar to the security bar on a roller coaster. In the same way that we push and pull on the bar to ensure it is locked, teens test our commitment to the boundaries we set for them. I’ve carried that image with me these last weeks of school as I listened to our graduates and rising middle and high school students.
Our promotion and graduation ceremonies provided a point of reflection for our student leaders. All remarked in some way the realization that as a collective their class has grown through the support of their peers, school teams, and families. They spoke of their challenges that forged new definitions in their character. They expressed their gratitude for the people in their lives who love and counsel them. Our students demonstrated the self-realization that they are remarkably powerful when they share their enthusiasm for their pathways with each other and our community.
The weeks ahead are an opportunity for us to encourage our youth to experience something different or more deeply that will further shape their learning and development. The crest of summer bares transition time for us as their parents, guardians and educators as well. It is a time to pause so we can reconnect and listen to their wonderings, concerns, and aspirations about who they are becoming. They need the assurance of our support and guidance as they make the ascent to this next phase of their learning journey.
Together WE are there for our children, pushing them towards their goals, celebrating the thrill of their triumphs, and delighting in their realization that they are capable of becoming what they dream to be.