The following is an excerpt from Ms. Fearnside’s 5th Grade Continuation Speech
To paraphrase a great writer, we all have the potential for good and bad inside of us, but it’s the choices we make that make us who we are. Our Rocketeers are truly excellent. As their teachers, we have seen them grow in more ways than we can measure. But not everyone they meet in life will have the privilege of getting to know them so well. Not everyone they meet will get to know how much they grew on the benchmark this year or will learn how brilliant they were on their last SBAC or how kind they were to their peers. Everyone else won’t always see their abilities; what they will see is their choices.
So my advice for you all is to always choose wisely. Your parents made a difficult and important choice to bring you to Rocketship – because they wanted opportunities for you. You have all made a hard choice to go to one of many amazing middle schools for the very same reason. So make sure that the rest of the choices you make – even easy, seemingly small ones – are good choices.
Choose to be kind, not hurtful. Choose to be a leader, not a follower. Choose to do your homework, instead of watching TV. Choose to be truthful, not dishonest. Choose to help others, not think only of yourself. Choose to take responsibility when you make a mistake, not blame others.
While not every choice will work out best for you – you will make mistakes, I promise you that – you will also grow, more than you ever thought you could, into the person we all know you can be.
Be someone great, 5th graders!
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Janet came to Rocketship in 2011 after teaching for three years in a neighboring district in downtown San Jose. She earned a BA in Spanish and Linguistics from Washington University in St. Louis and is passionate about teaching in both English and Spanish. Janet was born in South Dakota, but she now lives with her husband and cat in San Jose and, thanks in large part to the beach and the farmers’ markets, has become a life-long Californian.