We expect that there are some children entering TPS as students for the first time who are experiencing some jitters. (There may be some parents, too.)
To help quell those jitters, we are posting one of last June's Class of 2016 graduation speeches. (Every graduating student gives a speech or shares a musical performance.) The author, Derek J., described his first day as a kindergartener at TPS.
Facing Fears, by Derek J.
In kindergarten, I was as shy as it gets. I disliked talking to new people or making new friends, unlike my brother, Scotty, who was an extremely outgoing preschooler. He may have been more outgoing then than I am now.
On my first day of kindergarten at The Philadelphia School, I sat in the corner of the room for almost half the day. Scotty, at the time, was probably making multiple new friends in preschool and running around the whole room. I could not stop thinking how much fun he was probably having and decided to try to make some friends.
I spotted two kids playing with blocks in opposite corner of the kindergarten, not talking, just playing. I walked over and started playing with them. They said their names were Eric and Sanaa, and just like that, I had made two friends.
My journey at The Philadelphia School has been a series of many moments like that, where I had to conquer my fears and step out of my comfort zone. Other examples include the TED talk in 6th grade, the 3rd grade play, the 7th grade Seeds of Change project, and even right now giving a speech in front of all of you.
Although I will never be as talkative as Scotty, I would say that I have definitely improved in my time here at The Philadelphia School, and maybe, just maybe, in high school there will be two kids playing with blocks in the corner of the room whom I can join.