It's the moment many teachers dread: Coming up with a preschool graduation speech .... (queue in horror film music here).
Fears of being unprepared and stammering fill our heads, anxiety may set in and many think,
"I am NOT a public speaker! I HATE public speaking! I am a preschool teacher! I LOVE teaching preschool!"
Take a breath.... really! Remember your 'Why'...why you are planning preschool graduation ideas in the first place: It is to celebrate the children and their year!
Giving a preschool graduation speech is also an opportunity to publicly thank your families for sharing and entrusting their child(ren) with you.
In addition, it is an opportunity to thank staff such as the director, co-teachers, support staff and volunteers.
As you are thinking of what to say, who to acknowledge and how long to take remember this one, important factor: This is not a keynote speech for college!
Let's say it again: It is a preschool graduation speech!
This is preschool! Yes, your students may be going off to kindergarten or moving up to Prek, but, it is still preschool! BE YOURSELF!
That, after all, is why parents entrusted the children in your program's care to begin with!
Don't put pressure on yourself to be "formal"...instead.... put pressure on yourself to be "you"! Or, in the words of Dr. Seuss:
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
There....feel better? This is a fun day and your preschool graduation speech ideas should keep that fact in mind! :)
Well, one more fact to keep in mind. Because this is Preschool Graduation, that means the preschoolers are sitting there......waiting.......excited......nervous......poking their friend beside them!
And, they are.... brace yourself.... I KNOW you've worked all year on this.......but......get ready........
They are NOT LISTENING TO YOU when you give your speech!
Phew, there, I've said it! So, this speech is not for them--even if you address the children in this preschool graduation speech (And no, I don't mean saying something like "And this year we have ALL learned to LISTEN WHEN SOMEONE ELSE IS TALKING, haven't we Cheryl?")
What I mean is that while you are presenting your speech they sometimes hear.... well, here is my point when it comes to preschoolers and speeches:
You KNOW that is what they are hearing! When you are giving your preschool graduation speech, be sure to have 1 or 2 adults sitting with the children to redirect them during this time! That's all I'm saying!
There are many types of preschool graduation speeches. You might give an actual speech, read a story or show a DVD of the children!
As I said earlier, remember to just be you!
Here are a few ideas for speeches.
Feel free to use these and modify as you need to for your own program!
written by me, Miss Cheryl, at Preschool Plan It
This is the typical speech or welcoming speech I give. It includes a thank you and accolades to staff and introduces the stars: The Preschoolers!
"Hi everyone! Thank you so much for coming! We are SO excited about today, aren't we boys and girls??!!!
Today is a very special day. Today we celebrate YOUR children's life and times in preschool!
It's hard for many of you to believe that the time has come for child or children.... your babies, are beginning kindergarten isn't it?
When your children first started preschool-there was much separation anxiety. The beginning of a new school year is like that for children...and for parents!
The beginning of the school year was a time of building trust with the children......and with you. It was a time of building relationships together and creating a team with one shared goal: Providing your children with what they needed to develop and grow as preschoolers.
That trust was built, relationships and teams create. We moved through the year--as a team--growing and learning and building a foundation your children will bring with them to Kindergarten.
And now, it is very hard for US to believe your children are leaving us! You have entrusted the most important thing in your lives to us--your child. We can't tell you how much we appreciate that trust!
We thank you for sharing your children with us. We thank you for allowing us to be part of your family during this time.
And now, it is the end of the year. It is time for your children to move on and, Guess what? It is us.... the teachers...who have separation anxiety. We will miss your children more than you know. But, we smile through the goodbye tears because we are so grateful to have been part of their lives and your family during this time.
And, I want to thank the teachers today. Thank you for your dedication to the children and their families. Thank you for your thoughtful planning and time invested in the lives of each and every one of these children!
There was a poem written by Forest Witcraft that talks about teachers and it definitely applies to the teachers, support staff and volunteers here today:
One hundred years from now
It won't matter
What kind of car I drove
What kind of house I lived in
How much money I had in the bank
Nor what my cloths looked like
The world may be a little better
Because, I was important
In the life of a child.
And you were. You were important to each and every one of these children. Thank you.
And now, the children are very excited to get this party started, right? Okay, let's hand over the program to the children!"
Here is when your children might sing their songs or do their play they have been practicing!
Here is another you can use and modify to meet your program's needs. It is from StudyMode
"We are here today for "ABC Preschool's Graduation Ceremony. This is a momentous occasion in the lives of all the children.
It is also a time to recognize the outstanding work of the staff here and the parents of the students.
Just looking around, the happy smiling faces says so much about the environment here at ABC Preschool. Our children have learned so much. The school places great value on community, learning and fun.
I am proud of the way the children love coming here to school and look forward to what they learn. Seeing the big smiles on their faces in the morning is fantastic. They have learned to love learning and that skill will help them so much as they progress with their education.
Life is not just about learning to read and write. They are important, but just as important is love and friendship.
This school places great emphasis on being part of the community. This is a lifelong skill which will help all of us flourish.
It may seem slightly old-fashioned, but a sense of community to me is very important to the future of our nation and our children.
So, thank you to the other teachers here, the love you have for the children shines through in their results. Thank you to all the parents who have willingly given their time volunteering here, and who have raised such wonderful children!
Looking ahead, our children are very well-equipped to take on the next part of their educational lives. They have strong foundations and we feel very confident that we have given the children a great start in life. They have learned many priceless lessons.
So, children: Take on challenges, be loving, love learning, be part of the community, laugh and be all you can be.
This preschool graduation speech is called We Give Your Child Back Now (author unknown)
We give you back your child, the same child you confidently entrusted to our care last fall. We give him back pounds heavier, inches taller, months wiser, more responsible, and more mature then he was then.
Although she would have attained her growth despite us, it has been our pleasure and privilege to watch her personality unfold day by day and marvel at this splendid miracle of development.
I give him back reluctantly, for having spent nine months together in the narrow confines of a crowded classroom, we have grown close, have become a part of each other, and we shall always retain a little of each other.
We have lived, loved, laughed, played, studied, learned, and enriched our lives together this year. I wish it could go on indefinitely, but give him back we must. Take care of him, for he is precious.
Remember that we shall always be interested in your child and his destiny, wherever he goes, whatever he does, whoever he becomes. His joys and sorrows we will always be happy to share.
Yes! Have the children gather on the floor in front of you, like a final Circle Time or Story Time! Wear a microphone so the families can hear it as well.Amazon as:
A perennial favorite, Dr. Seuss’s wonderfully wise graduation speech is the perfect send-off for children starting out in the world, be they nursery school, high school, or college grads!
From soaring to high heights and seeing great sights to being left in a Lurch on a prickle-ly perch, Dr. Seuss addresses life’s ups and downs with his trademark humorous verse and illustrations, while encouraging readers to find the success that lies within.
In a starred review, Booklist notes: “Seuss’s message is simple but never sappy: life may be a ‘Great Balancing Act,’ but through it all ‘There’s fun to be done.’”
For a few weeks before graduation, talk with your preschoolers about one of their favorite things or memories about preschool! Write them down.
Here's another story instead of a speech idea! Again, wear a microphone so the families can hear it as well.
In this adorable story, the young crab is growing up. It outgrows its home (shell) and moves into another one. After reading the story, tell the children and families, the children have much in common with the crab:
They are also growing up! They are moving on.... into a new phase of school--kindergarten (or Prek), though we will remember the fun we had in preschool!
At this point, use the information you gathered over the past few weeks about each child's favorite memory of preschool! Have each child stand up and share their favorite memory or you can share it for them!
In lieu of a long preschool graduation speech, show a DVD montauge of the children's year.
This was a hit every single year! It was started by my mentor, Miss Peggy and I continued the tradition!
Give a short speech, thanking the parents and staff and then show the DVD in lieu of your speech!
Say something like:
"Welcome to your children's preschool graduation ceremony! We thank you so much for sharing your children with us and entrusting them to us. They have learned and grown so much during this time!
The children have a few surprises for you! They want to ___________ (sing a few songs, fingerplays, act out a play---fill in the blank for your program details). But first, we have a surprise for you!
Rather than tell you what your children have done all year, we want to show you and reminisce with you! Enjoy!"
Invite the children to come sit down near the front so they can see also!
Play the DVD!
This takes some time but is WORTH it! If you begin saving digital pictures of the children at the beginning of the year, the process is quicker! If you are putting it together later in the year, it will just take more time to go through your photos!
Here are the steps. (numbered)
1. Choose 1 photo of each child where JUST THAT CHILD is in the photo. Use your software (I use Microsoft Paint or PowerPoint) to place their first name on the photo.
2. Choose 4-5 more pictures of EACH child. Have 3-4 of these photos showing the child participating in a small or large group activity. Have 1-2 more individual photos of that child (perhaps of them reading a book, painting, playing outside, etc.).
3. Upload the photos into a DVD maker program. There is probably one on your computer that you didn't even know about! ;) I use Windows Live Movie Maker.
4. Be sure the individual children's photos are the first ones in the program!
5. Create an introduction frame in the program such as "ABC Preschool Class of 20XX".
6. Choose 2 songs to play as background and upload them.
We have used 1 song that is sure to make the parents weep.... yes, that IS our goal! And one song that was a favorite in the classroom this year.For our 3-year-olds' DVD, we use the song Let Them Be Little and typically a favorite song from Dr. Jean and Friends for background music For our 4-year-olds we use Forever Young by Rod Stewart and a version of Going on a Bear Hunt that they like to play in the background.
Children and adults alike laugh and giggle and LOVE this DVD.
If you are able, make copies for each family as a gift!
I recently had two different parents message me on the Preschool Plan It Facebook page (be sure to head over and like that page, by the way!), to tell me they just watched their preschool DVD and were thinking of us (and these children graduated preschool 5 years ago)!
Preschool Graduation Speeches by...... The Preschoolers? Why not?!
I have heard of some programs scheduling time for speeches from their preschoolers. This can be difficult it is a huge, public "TELL" portion of a Show and Tell. It can be nerve-wracking for them. But, it can also be fun if brief and a fun question!
You just never know what they will say! Once idea would be to ask the children what they want to be when they grow up! Don't wait until graduation day to spring this question on them! Give them time to think about it. Ask it a few times in the weeks before graduation.
Here is an example of one that was found on YouTube (not my program) that I think is so adorable!
At the end of the program you might give another, VERY BRIEF, closing speech. Keep it more like an announcement at this point! The children are excited and want to be with their families now!
"This concludes our Preschool Graduation Ceremony! Please, please join us for refreshments and hugs in the _________ (list the place). Thank you again for sharing your children with us!
I hope you enjoyed these preschool graduation speech ideas and they have helped you get started on your decision for preschool graduation day! Do you have one or more speech or speech related idea you'd like to share?
Here are several more of my pages and articles to help you plan your Preschool Graduation that you might find helpful!
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