Traditions usually uphold our history and are connected to strong memories. They help us remember people, places, and events and have the opportunity to give us a sense of belonging and community. Traditions are familiar and can bring comfort, pointing to the passing of time.
In schools, we have many traditions at this time of year: moving up ceremonies, graduations, retirements, and more. We celebrate the successes of our students, faculty, and staff while engaging in traditions and rituals to show the passing of time. This is yet another time of transition.
Should traditions change as our communities change? Many of our schools don’t look the way they did at their founding. This is a good thing. Change is essential. Sometimes there are opportunities to bring new life to long-standing traditions in a way that honors the past as well as acknowledges the present. How do we do this? We begin with reflection as these are big decisions.
- What are the beliefs behind the tradition?
- Whose voices are honored?
- Whose voices are left behind?
- Is this tradition grounded in and does it reflect the mission, vision, and values of our school?
This is an opportunity to look closely at long held traditions and examine if they still reflect the needs of your current community. What will you do with this opportunity?