Rose Ceremony: A Teacher’s Perspective
The beginning of the school year is very exciting, but no child is more excited or perhaps more anxious than a first grader. Leaving the security and familiarity of the Kindergarten by entering into “the grades” can be daunting. In Waldorf Schools we treasure the opportunity to celebrate those transition steps of childhood, rites of passage if you will, that mark the end of one phase and the beginning of another. The Rose Ceremony is just such an event. I have had the pleasure of being the presiding first grade teacher in three Rose Ceremonies in the last few years, each one different from the one before, but no less special or meaningful.
Last school year I welcomed a small but eager class of six children into the first grade at the Seacoast Waldorf School and this school year my class became a combined group of first and second graders. A rose is given to each first grader by an older student, in our school this student is a graduating eighth grader. The rose is a symbol of hope, new beginnings and the start of a new journey. The second graders also joined in welcoming their new classmates by giving each first grader a golden jewel, a symbol of wonder and purity waiting for them to discover in first grade. After each child was presented to the older grades classes, grade 1/2 joined hands in a small circle, a class for the first time. We were not alone though. The grades children, each holding a sunflower, encircled us, forming a circle of protection, singing, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold”.
As I walked slowly to class, leading my newly formed class on one of the hottest days to date, I was reminded that we are truly on an adventure together. Every day we make new friends, explore new territories and face new challenges, together. If we remember to bring with us all that we have learned and count on our friends, we will not just succeed, but thrive. Onward!
Written by Sara Crosslin, Seacoast Waldorf School 1st/2nd Grade Teacher