Remembering HT2016

23 december, 2016

(Head of School speech from the end-of-term ceremony, 2016-12-21)

Good afternoon … welcome! Thanks to our super talented music students for their music ….it is so great to see all of you here… this is it – you made it is the end of the term … after 89 school days, 185 lessons, nearly 650 hours of learning …and that is not including homework…Before I go any further, I want you to hear my most important message – I am so very proud of you – your efforts and your achievement.

What have we accomplished? What has happened in these 650 hours? What have you learned? When I was thinking about what I wanted to talk to you about today … I realized there was so much I wanted to mention. So, in true VRG form, I decided to write a reflection.

I have decided to sort my reflections into three sections. The 3 w’s- wow, wonder, worry.

There have been many real wow moments-

  • The first day when we welcomed 174 new students to year 1
  • One of our year 3 students achieved a perfect score on the högskoleprovet
  • Our debate team won the Swedish national championships
  • We welcomed 9 visitors from TZ for two weeks
  • Participated in MEP in Kaliningrad and Copenhagen and here at VRGD
  • Set two school records in track and field in SIPSI sport competition
  • Elevkår started off with a bang and clang of ”New York, New York”
  • The music today during this ceremony
  • When asked students at our school responded to a survey saying 9.5/10 times they are met with respect – best in the whole organization
  • When students in a class were struggling the whole class rallied to work together to make their experience better

As great as these accomplishments are, I also wonder if you have considered:

  • I wonder what works best thank you for your feedback throughout this term … that’s how we improve – everyone takes responsibility to make sure the whole school works better
  • if you know that even though we are not allowed to assess with grades based on effort, we see how hard you try
  • how your teachers work day in and day out to make sure you are challenged and motivated to try a little harder, think about an idea a little more – and they never stop even when you find it difficult or frustrating –
  • how lucky you are to come to a school every day where you are met by teachers who are not only subject specialists, they also care about you as a person and your character development
  • I wonder if we remember to be truly grateful that we all safe and happy and warm
  • I wonder what you would put on your wow list?
  • I think about next term and wonder …
  • I wonder which of our UF companies will be the most successful
  • I wonder which natural science gymnasiearbete will be the most exciting
  • I wonder what our Spets students will think about new university course
  • I wonder what graduation in June 2017 will be like
  • Most of all I wonder how can we organize your spring term so that you can achieve your fullest potential …

When it comes to worries … I suppose we all have worries … have we done enough? How did that last test go? Did I focus on the right things? This is the challenge of being ambitious and caring about results – the challenge of attending and working in a high performing school. Our reality is that day-to-day life is filled with wows, wonders and worries.

An image I’d like to leave you with was one I saw recently … it was a professor holding up a glass of water half full and she looked at us all and asked how much did the glass weigh? We all guessed. She said we were close but then she explained that really it doesn’t matter how much it weighs now that if we were to hold this glass for the rest of the lecture or the rest of the afternoon or even the rest of this week, the weight of the glass becomes unbearable.

So true … So, I say to you now … put down your “glass” let go of your worries … it is Christmas vacation.

We’ll be there to welcome you all back on January 9th, but for now, I wish you a long and ”worry-free” holiday full of wows and wonder. . .

Happy Holidays,


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