Graduations and Awards Ceremonies
If you're asked to participate in graduation programs or awards ceremonies, drive to the venue at least one hour early. Otherwise, you'll probably end up battling hundreds of cars for precious parking spaces, increasing the chance of being late for your assigned duty, whether it's ushering, speaking onstage, distributing awards, etc.
Be cheery and helpful at these events. The crowds of family members and friends will be confused about where to go, so carry maps, programs, etc., in order to answer questions intelligently. Remember that many attendees will be elderly, so escort them inside and let them be seated early, if your principal consents. Familiarize yourself with the facility so that when people ask about restrooms, seating, etc., you'll know the answer.
What should I do if I'm late for the ceremony and can't find parking?
Don't arrive late! Otherwise, remind yourself, “I only need one parking space, not two,” and patiently cruise around the entire parking lot, or the entire block, until you find a space. You can also call your principal on your cell phone to request assistance.
If your principal has asked you to announce students' names at the podium, study your name list carefully. If a name gives you trouble, find your colleagues and ask them for the correct pronunciation. Write it phonetically beside the name and memorize it. For instance, if you see, “Tadeusz Kosciuszko,” ask the student's teacher, who'll tell you, “Tah-DOOSH KOSH-choo-shko.” Jot down the pronunciation and practice it.
Once you're at the podium, project your voice: “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Jane Doe, and I'm honored to announce the next fifteen students who will graduate from Washington Elementary!” Don't forget that this is a once-in-a lifetime event for the proud families involved. Make it as unforgettable as possible.