This sample college graduation speech was sent in to me by Jimmy Brian Kayange Jnr, a visitor to my website who gave this presentation on behalf of his fellow graduating student teachers at a Teacher Training College in November 2013.
Beautifully written, it's a wonderful example to help guide you as you craft your own speech.
Many thanks, Jimmy, for sharing this speech with us.
The guest of honour, distinguished government officials present here, the Principal of DAPP Dowa TTC, Mr. Blessings Kambewa, all staff members of DAPP Dowa TTC, my fellow graduating; now qualified teachers, student teachers, ladies and gentlemen.
On behalf of the 2011 Team graduating today, I feel greatly honoured to stand before you, with nothing to offer but with this very short speech of jubilation. We are celebrating that we are finally fully qualified teachers, going to work in the rural areas of Malawi to be recognized as agents of change by the public.
Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of my fellow graduating student teachers, I want to let you know that over the two and a half years we have been here, we have really covered and learnt a lot in terms of studies and the teaching skills a teacher needs to have.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a clear indication that we are now going out to the countryside not as Cheaters but as real Teachers. This has been possible because of our willingness to learn, but still this would have been nothing without the hard working spirit and dedication of our lecturers, who sacrificed their precious time helping us, even at odd hours. These lecturers really deserve a hand from us, ladies and gentlemen!
Secondly, allow me, ladies and gentlemen, to thank the entire staff of DAPP Dowa TTC for the cooperation that has been in place between them and us for the whole period we have been their students. It is because of this cooperation that we are the achievers today and we are celebrating this joint success, together. Let this kind of cooperation and professionalism continue, so that the current student teachers and other intakes to come, should enjoy the same fruits we have eaten ourselves - in order to continue realizing better success from each team of student teachers, annually. This will only be possible if there is understanding of each other, since where there is no understanding, good and effective communication and oneness, there can only be failure.
Ladies and gentlemen, when we first came to this college, most of us were acting like a toothpaste tube, only showing our true value when squeezed. But as of now, I am pleased to let you know on behalf of my fellow graduating teachers, that we are different. This college - through its well learned and dedicated staff members - has always fought tooth and nail to educate us to be self starters and active teachers all the time; and that is what we are as of now. Ladies and gentlemen, let this send a very strong signal to you that come rain come sunshine, we are going to be the best teachers Malawi has ever had.
To DAPP Malawi, the Principal and the entire staff of DAPP Dowa TTC, we want to assure you that we will never let you down. We are going to put into practice all the things you have imparted to us. Apart from training us as Primary School Teachers, we have been taught many leadership skills which will help us a lot in cooperating and associating with the communities we are going to find out there.
To my fellow graduating teachers, we are no longer the leaders of tomorrow but of today. As such, we need to know that we are not only physically mature, but also intellectually. This therefore calls for our matured behavior. To be mature means accepting responsibilities. Sometimes we are going to find very limited available teaching and learning resources. Now as matured and resourceful teachers, we should always think of how best we can help the learners in times of limited resources. TALULAR, Teaching and Learning Using Locally Available Resources should always be our pillar of hope in such situations, where these modern teaching and learning resources are not available.
Let us go to the world and be exemplary, active, creative, honest and eager to learn more from others, especially experienced teachers, for they have a lot to share with us. To be a good teacher begins with being a good learner, so let us always open a room for other people's knowledge and skills to come in. You should always remember that an experienced dog never scratches where there is nothing.
Last but not least, I would like to quote what the former Min. of Information, honourable Moses Kunkuyu, once said. He said and I quote: "Walk with successful people to succeed, for if you walk with failures, you will fail too." end of quote. Let us go out and just put into practice all the good things we have learnt here. More importantly, we should go out with open minds for new and supplementary skills and knowledge, for our continuous professional development. Learning new things depends on self willingness; you cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. We need not be reminded that education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
I want to urge you - my fellow graduating teachers - we are teachers, yes, but let us go out a mile further as explorers. There are many problems that rural primary schools are facing but that relevant authorities may not be aware of. If we bring such problems to relevant authorities through the right procedures, I am telling you, we are going to be "Another Kind of Teacher" on top of being the agents of change. I think Napoleon was right when he said; the world is suffering a lot not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people. Let us now put ourselves in the breed of teachers who will never sit back, seeing things going astray and unnoticed.
We should always ask ourselves what we can give to our country, rather than always asking for help from society or from our authorities. We are the change we have been waiting to see in Malawi's education, for both economic and social development.
The guest of honour, ladies and gentlemen, I have nothing more to say, for I am much engulfed with the excitement this auspicious day has brought to us, the 2011 Team. Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you all for the undivided attention you have shown as I have delivered this speech. Thank you!
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