TCS graduates take part in zoom celebration with teachers

By Aideen O'Flaherty

OVER 130 students from Tallaght Community School’s graduating class recently took part in a Zoom celebration with their teachers – where they were also treated to the premiere of a TikTok video featuring their teachers doing the Blinding Lights dance challenge.

The get-together took place on May 22, which was the day for the school’s sixth year students to graduate, and saw the students trade the school hall for their homes, but the school’s staff are planning to hold an in-person graduation ceremony before the end of the calendar year.

TCS Zoom 1 compressor

Students from Tallaght Community School

In the meantime, the staff didn’t want the original day when the graduation was planned to go unrecognised, so they set up the Zoom event for the students and their families.

“We did it to celebrate our students,” Aisling Reigh, TCS chaplain, told The Echo. “We took the approach that May 22 was a day that was on the calendar, and we wanted to celebrate the students and to show them that we’re thinking of them.

“What was lovely about it was that we could see each other. Some of the students had dressed up, some of them had balloons.”

The students were also asked to take a photo of themselves in their school uniform in recent weeks, in lieu of the annual year book photo of departing students that’s usually taken, and the students’ final roll call took place at the start of the Zoom meeting.

“We had both year heads, for the traditional Leaving Cert and Leaving Cert Applied students, start off with a final roll call, and when each student’s name was called, they waved at the screen,” said Ms Reigh.

The graduating class then got to be the first people to see a TikTok video of several school staff taking part in a dancing challenge, before it was posted on the school’s social media pages.

“We thought it would be good to let the sixth years see the video first,” said Ms Reigh. “It was just for us to say that we’re with you, you’re important to us, and we’re all in this together.

“I was watching them when we showed them the video, some of them were leaping around, others were pointing at the screen or applauding, and some of them were in fits of laughter.

“We put ourselves out there for the joy of it, for the students.”

While Tallaght Community School’s Class of 2020 might not have celebrated the end of their school lives how they expected to, they will still get the opportunity to graduate in the school later in the year, while donning caps and gowns.

“It wasn’t a graduation on Zoom, because a graduation is too final,” explained Ms Reigh, “and we’re not done with them.

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“Our journey with this group of young people isn’t over yet.”

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