If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Pause and Think

When I saw this post, it stopped me in my tracks.  It made me start to wonder.  It made me think about the legacy we leave behind.

Lately, I've stumbled across a few reminders of places where a little piece of me - my legacy - has been left.

The other day I was reading a trade newspaper and saw a photo of one of a student who was in my last class of eighth-graders before I left the classroom to become an instructional technology coach.  She was identified as a college student who had won an award in a discussion meet.  I thought about her in class and how at first she seemed frustrated with the expectations I set for my students and later how she blossomed as a writer with a purposeful voice and strong opinions.  Congratulations on your latest accomplishment Samantha!

This past summer, I watched online as two of my former students joined their lives in marriage.  The young man was a part of my first class of seventh-graders at Community School.  He had such a vivaciousness and energy for life and he brought that to the classroom.  His writing showed an inner soul that was at-one with nature and his voice was that of rural-down-home flavor.  His bride was a member of the first class of seventh-graders at Eagleville School.  She was a quiet student whose inner deep-thinking was showcased in her writing.  I will always think of her as a daisy with a fresh, cheerful countenance because of a writer's notebook entry she shared.  It was interesting for me to see the two of my former teaching worlds collide with the joining of this young couple.  Best wishes for a long and happy life together Michael and Ashton!

I see my legacy as a teaching coach when I visit classrooms and notice that teachers are incorporating resources I suggested or implementing practices I model in professional development workshops.  My hope is that their students are growing and developing as a result and will make our world a better place because of the educational experience they have in these classrooms.  Oh, there is the immediate feedback of a re-Tweet or a +1 but I certainly hope these quick clicks result in a much deeper impact down the road.

Recently, my husband shared a statement that Bridgette had made in regard to my reaction to an encounter at a family function.  I think her perspective is one that sees me as having mellowed over the years.  I know she has seen me pick my battles at times and her recent statement makes it clear that she understands how we all evolve.  I think she saw me in that situation as taking on the attitude of 'just-let-the-rain-roll-off-my-my-back-like-a-duck.'  After all, not reacting to adversity squelches the satisfaction of those who tend to stir the pot.

So, that post really made me stop and reflect.  I wonder...

...will my children or grandchildren think of kindness and sense of humor when I come to mind?

...will they recognize my love of family and home and how I value them above all else?

...will they have an attitude of celebration at the intangibles they've inherited from me?

...will they see my life as a model of service?

...what are they learning from my story?