Leaving a legacy on hearts and minds. . . sounds like a mission statement for teachers! Educators’ work is tough and challenging and filled with eager learners for whom learning comes easily and with students for whom school is something that they have to do. Classrooms are filled both with children who innately know how to cooperate, share, and bring out the best in others and with those who need lots of encouragement and support to maintain harmonious relationships. Industrious workers and dreamers learn together. Our future inventors, dancers, accountants, researchers, surgeons, physicists, authors, and counselors occupy our classrooms. Our teaching practices must engage all learners and value all contributions. Easier said than done by humans prone to impatience, weariness, and mistake-making.
The significance of our interactions remain. Our words and deeds leave intentional and unintentional imprints on the hearts and minds of our students. They will see themselves as valuable or as one overlooked. They will think of themselves as capable or one who needs constant supervision and assistance. They will celebrate their gifts or bemoan their shortcomings. A teacher’s job shapes the thoughts of our students. Our work matters. We leave imprints – for better or worse. I choose to make my legacy one that builds and encourages at the same time I shape and stretch.