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Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Pin It leg·a·cy [leg-uh-see] n. plural -cies. What one leaves behind; their gift to others.

I was asked by a friend, not long ago, what I would want to be remembered by—you know, my legacy.

I didn’t respond. Not because I didn’t think her question warranted an answer, but rather because I found myself becoming deeply lost in this topic. After all, when I thought of a legacy, I was somewhat at a loss. Just what would be my offering to the world and those that I love? What is it that I would want others to conjure up when they dig into the past annals of memory where I am someplace buried after I’ve departed?

My mind drew up a blank—as blank as—well, words fail me; I was just blank. I thought of the various things that this legacy could be, and realized that I simply had no idea.

When I was a kid, more than anything I wanted to be a movie star, and be able to leave a pop-culture ridden life behind for others to envy. People would watch “Star Trek—The Next Generation” and see me as the intrepid child star—who cared about that Will Wheaton kid when they could’ve had me? Back then, that seemed to be a pretty good legacy to leave behind. After all, popularity is always a good thing, right?

With the passing of a year or two, I found myself instead thinking of legacy in an entirely different matter. I would be a writer. A writer whose books were so popular that sales were only trumped by that the Bible itself—after all, I didn’t want to become more popular than deity.

Heaven forbid.

The years moved onward, and I again found that I was again changing.

One day, I decided to be a teacher.

Why? Oh, there’s a whole story behind that…one I have hinted at and mentioned before. And it becoming rapidly late, I don’t wish to reiterate it here and now. Suffice it to say, I became a teacher.

But what about your legacy, Teachinfourth?

Ah, yes. There is that question again…

Today I think of the students I teach year to year; those I try to make a difference in their lives. I thought of my family members and the friends that I love. I thought of my long excursions out on vast deserts. I thought of my faith. I thought about my photography. I thought about my writing.

Then it came to me. It’s not what I leave behind when the days of tomorrow have passed, but it’s what I am living today…my living legacy. That ‘gift’ which I give back to the world, the heirloom I pass down to as many as I can—

I am a teacher.


Kalei's Best Friend said...

I have to agree, a teacher does leave their mark w/each student they teach

Rachel said...

Yes! Live. Did you read my "Live" blog post.... admit it. You read it and were inspired to write this! I knew it! ;)

Time. I think that is the legacy I want to leave behind. That I took the time. I lived and spent the time..... I turned away from the bathroom I was scrubbing and reached down and picked up the crying child and rocked him... I sat and talked with the teenager when he/she came home instead of going to bed or watching tv/movie... Time. Isn't it about time. :D Sorry. Couldn't resist that last line.

Richard & Natalie said...

Yes, a teacher you are...and a excellent one at that, on your blogs and in the classroom.

Joan said...

"It’s not what I leave behind when the days of tomorrow have passed, but it’s what I am living today…" Wow, I love this!

I truly believe that being a teacher is one of the most humble and honorable things a person can do. I still feel giddy when I pull back and remember I was chosen for this honor.

Thanks for another wonderful post!

diane rene said...

LOVE it!
I had some amazing teachers. two of them I was lucky enough to share with my oldest daughter (are you ready for that? children of past students?? my teachers weren't -lol).

Teachinfourth said...

K - I can think of many teachers who did that for me, too.

R - I love the idea of time being spent. It's what people tend to remember, isn't it?

N - Each time an old student comes back to visit it's a testament that I've done something right.

J - Thanks, Joan. There's something amazing about being a teacher, isn't there? No other job is quite like it.

D - I have one student from my first year who just had a baby. It's strange to think that in another 9 or 10 years I could have this kid in my classroom.

I think that will mean that I've officially become 'old' as a teacher when that happens...

Just SO said...

That is an amazing legacy. I wish we lived by the school where you taught so I could request you as a teacher for my kids.

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