Thursday, May 6, 2021

CURMUDGUCATION: Teaching Legacies

CURMUDGUCATION: Teaching Legacies
Teaching Legacies

It's easy as a teacher-- particularly if you've taught in a single school for a lot of your career-- to think of your legacy being in the building or in some program that you created or nurtured. But that's not it.

As you approach retirement, you may notice (if you haven't already) that no matter how ever-present and plugged in you may be, no matter how many invaluable extras you provide, once you are gone, every trace of you vanishes pretty quickly. Your room is redecorated, your furniture gets divided up by your former colleagues, and as for your standing within those four walls...

The year you announce your retirement: The Legendary Mrs. McTeach
First year you're gone: It's so weird without Mrs. McTeach here.
Second year: Yeah, I sort of remember a Mrs. McTeach
Third year: Mrs. McTeach? Didn't she used to teach here?
Fourth year: Who?

It's the nature of schools-- students pass through pretty quickly, even though they feel like they've been there for a thousand years. 

Actually, your legacy has left the building long before you have.

Right now I'm in the middle of overseeing a local writing competition, operated for twenty-some years now in honor of Margaret Feldman. Let me tell you about her.

She was born and raised in this small town. Her father made a smallish fortune by inventing and CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: Teaching Legacies