Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What is your legacy?

I've started something new for me this year at school.  I've done "warmups" in the past that have posed students questions to get them thinking about Spanish/French.  This year I decided to revamp it to "learning logs" - I'm getting them to do some more metacognition and processing through the "how" and "why" of the language, and pulling more prior knowledge out.  Then I had the fantastic (in my opinion) idea of starting every day with a short personal question to get them to do more introspection.  I've had some of the most amazing conversations with my students that are sometimes relevant to languages, and sometimes just relevant to growing as individuals, and in character, leadership, and attitudes.

Today's question was: "Let's say that I see you walking down the street 10 years from now.  What would you want me to remember about you?  In other words, what positive characteristics about yourself do you want others to notice?"

I prefaced their writing by telling them that at the tender age of 12, 13, and 14, they are already building their legacy.  What they say and do now is already partially defining who they are as an individual, and they are making impressions on people that are going to last a lifetime.

Not every student took it seriously.  I did have a couple of students that told me that they want to be remembered "a clown" and someone wanted to be remembered as hyper.  Bahhh.  Okay, we're striving for perfection and we'll get close eventually. :)

But some of the thoughts that poured out of those eighth grade minds humbled and amazed me.  They wanted to be remembered as kind, flexible, helpful, compassionate, responsible, a person with good character, friendly, a leader, a good student, and even a good role model for others.  I adore these kids.  They get it.  They get it!

We are all going to be remembered for a while after we die.  Some of us may even make a huge lasting impact and be remembered for a really long time.  People are watching us every day, and whether you like it or not, your movements are mentally recorded and the sum total of your interactions with others is the legacy and reputation that you become known for.  I don't know about you, but I've been working overtime since I became aware of this reality a few years ago, and I've redoubled my efforts to try and ensure that my character is reflective of Christ's work in my life.  I don't always achieve this.  But all we can do is try our best to live out Luke 10:27, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ ; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

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