Throughout my career, I've wondered about my legacy and how I would be remembered when I left the profession. I figured when I was done, I could really look back and figure out if I made a mark or not. As I am older and closer to that day, I've come to realize that I have it wrong; legacy is really important, but it is written every year, with every child you touch. You can't until you are at the end, you need to BE the legacy you want to leave, every day. In my world of How Many Wins, that makes the end of each school year a unique opportunity to write a piece of your own book with the help of your students.
The cool part of teaching is, in most cases, you get your students every day for 9 months. The opportunity to make a lasting impression is a given; you will make one. If you did nothing, your impact would be that you wasted young people's time and threw away your chance to be significant. More to the point, every year you get a new group to influence in a positive way; a full school year to create and celebrate wins that should help our young people go forward with confidence and hope.
So, June is here and I beg you not to waste the last days. Work with your students on a WINNER'S YEARBOOK. Have each student highlight their signature victories and write them down. Let them use pictures, art, whatever they want; have fun with it. Then put them all together for a class yearbook they can take home. It is also something you can keep as a reminder of the impact you make, year after year. You will see your legacy unfold right before your eyes.