So, I’ve been thinking about what people would say upon my retirement from education. I was part of a search committee last year and one of our last questions, if we had time, was “many years from now when you retire from your career in education, what would you hope people said about you?”
We had some lovely, touching answers. Mostly about how it’s all about the kids and loving students. All well and good, really good. Then I got to thinking about what I would want someone to say about me. Or, what I would like to be able to say about myself.
I think as a teacher, I would want to be able to say that I did right by my students. I would like my students to say that I modeled being a learner for them in a real and visible way. I know that I did not do a perfect job everyday. No secret there. But I hope that it was clear that I was always aiming to do a great job and that I never stopped thinking about what I could do better. I take being a teacher seriously and I hope that shows. I do not take it too seriously and I hope that shows too.
Beginning my second year in administration (and now adding some teaching back into the mix), there’s a lot to say yet. One can certainly say I kept at it. And, if 90% of life is showing up, I’ve been doing that for sure. However, what I hope can be said some where ages and ages hence is not that 2 roads diverged in a yellow wood, and that by moving into administration I took some “other” path. Instead, I hope that I am still recognizable as the same active learner as an administrator. It does not really matter to me that my ideas move forward, it matters to me that the best ideas move forward.
Whenever I see my former students I ask, “are you making 5E look good?” I want my students to shine in my classroom and beyond. Similarly, I would like my school to shine during the time I am an administrator and beyond. I can think of nothing better than to be able to look back on my career and see that good things happened around me, for my students and my school. I don’t need to see my image everywhere, but upon careful examination, I’d love to be able to look around and dust for fingerprints. There will be many prints I am sure. I hope I’ll see some of my own.