Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What is your legacy?

Each of us will be remembered. We will be remembered by the 100 students we touch each year academically. We will be remembered by the 400 students with whom we are entrusted with by our society each day. We will be remembered by the 1200 minds we affect throughout QHST each year. For good or for bad we will be remembered. As teachers our legacies are part of our career. Creating a legacy is part of the job description.

The change we make here will resonate throughout the new small schools in this city for years to come. Our "different by the design" model is quickly becoming the "the model of design" for new New York City schools.

Science teachers moving away from paper labs and back to authentic hands-on critical thinking exercises that set student expectations high will be remembered. Administrators who support this by securing adequate funding are key to this success. Both teacher and administrator will be remembered.

Social Studies teachers who use "project base learning" and emphasize analytic research skills to create an inquiry based learning environment that is a norm rather than an exception will be remembered.

Math teachers who unlock and untrack math at all grade levels will be lauded then remembered as accomplishing what no educational ancestor could.

Our students are our legacy. How will we be remembered?

A colleague with whom I have a new found respect for reminded me today that not all teachers "buy into the philosophy" here at QHST. Rather than challenge or agree with the observation I asked,” What are we going to do about this?"

I can only speak for myself. I surround myself with positive people. I look for the good intentions in all my fellow professional’s actions. I seek out, at times in vain, solutions rather than habitually highlight problems.

I guess reflecting on my experiences here in this electronic format, publicly could be viewed by some as a waste of time. I need to do this. I use this time to clear up angst and search for solutions. Writing this public journal to share with my colleagues has definitely helped shape and strengthened my philosophy of education.


Ms. Mayo said...

Well, you're a writing teacher's dream. You've described writing to learn-- and you're a great advertisement for journaling!

As for my legacy, you may read a bit about that in the PIS...I shared a great letter from a former student with Nigel.

As for "buy-in"...while I think we need to keep open minds as a vision becomes a reality, I also think we bought in when we accepted our positions. Did we misunderstand the vision? Did we fake it to get the school with the parking lot? Did we lose our way?

And what is our responsibility, as individuals, to the rest of the community and to QHST, with respect to the vision?


W Brown said...


I can't wait to read the letter. Journaling is cheaper than therapy...I think I'm going to charge myself $100 an hour and not accept GHI...