Another question I had to consider was, "What do I want to accomplish in my life?" I took out my notepad and jotted down my accomplishments up until this point. Of course, the first things I thought of were all the things I have NOT done. You don't need to see my list - go ahead and stop reading to create your OWN.
Next came the wondering... have I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish in my life? Well, not if I don't even know what legacy I want to leave. I checked out Angela's workbook pages that go along with this chapter, and still had a difficult time. I had to think of "legacy" as not something HUGE, but small somethings. What would people say about me when I'm gone? What will they think I stood for?
As I wrote down the ideas that came to me throughout the day, I considered their importance. I feel as if they're all connected, as they all work with each other. As I wrote each one, I considered my school days as of late. Some students are in the mindset that school is already over for the year. It seems as if they're asking, "Why should I care about Mrs. Kirr or her class?" It's been difficult to be patient with the disrespect I've been seeing - towards me and towards classmates. This week, however, when I began to write this information down about who I want to BE, I saw my students differently. I acted a bit more purposeful. I wanted to show them who I wanted to BE. I wanted them to know that I'm not budging from these priorities in my school and home life...
What do I want people to think of me once I'm gone from their lives? I hope they say "Joy (Mrs. Kirr) was...
- caring, kind
- inspiring to teachers / a leader
- a role model for kids and peers
- herself - and proud of it
- a reader, a writer, and a constant learner
- grateful, which made her happy... and
- present in each moment." *
* I'm currently working on doing this at all times - it's difficult for this multi-tasker, but it will keep me mentally healthier and happier, I believe. I've been working on it since reading Teach Like a Pirate in 2013 when Dave Burgess talked about IMMERSION!
Oh, I want more, for sure. I want to be more giving - of my time and resources - to those outside of my profession. I am not in that season of my life right now, however. I feel that will come more when I'm retired and can focus on others in my community and at large. What do YOU want? What kind of life do you want to lead? I believe we all have our own legacy living in our hearts. Once we get the words straight in our minds, they will affect our actions. And once we know we're doing what we need to do for our heart, we'll be able to take care of ourselves and those young learners in front of us so much better. Things will fall into place. Our profession won't seem as overwhelming. We'll be able to be better teachers of students first, and curriculum next.
I've noticed that since I've written these down, I have already changed a few of my actions. Word choice on my tweets has changed even further, because I'm practicing being more present, I'm less judgmental, I'm more at peace with what is, not thinking of what could be, and I'm calmer. Simply calmer about issues that arise. It's only been a week, but considering what I want others to think once I'm gone has (dare I write it?!) helped me mature.