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Running Thoughts: The Next Race and One Teacher’s Legacy

12 September 2012

I ran 3.14 miles in 29:15 this morning. I operated on only 4 hours of sleep due to some insomnia last night, but I’m pleased with the pace. Ideally, I’d like to run the 3.11 in under 28 minutes.

The following two thoughts monopolized my run this morning:

  1. I shouldn’t look too far ahead as I train. This occurred to me last night as Eric and I perused the draw for the tennis tournament he’s playing in this weekend. If Eric wins his first match, he’ll have to face the #2 seed. Eric immediately started talking about that match before he considered that he’d have to win another match first. This will be Eric’s first real tournament so I thought it was important to tell him to prepare for one match at a time. He shouldn’t worry about #2 until after he plays his first match. I should do likewise when I think about my running and races. While I have the goal of running half marathons in November and December, I still have another 10K and a 10M race to finish first. I don’t want to look too far ahead. I’m sure there also an application to the classroom. While I like dreaming big, perhaps I need to slow down and consider the individual skills and scaffolding needed to get there first.
  2. As a teacher, I want to leave a powerful legacy. Yesterday I attended “Miss Brenda’s” funeral. Miss Brenda committed her life to loving and educating small children. She started an early childhood program at my alma mater. Later, she moved to junior kindergarten pouring herself into preparing her 4 year olds to have successful academic careers. Miss Brenda was a gifted teacher full of energy and creativity. She was also a long-time family friend. As I listened to her nephews and former students talk about Brenda, it was extraordinary to hear a common thread in the “Miss Brenda” stories. She was an amazing encourager complete with a captivating smile, and she exuded a tremendous excitement about every child. “Miss Brenda” actively celebrated any child in her presence. She raved about his talents, intelligence, accomplishments, and his potential. “Miss Brenda” saw him not just as he was, but as all he could be.  Many a student longed to become all she envisioned in him. As I heard these stories and considered her legacy, I wondered how I’ll be remembered by my students. What stories will they tell about me? What mark will I leave? Thank you, “Miss Brenda.” Thank you.

As I finished my run, a song played on my running mix that fits perfectly with this thought. So give a listen to Beyonce’s “I Was Here.”

What kind of legacy do you want to leave?

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