Leadership · Curriculum · Lifelong Learning

My first teacher work day back to school this year was moving, to say the least.

To kick off our staff meeting first thing in the morning, we watched the famous Rita Pierson TED Talk, entitled: Every Kid Needs A Champion. To date, it’s had 8,690,429 views since its original post in May, 2013.

Among several sound bites and segments circulating cyberspace over the last five years, Rita shared how her mother–a dedicated educator–went the extra mile to care for kids and foster relationships with them (beginning near the 5:10 mark). She rounded out some fond memories of her mother by sharing:

“When my mama died two years ago at 92, there were so many former students at her funeral, it brought tears to my eyes–Not because she was gone, but because she left a legacy of relationships that could never disappear.”

That’s a legacy that matters.

The middle of my day included more meetings and a grad school class. In the middle of all of that was a hallway conversation that hit home. A colleague–still slightly choked up–was talking about her daughter going away to college for the first time. Her quote still sticks with me:

“As a parent, you just can’t believe how fast time flies. When they’re eighteen, you look back, and part of you wonders:

‘Did I love them enough along the way?

Did I spend enough time with them?

Did I teach them enough and prepare them for the real world?’

Don’t let that time slip away with your kids, Kyle.”

My night concluded with a funeral visitation for a friend’s son-in-law who died very unexpectedly at the age of thirty-nine. While I did not attend the funeral service, the wake resonated with anecdotes of a great man with a strong faith, a strong support system, and a strong family life.

I didn’t know him personally, so I remember him mostly by what I heard others talking about after the funeral: A speech read by his son–the oldest of three–in which he described how much he missed his dad, how much his dad meant to him, and how he cherished so many memories of spending quality time together.

That’s a legacy that matters.

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