Teaching Technique - Legacy

BY DEFINITION: Something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor or from the past

How do you want your students to remember you?
If you are walking in a local mall and one of your former students sees you then runs to give you a hug and a thank you, would that make you happy.
If you overheard one of your students saying “she is the best teacher I ever had”, How would that make you feel?

What if they did not remember your name? What if they did not even remember who you were at all?

DO YOU CARE? Are you concerned about the concept of legacy at all? My guess is you haven’t really thought very much about it.

THINK ABOUT IT. Wouldn’t it be nice to be remembered fondly?
Wouldn’t it be nice to be some student’s favorite teacher?

My first day of school (every year I taught), I would say to my students “my goal is to be the best teacher you ever had”.
ACTION STEP: Have a poster made with the word LEGACY printed on it. Hang it on the wall in your classroom so that you see it from every position in the room. As you teach, you will be constantly reminded that you want to teach in a manner that will make them remember who you are.
IMPORTANT: Change the poster quarterly. Change the color of the text and/or change the font type. The human animal has the ability to “GET USE TO IT”. If you don’t change it, you will get use to it and not even see it after three months.


Hassan Raheem remembers his teacher Mr. Lee. He had an experience whereas he was supposed to give an oral report on an assignment. He did not do the assignment and was struggling to say “just something”. Hassan said he had lost his assignment. Mr. Lee replied if you have done the assignment it would be in your mind. Your mind is with you. You do not want to lose your mind. Hassan has remembered this for 50 years. He now focuses on putting concepts in his mind, completing assignments, and being able to speak with wisdom. Mr. Lee is REMEMBERED. (FOR OVER 50 YEARS)

Another example is from a lady who wishes to remain anonymous. She does not remember any teacher from elementary, middle or high school fondly, she attended massage school and remembers her massage teacher explaining before doing any massage focus on the concept of intent. Focus on a healing INTENT to avoid anything happening of a sexual nature. She explained that this concept has worked for her. NOTE: None of her public school teachers were MEMORABLE. Is that her or the teachers fault?

A third story. My favorite teacher was Mr. Hamilton, my fifth grade teacher. Mr. Hamilton was the only male teacher at my elementary school and the first black man other than the preacher at our church who wore a suit every day or at least every time I say him.

I considered Mr. Hamilton my favorite teacher because he made me feel special, he recognized abilities that I did not know I had and he would exploit them by constantly encouraging me and telling me how good I was at writing or at math or at history or science, He would frequently tell me how intelligent and smart I was, what a nice person I was, Mr. Hamilton would encourage me to do better, to be better, he praised my accomplishments which motivated me to continue to excel , so that I would continue to receive his praised. I did not want to disappoint Mr. Hamilton by not doing well thus I worked hard to be the best in my class, I did not accomplish that goal but I was in the top. Mr. Hamilton encouraged me to be respectful, play fair, treat my classmates the way I wanted to be treated even when they were mean to me. Keep in mind as one of seven children I received no praise or encouragement at home. I was also one of the economically challenged students, I did not wear the best of clothes and many times did not have the required school supplies but to Mr. Hamilton none of this mattered, for some reason he saw potential and he used his superior skills to bring that potential out.

The praise I received at school sublimated the lack of praise I never received at home, all A's or all F's would not have made a difference at home but at school it was different, I wanted to want to excel. After I left Mr. Hamilton class I truly missed the special treatment that he gave me. As I look back he gave all of the kids special treatment but for whatever reason I wanted to believe


I believe that you can teach in a way that you can be at very least memorable.
I believe that if you set the goal- I want to be your best teacher- You come very close to achieving that goal. BUT-no goal = no success.

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