What Will Your Legacy as a Teacher Be?
Have you ever seen the movie Peggy Sue Got Married? The 1985 movie by Francis Coppola is about a woman named Peggy Sue (Kathleen Turner) who gets whisked back in time to her senior year while at her 25th High School Reunion. In the movie she talks about what life is like in 1985 and how things changed from 1960 to 1985.
Watching the movie now, some 26 years later, it is just as amazing to see how things have changed once again. At one point she talks about how everything has gotten smaller except portable radios. Those have gotten enormous, she says. How ironic that now portable radios have morphed into Mp3 players and are even smaller than anything that could have been imagined at the time of the movie.
School in the 1960s is similar in many ways and, since she is in her senior year of high school, some of the scenes show her in class. On one particular day she is unexpectedly faced with an algebra test. She doodles through it and when asked why she did not try, her response was, “I happen to know that in the future I will not have the slightest use for algebra – and I speak from experience.”
As a teacher, this struck a chord. How much of what we teach our students will they use in the future? What foundations are we building and, more importantly, how are we connecting what we teach with real life applications?
Peggy Sue Got Married may not be an epic movie of all time, but it offers a unique chance to look back in time and see how far we, as a technological society, have come. It also gives us a chance to reflect on the moments that defined the paths in our own lives. Yet, the most important thing the movie does is makes us question what impact we will have on the future. Ask yourself, “Will I be the teacher who turns a child’s life around this year and helps them forge a better path in life? What will my legacy as a teacher be?” It is a question that only you have the ability to answer. What will your answer be?