We are coming to the close of another school year. I can’t believe it. This year went by too quickly. I went to a retirement dinner yesterday to celebrate the careers of four amazing educators. Women who inspired not only their students but the faculty and administrators they taught next too. As I heard the stories of stellar careers, I thought about two things. (1) I hope that I leave a lasting impression on students they way they did (2) I wonder what ever happened to Mrs. Murphy, one of my favorite English teachers in high school.
Mrs. Murphy was one of the those teachers who challenged you to strive to be better than you were the day before. She made us not only look at what we can do, but what we can’t and figure out how to overcome the challenge. She really stayed with me all of these years. I had Mrs. Murphy my junior and senior year. And senior year was the best one. She was certified to teach a college level course, and we were given the opportunity to take it if we chose to. Well I chose to, and it was a great experience. We read college level books, worked on poetry beyond the standard practices, and collaborated on projects that many freshman college students don’t get to do.
The one project though that Mrs. Murphy had us do was the last project of our high school careers. We had to write a letter to ourselves. We had to write the letter and talk to ourselves, 5 years from now. Basically, write to our future self and talk about we hope to accomplish and where we hope we were at that moment in our life. We all wrote standard things like I want to be a millionaire, I want a good job, I want this and that. But then she had us write about where we hope were with ourselves. Meaning, were we happy with how we turned out. Did we feel we deserve what we have been given? 5 years after I wrote that letter, my mother says I received some mail at my old address. It was my letter. and WOW! is all I can say.
So as the end of the year comes, think about doing this with your students. You might just hit them in a way you never reached all year.