I once heard a pastor say, actually rap, "You're somewhere in the future and you look much better than you do right now." I was reminded of his words on my way to work yesterday when I was thinking about the future selves of these little people I work with each day. I am going about the business of shaping their futures. How will first grade change their lives forever? The answer to that question is what truthfully determines my impact as their teacher.
My hope is that because Miss McMorrow gave them daily opportunities to say, "I am full of greatness," that these kids can one day resist the one who approaches with an opportunity to experiment with or do something, that under the guise of being "cool," really only closes life's doors.
My hope is that they won't dream of slipping a hand into the till when the boss isn't looking, because in first grade they learned that character is doing what's right even when no one is watching.
My hope is that they surround their own children with books, because they learned how to love reading like they love breathing in Miss McMorrow's class.
I have many similar hopes, and none of them hinge on report cards or test scores. Those scribbles will be quickly forgotten, discarded, and replaced by new ones - leaving hardly an impression on their futures or the generations to come. What truly matters is what I sew into their lives and how over time beautiful things take bloom. That's the impact I want to make - the kind that outlives my career.
You're somewhere in the future and you look much better than you do right now.