Friday, February 8, 2019

What Will Your Teaching Legacy Be?

I never wanted to retire. I had been working in a school media center without a budget, and had reached the top of the guide. With the prospect of earning less money the following year due to health insurance payments, union dues etc., I had no choice but to leave. I miss my kids, but I don't miss the lockdown drills. Fire drills ok. Lockdown drills... frightening.

I did an enormous amount of research when I created our school's media center website, including research assistance, infographics, tutorials, and 135 pathfinders, more than any other high school has posted. The site was a gift to my students, but it was hidden with other "important resources" under the high school's main page. Students could never find it. The website I created is no longer connected to the school. No one ever updated it. It disappeared within the last month or so. The domain and site have been paid for up until the fall of this year. You can take a quick peak if you're interested: RP Media Center.  My 20x30 poster tutorials lined the walls in the media center. I sure hope they are still there. Here's just one of the dozens I created:

Student aide working at the front desk

I love Photoshop® and Snagit. They have been   my favorite go-to programs to create lesson plans and tutorials. (The new version of Snagit has   some terrific features.) Education pricing is here.

It has been 2.5 years since I left the profession, but I've been giving back in many positive ways. I serve on the Board of Directors for The Palisades Virtuosi, a trio of classical musicians. I design their posters and assist with fundraising. My volunteer work brought me back to my hometown of Teaneck, NJ, where I do design, communications and web site updates for The Teaneck International Film Festival. For a while I was even on my condo's board of directors. Today I was just accepted to be a student blogging commentator for Edublogs. Another top-secret project is in the works, and I'm beginning to write my first children's book. I also dabble in photography and retouching old photos. I'm looking forward to writing more music, and loving the time to just simply enjoy a good book. I continue to post on Twitter.

I had an average of 16 members each year volunteering for the library council, the largest group number the school had ever seen. Some students remained in the group from 7th-12th grade.
Library Council's Year-End Party

Every now and then, I run into a former student, and it warms my heart when they remember me fondly.  I too have fond memories of them, and some have stayed in touch with me on Facebook. As teachers, we never know how many lives we have touched, but social media has allowed us to stay connected and be remembered some day when we are gone.

If any of my former students are reading this, know how much I enjoyed knowing you and teaching you how to be great digital citizens!


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