I got a little positive feedback in the past 24 hours that made me feel pretty good about this crazy job I do. (And anytime you can feel good about teaching in MAY, that's pretty cool.) Last night we ate out, and a young lady came up to our table. I recognized her immediately--had to have a little help with the name, but it was one of my very first students. She's over 30 (which makes sense, if I taught her junior-year US History 14 years ago), and has an 11-year-old son. THAT made me feel old. She told me that my class was her favorite, and she still remembers it. THAT made me feel proud. I met her husband, her mother-in-law, and her children. Wow.
Then today, our school yearbooks came out. I didn't get one (since my kids will bring home three of them), but I was able to sneak a peek. Of course, I only had eyes for the track team page, and the senior pages of my captains. Almost every one of the seniors I coached this year had put down one of their favorite high school memories was something involving the track team. They ranged from "track practice" (with the quotes... the girl told me later she meant that to indicate she LOVED going to practice with the team, but that didn't necessarily include the gut-busting workouts), to "track season '06," to "winning the 4x4 state title." But it was very encouraging to know that, at least for now, the kids I have had a chance to work with in track value the experience. I know I sure do (both my experience as an athlete 20+ years ago, and what I'm doing now).
Steven Covey (the guy that wrote The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) wrote that the four universal human needs are "to live, to love, to learn, and to leave a legacy." It's nice to feel sometimes that where we spend our time really does contribute to a real legacy.