To Serve Them All My Days!

As I thought about the assignment of writing my Legacy Statement on the impact of my career in education, I realized that instead of the suggested sentence starters(I will be remembered for; I will make an impact on; my colleagues/students will remember me as someone who; or the legacy I will leave on the field of education is), the view I wanted to project is something totally different. This is especially important since we were asked to organize our response according to Grand Canyon University’s Learning, Leading, and Serving concepts

The perspective I wanted to present is one reflected in R.F. Delderfield’s novel, To Serve Them All My Days {Delderfield, R.F. (1972). To serve them all my days. London: Hodder and Stoughton}. In the novel, the protagonist, David Powlett-Jones is a history teacher at a fictional English public (read private) school. His goal as a teacher is not to claim honor and glory for himself during his long career at the school but to teach the students there about the reality of the world they are growing into between the two great wars of the 20th Century. Powlett-Jones’ focus is not to teach the expected, acceptable history curriculum but to look at the world critically and see it as it is, to ask questions.

For me, it comes down not to worry about what I am remembered or not remembered for, but to offer the students I come into contact with, the skills and curiosity to look at the world and question it and celebrate it as it is, warts and all. For me, there is no ego which cares if I am remembered beyond the end of my career or death. Not as long as the students I come into contact with possess the ability to not accept the world as it wants to be seen but as it is with all its imperfections and contradictions.

That is my legacy in education if any.


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