True Generational Impact

I thought about this post upon the release of “Because of a Teacher, Volume II: Stories from the First Years of Teaching,” and I wanted to share this quick thinking with you all…



I saw an Internet meme years ago that I often share as a joke. The quote is as follows:


“Tradition is peer pressure from dead people.”


It is always good for a laugh (which is part of the point), but I share it to remind people that just because we have always done something in education doesn’t mean we should always do it. I then go on to share how I often tell stories to bring my points home, which I believe is one of the oldest teaching practices in the world. 

The practice was used yesterday, it is used today, and it will be used tomorrow.

If it works, I am all for that. 

In fact, I really believe there are so many lessons that I was taught in school that not only are things beneficial to me but are beneficial to others I share.

For example, I remember my high school football coach and physical education teacher sharing the following with me when I wanted to be captain of the football team: “You can be ready to lead all that you want, but it is more important that you are someone worth following.”

I always think about that and try to live up to what he shared. But I also share that idea with others I have the opportunity to work with, and it resonates with many, who probably share it with others they work with. My teacher passed that idea down to me, and I passed it on to others. It still resonates today.

But I don’t see this generational impact only with teaching, learning, and leadership. I see it with my own kids.

I remember that in Kindergarten, my teacher, Mrs. Stock, taught me how to tie my shoes using “bunny ears,” and even though we learned the more “advanced” method the following day, bunny ears is still my jam.

And you know who else ties their shoes with bunny ears? My daughter Kallea. 

Because that is what my kindergarten teacher taught me, and I wanted to pass it on to my kids. Every time I watch her tie her shoes, I think of Mrs. Stock. I like that.

In grade 3, my teacher Mrs. Penrose taught me to count to 100 on my fingers using a method called “Chisenbop.” I use it all the time, and I will pass it on to my kids as it is the best counting method I have ever used. 

These lessons from the past matter today, and I hope my kids pass these lessons onto their own children one day.

That is a teacher’s legacy and a true generational impact.

So just a reminder…

Not everything old is bad, and not everything new is good. 

Never discount the lessons from our past, as they can have a tremendous impact on the children of today.


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