Leaving Your Mark

This past weekend I was in my hometown to visit my family and celebrate my brother’s birthday. Since I don’t have a car (because of a deer I hit in April) I was walking from my parent’s house to my brother’s when I saw this:

Now, before you try to say that I’m just doing some advertising, I want to let you know that I was one-year-old when this was placed here and I also don’t know who Fortner & Son are. In fact, I don’t think the business is there anymore. So why did I notice it? Well, in the same front yard, I saw this:

Now, it isn’t as noticeable in the pictures, but the concrete in the second photo is much newer than the first. I could tell that it had been replaced. However, who is Jess? I don’t know who she, or he, is. Without a year, I don’t even know when Jess wrote his/her name into the concrete. So who cares?

Well, how many of you have ever noticed names in the concrete? You know you have always wanted to put your name in something permanent. You see the freshly laid concrete, all smooth and drying. You walk over and look around, hoping not see anyone notice as you put a stick into the concrete and “leave your mark”.

Think about this in education terms. We as teachers are leaving marks in lives that we may or may not see again. Not just our students, but also the parents. Parents care so much for their children’s education that they want the best for the students. Are we leaving good marks, or bad marks in these lives?

In the first photo a company was leaving their mark in hopes of getting more business. The second photo looks as if Jess was being a rebel and just wanting to prove she/he could write their name in the concrete. What about these next two photos though?






Both of these photos show bicycle tire tracks going through the concrete. Again, I’m sure these were taken by people that wanted to be rebels to leave their mark. The one on the left is very new and the tracks were much deeper. On the right, they are not as dark and a little tougher to see.

So when you leave your mark on children’s minds and hearts, are they deep for them to remember in their lives, or are they in there just to get the students through the school year?

There is so much that we need to remember as students come in and out of our classrooms. I feel the most important fact is to remember that students are remembering us. They either remember us for the way we acted in the classroom or because of what we instilled in them as they were learning.

Are you leaving deep marks, or shallow ones? Are you leaving good, healthy, growing marks, or ones that hurt the student? As the school year starts this fall, leave good, healthy marks on students, parents, teachers.


About Anthony Purcell

I am Anthony Purcell and I am currently teaching math in Oklahoma.
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One Response to Leaving Your Mark

  1. Great analogy! I usually look at the marks left in concrete, and was looking at hand prints in the concrete outside of a mall yesterday. It had rained, and the prints were filled with rain. Of course, some were deeper than others, and I wondered about the children who put them into the concrete with such force. I had never thought about leaving an impression on the students I work with in this way before, but I will now!

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