April’s Powerful Word Is Legacy

It’s the beginning of a new month, and that means it’s time for a new Powerful Word!

Throughout April 2012, we’ll be working on the concept of “legacy.”

All our discussions and activities will aim to help our students understand that is what you leave behind. It’s what people remember about you, a team you were on or a school or class you were part of — even after the season or year is over.

Powerful Words is the name of our character development curriculum here at Urban Martial Arts. It’s designed by one of the nation’s leading childhood development experts, Dr. Robyn Silverman. Every month, we’ll focus on a different Powerful Word, or concept around character development.

Here’s a video from Dr. Robyn Silverman in which she introduces some of the concepts we’ll be covering this month:

This month we will focus on the powerful word; “legacy.” Legacy is what you leave behind. It’s what people remember about you, a team you were on or a school or class you were part of– even after the season or year is over.

You can leave a legacy of hard work and commitment when you graduate. A doctor can leave a legacy of a certain level of care after s/he retires. A grandparent can leave a legacy of love and tradition after s/he passes away.

The type of legacy people leave is dependant upon the type of impact they make on others. Were they kind and thoughtful? Trustworthy and true? Respectful and dependable? Character certainly plays a big part in legacy.

Thinking back, we can all remember certain people that made a big impact on us. People often speak of teachers that had a big effect on us when we were children or on our children when they were younger.

In July of this past year, a study that was published in the Teachers College Record showed that teachers can affect student achievement over time (July, 2011). Especially those teachers who work with our children early on in life seem to have a profound effect on student achievement years later.

Findings suggest that “teacher effects do not fade” and strong teachers leave a legacy of learning in their students. Even when our children are young we can ask them, “How do you want people to remember you?” or “What 3 words would you want to come to mind if someone were to describe you?” We can talk in terms of legacy about teachers who are no longer teaching or family members who are no longer with us– “what do you remember about ______?”

This month, please share with your children about the people who made a profound impact on your life. Famous or not, who do you feel leaves an important legacy?

To give you more ideas for conversation topics, here’s a run-down of what we’ll be discussing over the next 4 weeks:

Week 1 Legacy defined: What does legacy mean? What is a good or a bad legacy?
Week 2 Legacy, character & behavior: How do I treat others?
Week 3 Impact & impression: Who has made an impact on me? Who has taught me?
Week 4 Keep & share: How do we remember and commemorate?

We’d love to hear how your conversations go with your child so do share with us!

About Dr. Robyn:
Dr. Robyn Silverman, child development specialist, body image/body bullying expert, sought-after speaker and award-winning writer, is known for her no-nonsense yet positive approach to helping young people and their families thrive. Her ground-breaking research at Tufts University on young women is the foundation for her book, “Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession Is Messing Up Our Girls and How We Can Help Them Thrive Despite It.”

Photo Credit: Biscarotte on stock.xchng