What Will Matter Poem– A Tribute to a Teacher’s Life

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By Michael Josephson

Ready or not, some day it will come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten will pass to someone else.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to do lists will expire.
The lesson plans, staff meetings, parent conferences and school house politics
that once seemed so important will fade away.
The annual parade of fresh faces will end and the noises of chattering children,
shuffling feet and slamming lockers will be heard no longer.
It won’t matter how much you earned, the car you drove or the street you lived on in the end.
So what will matter? How will the value of your life be measured?
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is every act of dedication, passion and example
that enriched, empowered and enlarged young minds.
What will matter is not how many people you taught, but how many lives you touched.
What will matter is the way you honored your parents,
loved your children, and supported your friends.
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories of those who loved you.
And what will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom, and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choosing to teach is choosing to live a life that matters.

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