9.02.2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Yesterday's post about Growing Good Corn made me think about this little sprout again; it’s been four, no five years since we had this conversation, but I can still see him sitting in the office and hear his earnest little voice in my heart:
Me: And are you being a flower or a weed in your teacher's garden today?
Student: A weed.
Me: And what do weeds do?
Student: They choke out the flowers.
Me: And what happens to weeds?
Student: They get sent to the Principal’s office.
    Not exactly the answer I was anticipating, but so it went with my sweet seedling as the Assistant Principal and I tried to eliminate those “weed” behaviors and teach him how best to bloom and grow in his first-grade classroom. 
    I love to use this metaphor because our schools truly are like gardens.  We get a new packet of seeds every year and we’re given the chance to nurture, grow, and cultivate the harvest. And we have some time, approximately 188 days, to get that done. That’s it. About 36 Mondays and for us, two of them have already come and gone. What a naturally fulfilling and awesomely challenging job, to be a gardener.
    I'm reminded of Mrs. Spitzer, a seasoned teacher who tends lovingly to her garden each year so that her crops flourish. If you don’t already have this treasure by Edith Pattou in your collection, I highly recommend it.
    To be fair, I need to add that it’s not always going to be sunshine and roses in your garden for roses have thorns, weeds grow, and sometimes bugs or fungus try to overtake your healthy plants. What prevention measures do you have in place to guard against those unpleasantries? And what intervention tools do you have on hand were that to happen in your hallowed ground? 
    Want a fun follow-up activity to reading this book?  Check out these Grow Your Character pillar bookmarks that are actually on sale right now from my friends at Character Counts! Plant these little pots with embedded seeds and watch them bloom; happy gardening!

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