Sunday, May 22, 2011


"Petunia Panoply", oil, by Nancy Medina

Sitting on the patio this morning, I was admiring an overflowing pot of petunias, all the while wishing I could capture some of its grace and stateliness in my teaching. What’s interesting about the flowers is that just being in their presence is enough to fill a few moments with satisfaction and even happiness. They don’t have to do anything other than spill over their blossoms in profusion. Occasionally a few flowers will sway in a passing breeze, and sometimes small insects come for visits, but otherwise the pot of flowers makes me feel fulfilled just by being close by. I know there are duties I must perform in the classroom, and I do my best to carry them out competently, but I do wish sometimes that I could be more like the pot of petunias – more able to make inspiration happen in my classroom just by being there with my students. If a teacher has kindness and good wishes and at least a smattering of wisdom, shouldn’t those qualities simply spread out to the students without a lot of hype and hullabaloo? Can’t a teacher who is simply devoted to his profession perform at least some small miracles, like those patio petunias, just by being there?

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