This summer I’ve enjoyed the fulfilling work of setting various kinds of edgings around our perennial flowers, and now the final, finished look of the gardens gives me some sense of how my best-planned classroom lessons might look next year. The flowers themselves are lovely, but somehow the trim and tidy look provided by the edging enhances their beauty, and it’s possible that some of my lessons could look just as well-set and shipshape. What I wish to teach in a lesson is actually no more important than how it’s presented to the students – it’s staging, you might say, or it’s presentation. Simply strewing a bunch of beautiful flowers here and there, with no visible borders, will bring little or no joy to viewers, nor will scattering skills and concepts through a lesson, with no discernible tidiness or method, bring much meaningful learning to my students. Both the good looks of a flower garden and the effectiveness of a lesson plan depend greatly on a simple feature that’s often overlooked – straightforward, old-fashioned tidiness.