Friday, April 13, 2012


"Simply Daffodils", oil, by Roxanne Steed 
Over the years, my fiancé has found pleasure in finding places for her beloved perennial flowers as she moved from home to home, and it sometimes brings to my mind the movement of ideas in my young students’ lives. The kids carry all sorts of mental luggage with them as they work their way up through the grades, and I guess, in a sense, they find new places to set down their favorite thoughts when they start a new school year. My fiancé found the best places for her old daffodils in our new yard, and my students are slowly starting to see their best 7th grade thoughts getting comfortable in my 8th grade classes. It’s a transplanting process – planting old bulbs and old opinions in new places and hoping for the bursting open of new flowers and beliefs.  It’s inspiring to think of education that way – not as an infusion of wholly new thoughts into the students, but as a re-blossoming in fresh ways of their own finest thoughts from past years. I’ve often thought of the similarity between teaching and gardening, and here it is again – the teacher and the gardener giving their best efforts to promote the prospering of life, both in rising students and in resettled flowers. Delycia assisted in the resurrection, this spring, of venerable daffodils, and, as usual, I showed my students’ some suitable places to plant and nourish their youthful but rightfully hallowed 14-year-old thoughts.

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