My husband and I have spent the last few weekends working in the yard. It is spring in CT, and the weather is just perfect for planting grass, getting gardens ready, putting in new plants, and getting the lawn in order. But we only have those two precious days of the weekend to get everything done! When we looked out at the yard a few weeks ago, we were humbled, to say the least. The grass was long and filled with weeds, the gardens had saplings sprouting or were overrun with weeds (which we sometimes call “wildflowers” when it seems more convenient), the forsythia was out of control (a pretty yellow, but taking over the front yard), and the gardens were filled with leaf litter. So, we decided to stage a full on attack!
We weeded. We planted. We mowed. We ripped out overgrown forsythia. We even hired someone to come and blow all the leaves out of the pachysandra (After all, this is Connecticut….the land of Lyme Disease!). And then we sat on the back porch, with a nice glass of wine and some cheese, and admired all that we had accomplished. In just two weekends, we had made an incredible difference. The lawn was trim, and a few of the gardens were planted, others weeded. The yard looked significantly better than it had two weeks earlier. We could clearly view the positive change from then to now. It gives us hope that if we keep at it, we can really create something beautiful!
I think we need to look for more of these “gardening moments” in our teaching. What we do as literacy educators takes time. The changes can be very slow, almost imperceptible. It sometimes takes years to see progress. At times it can be hard to feel that sense of accomplishment that gives us the hope and energy to carry on. How can we find ways to take a step back and admire the progress our children are making? It is there! We need to find ways to look for it, admire it, and celebrate it. The flowers are growing and blooming. Let’s make sure to sit on our classroom porches and admire all the progress that is happening right in front of our eyes!