It is now spring time which makes me start to focus on my gardens. It is during this time that I know I need to get out all the weeds that are appearing and plan for new plants to be planted. I have all these bright ideas and hopes for good things to come.
Dandelions are a weed in my yard, yet many people make dandelion wine. Some violets are cute in the forest but I don’t want them littering my green lawn. In fact, some people sprinkle sugar on them and add them to their salads. What one person considers a weed may be considered a beauty to others.
I want a pretty garden. But it takes work. And I mean a lot of work; work that is not so pretty and fun like weeding and mulching. It is dirty, sweaty work. But it is necessary if I want to achieve my goal of a beautiful garden.
As I’m weeding my flower beds, I wonder about these small tender plants that I’m pulling out. They are a nuisance and they make my flower beds look ugly. But what is the purpose of a weed? Surely they were put on this planet for a reason (other than to drive me crazy or help me lose weight by weeding instead of eating). In fact, some of these so called weed are actually pretty. I don’t usually know the names of these weeds but I know that I don’t want them in my flower bed mixing with my beautiful flowers.
Sometimes I look at my class that way on the first day. I am full of anticipation and hope and I think my students are too. I have goals in mind for how I want them to grow. But it is going to take a lot of work to get there. It will take a lot of dirty, sweaty work. And it might not be fun at times either.
Then it hit me. This is exactly how I see some students in my class. Some of them are just weeds. They are a nuisance and keep me from achieving my goal. I want to yank them out and get rid of them from the room. I don’t want them mixing with my other beautiful wonders.
But what is their purpose in my class? Surely there is a reason for them but will I take the time and effort to find out what it is? Am I willing to get “dirty and sweaty” for the same of some weeds? How many times have I written them off in my mind? Oh, they are just weeds. I don’t need to really know them because I’m getting rid of them. I hate to say that this happens but I have to be honest and admit to feeling this way sometimes. Sometimes I just don’t give these poor weeds a chance to thrive and show their beauty.
I hope that I can stop and look at each student as a flower instead of a weed. I hope I give each one a chance to thrive and survive in order to show me their beauty. There is a purpose but I just need to find out what it is. I need to search for the answer and not give up. I believe if I can do this with every student, I would be a more successful teacher.
So, do you have any weeds in your classroom?
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original image: 'Summer field'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/30201239@N00/2231535533 by: b k