I attended a conference today called, ”Diversity Exchange:Learning from One Another.” The keynote speaker was supposed to be Reginald Weaver, former NEA president,but unfortunately he is ill. Merwyn Scott, did a good job standing in for Mr.Weaver at the last-minute.
Something Mr.Scott said, as he shared his thoughts, stood out to me. He said that when he was young he was a “coaster”, he did just enough to get by. He was dormant, sitting in the soil, going nowhere, not growing. His parents kept at him, did not give up, but he had his own plan for how things should be.
Fortunately for him, throughout his school years, he ran across “seed planters”, teachers who were interested in his germination. They ‘watered’ him, provided nourishment, and allowed him to grow, to flourish in the light, which made him the person he is today. He called out each of their names, recalling each teacher that helped him to grow. Each one that helped push him out of the “soil” he was buried in.
So, I ask, which one are you? Are you a “seed killer?” Do you use words that demean your students? Does the job seem burdensome, and you no longer feel like being there, and your students can tell? Are your students bored out of their mind from meaningless work with no real world application? Sometimes, this job is so difficult, that we might not even realize that our actions are stunting the growth of our “seeds.”
Hopefully, you are a “seed planter.” You are that teacher that Mr.Scott spoke of. The teacher who nourishes his/her students, helping them to sprout, to germinate? I see a “seed planter” as the teacher who strives to meet the needs of their students, emotionally, physically , and mentally. Fertilizing them with our passion for teaching, and our strong urge to see them succeed.
Yes, when you have a class of 25 or more seeds to sow, that is a lot of gardening! But we do it every day, year after year, we manage to reach our students, apply our green thumb, and watch them grow!