March 15, 2012
Walking the garden tonight (an odd thing to do in Minnesota in March since it is usually still under several feet of snow) I was seeking little signs of spring. Moving a leaf here and there, cutting back last years growth to see if new growth was hiding underneath. I know it is early in the year but I just wanted it so badly. I needed to see the change, to see green growth, to know that there is life underground pushing forward to maturity.
The darkness came as is always does and I moved in doors to my students writing journals and all the correcting that was waiting for me. As I was reading each journal of my 4th graders I began to feel a bit frustrated at their work or lack of strong writing or any writing for that matter when I realized it was just like my garden. I need to see change to badly. I wanted them to be great writers now!
I needed to look closely, move a few words around, read several of their entries and remember it is early in the season for these writers. They are just peeking with heads out or for some still germinating underground. They are in the early developing stage and need sun, water and encouragement.
Writers, like plants need time to grow and mature. It does not happen on the first warm day of the season or the first few years of writing. Some will sprout early and other will come along with time. It is that time and encouragement I need to give to my students and my plants. I don’t get mad or frustrated when my plants don’t sprout right away. I just nod, clear away old growth and make sure there is a clear path for new growth and wait. I check back often, add water or food if needed and with time my patiences and work pays off. The spring does come and the plants grow, flower and mature. I just need to remember the garden when helping my students to become mature writers.
Good things come in time!