“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are the seeds of today.”
The winter temps in Iowa have been on a roller coaster lately. The warm temps in the 40’s and 50’s taunted us for a few days and then temps took a nose dive. Snow is in the air and I am dreaming of spring! As the calendar days edge closer to spring, I know change is coming!
In my personal life, I’m not much of a gardener. I tend to have high hopes of accomplishing something in my yard, but a busy summer schedule usually gets the best of me. Will this be the year I take baby steps in my yard? Planting seeds and watching them transform can be an invigorating process, so I am told! Each new stage of the transformation is something to be celebrated and enjoyed. Adversities are bound to surface. My yard is a habitat for animals. Will the squirrels and rabbits decided that flowers planted are for their food supply rather than my enjoyment? What will the weather be like? Too hot, too much rain – it is all so unpredictable. Yet, the end results of a beautiful, tranquil backyard sound so inviting! Baby steps!
One of my favorite children’s books is Miss Rumphuis by Barbara Cooney. Alice has three goals: to travel to far away places, live by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful. Once she accomplished the first two goals, the third was a source of consternation. She decides to spread lupine seeds wherever she walks. A bad back forces her to stop spreading her seeds, yet to her surprise others (birds, the wind, etc…) continue the process for her. The end result, goal #3 was accomplished – the world was more beautiful!
Another favorite book is Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden by Edith Pattou. The book celebrates all that teachers do to help their students grow and blossom. As Mrs. Spitzer tends to her seeds, she knows that each are different. Some are eager, impatient, and grow quickly. Other take time. Some need more care and a “special watching-over.” She tends to her garden daily providing all the things they need. Once her nurturing is over, she knows her plants will keep growing!
As educators we are constantly planting seeds in our professional lives. Seeds are planted within the students and adults we are blessed to have in our lives. The seed planting is reciprocal. Others are also planting seeds within us. All seed planting has the opportunity to change lives. It is our choice if the seeds will have a positive or negative impact. If our goal is like Miss Rumphuis or Mrs. Spitzer, we will overcome adversities so the world can be a better, more beautiful place because of our planting!
Recent plantings sighted:
- A principal plants a seed in a teacher inquiring if she’d be interested in having her students extend a current practice of journaling to blogging. She comes to me. The result is not just one class blogging, but 4. Over 100 kids contributing to the world around them with writing, collaborating, and leadership skills being cultivated – not to mention the digital literacy skills! They are planting their own seeds!
- A casual dialogue about the possibilities of technology integration to enhance student learning blossoms into the development of an after school class in which several teachers will be joining. New learning is bound to flourish.
- A problem solving meeting about a student leads to a conversation about funding sources to purchase sensory items needed for student. Information about Donors Choose was shared and the seed has the potential to spread and provide resources for many other students.
- A quick email to a group of adults needing a service project ideas may grow into additional funding for an area preschool/day care center, especially needed with the potential legislative cuts to preschools in the state.
- A teacher inquiry looking for ways to enrich an elementary student’s math experiences leads to research and Twitter conversations about Khan Academy. This site may provide this student the opportunity to expand his mathematical talents rather than becoming bored in class working on areas he has already mastered.
- Each new Tweet on Twitter is yet another seed planted. A quote to ponder, a blog post to inspire, a website to explore! We may never know the impact a Tweet has on another person! Many are life changing!
Seed planting is happening all around us. We all have numerous examples! Every seed planted brings about change. Where have you witnessed the planting of seeds? How have they helped the world become a better, more beautiful place? When we share seed planting sighting – yet another seed is planted. Let’s learn from each others experiences and continue to grow beautiful gardens around the world!
“Flowers and fruit are only the beginning.
In the seed lies the life and the future.”
– Marion Zimmer Bradley