The Garden

The #coffeechugPLN chat was brewing up a full bodied discussion earlier this week when a fresh cup of inspiration got poured into my mental mug.

We were discussing growth, and then it hit like the smell of  fresh brewed  java in the morning. Growth makes me think of gardening.

I am not a gardener in the agrarian sense. In fact I don’t like working outdoors at all, except the BBQ.
Yet,a garden provides bountiful analogies of the classroom.

I wondered if we were the roto-tillers, scarecrows, planters or weeders in the classroom?
This left me thinking about the various roles we play as teachers in the garden of learning.

If I am a roto-tiller, I turn the soil of the mind to allow it to aerate, to let air into a compacted space, to prepare the land for planting. I might also be too forceful in the way I up-heave everything whether it is needed or not. As a roto-tiller I also make a lot of noise, sometimes it scares things off.

If I’m a scarecrow, I am on watch, maybe a little un-moving, just always there; I’m vigilant, still able to provide some protection but mostly ineffective, taken for granted and tired. I might now only provide decoration in the garden, but have not been useful for a time.

As a sower/planter I  place seeds in neat rows or scatter them haphazardly, in both cases I do not know if they will take root and produce something? As a planter I might plant the seeds too close together and they can choke each other out, or if I scatter them without regard to the proper soil, they may fall on infertile ground and die.

When I am a weeder, I must get close to the crops to weed out what has not been intentionally planted. The role of weed puller is hard. It requires digging down deep to get rid of things that might choke off my crops, and may have been there a long time. Weeding requires diligence, patience and knowledge of what to keep and discard. As a weeder I might pull out the wrong thing if I am not focused on the job. If I tend to my garden attentively, it will yield abundantly.

No matter where you harvest, the payoff  comes with time and in its due season. It will always be worth the dirt under your nails  and the sweat on your brow because you have invested your time tending to the soil of intellectual development and constant  gardening learning. 

I’ll save the roles of waterer, pruner and harvester for the next crop. Feel free to plant some rows yourself.

If you were curious how this all got here from there? This is what transpired on the #coffeechugPLN

  1. When we have the half and half Ss, we need to use the growth half to better the fixed half. #coffeechugpln

@KellyJoSimon Do we serve as the roto-tillers, scarecrows, planters or weeders in this garden? #coffeechugPLN
9:34 PM – 7 May 13

  1. @WillGourley @KellyJoSimon #coffeechugPLN this statement has a blog post written all over it!

  2. @WillGourley You have to know the S to know your role. Some need the tiller; some just need the sprinkler. #coffeechugPLN

  3. @KellyJoSimon @WillGourley #coffeechugPLN You could plant the seed, but if not watered it will never sprout!

2 thoughts on “The Garden

  1. Hi Will,

    I’m a sucker for a metaphor, and ypu’ve drawn me in with several. I’m going to take a bit of time to thonk about this, but I already know that I would like to use your “metaphor set” with next week’s education students!


    • Thank you Stephen,
      I would love to know how it goes with your students.
      The more I learn about writing, the more I lean on metaphors to share my ideas.

      I’m looking forward to part 2 soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *