Flowers fascinate me sometimes. Yes, they are beautiful to look at, but I’m actually talking about their resilience.
One of my kids and I took a short hike the other day at Ruffner Mountain and we ran across this flower. What struck me wasn’t its color or beauty, but rather its location. In the picture you can see that it’s growing among a lot of rocks.
All of this got me thinking about education. Our kids, we don’t always know what rocks may be holding them down. According to “data” some of them have quite a few rocks to work through. Here in Alabama a recent (public) conversation has begun regarding the discrepancy is test scores based on race and poverty. We also know, because we are teachers, that home life, hunger, depression, and language can also be rocks in the way.
One of the things we get to do as teachers is help remove these rocks. This can be done in several ways.
One, we can help empower and strengthen our students so that they can move them themselves. We can also try and move them for them. For a child that is hungry, some packs of crackers for the evening or weekend can be quite helpful. Another way is to move them with them. Together. We can form a TEAM. Together Everyone Achieves More, you’ve heard it before, and you know it’s true. We can form a team with our students, their families, the school, and/or the community.
While I would advocate for all those things, we know that any of them are beneficial. We know the results of our students moving the rocks. They grow. They show their strength to the world as they don’t let “the rocks” stand in the way. They bloom. They face the world and show themselves to be a thing of beauty, and they all have that beauty inside of them.