Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Learning Gardens

For most of my life, a “new year” meant an academic year rather than a calendar year. I (obviously) went to school, I taught in schools, I watched my children go to school, two of my daughters work in schools, and now grandchildren are going to school. Yes, my life has revolved around a school calendar.

Last August, I posted that my husband and I helped our daughter set up her classroom. Her school was a start-up school and she entered a modular classroom that was a shell with a little furniture and few supplies. With lots of time, work and with some of her personal funds, the room evolved into a garden of learning. Her first graders have been a delight and have grown in that garden just as she had planned, hoped and prayed for each one.

Now it is time to take down bulletin boards and pack up supplies. The books that are packed away are reminders of growth in reading, math, science and social studies. The charts show changes: lost teeth (they’re six!), new words, character qualities and fulfilling classroom jobs.

The end of the year is time for personal reflection too. I know that Kate has reflected on her personal growth as a teacher. (She’s fabulous!) But as you think about August to June, flip your calendar and read through your journal, how did your garden grow? What have you learned? Have you mentored anyone or been mentored? Have you cultivated a friendship? How would you describe your learning garden?

Summer is a perfect time to grow! Making plans? Let us know.

Learning and growing,