A few years ago, a student game me an African violet. It flowered for a month. Then the blooms fell off. I tended it on the kitchen counter.
A year passed.
Green leaves grew.
One day an orchid gift replaced it, and the violet was transplanted to my bedroom, next to the glass door.
Years went by, the green leaves grew, and the hope of blossoms was long forgotten. The leaves were thick. Luxurious. There was beauty in the green.
Then one day, out of nowhere, it bloomed. I had given up. I had accepted the idea that this plant wasn’t capable.
Shouting to the world with a cluster of white flowers, Here I am! Glad you’re here to see me.
You know where this is going. Those students. We see only a bit of who they are in the ten months we have them. Sometimes they are like the beautifully formed flower. A gift set at your feet. Something to admire and praise. And sometimes no matter how you care for them, you feed, make accommodations for, nurture, they stay the same. Growing in their way. They don’t seem to be capable of flowering the way the benchmarks dictate. You may say to yourself; it’s the food or the water you are giving them. Maybe it’s the light, the pot. But even with all those adjustments, there are still no blooms. No apparent results. The year finishes and you send them on, wishing them well, still looking for hints of a blossom. Then years later, if you’re lucky, when you least expect it they show up at the door, and you look on with amazement at their beauty.
Three former students showed up at my classroom door yesterday. One going into eighth grade, one to high school, one to college. All in full bloom. We talked, I admired, and each walked off giving me a hug, a take care, and “an I love you Mrs. Harmatz.” What gifts.
With those, blooms I am reminded of the need for patience and faith in who our students can be. We water and feed. If we’re lucky, we see their flowers.
Thank you, Ruth, for your Celebration This Week link up. Read more celebrations here.