So I spent part of my evening helping my semi-farmer boyfriend put up square bales of hay… And I got to thinking… Teaching and farming are very similar… (hopefully) making things grow; giving things, veggies/kids, enough space but also constraints & supports; expectations; and outside forces beyond our control… weather, parents, upbringing, home life, socioeconomics…
I think on of the things I am most guilty of, though, is wanting my expectations/end results to be met right now. I don’t think I’m alone in this. The “big training” that many of us in Tennessee attended this summer started the first day with what our assessments “will” look like in 2 years. Immediately I felt panic: My kids can’t do this, my kids won’t do this, How are they supposed to be able to read this after the standards we’ve taught them for the last 7 years!!!!!!! (breath) Reminder to self: They don’t have to do this the first day of school. I have time.
Just like corn needs time to ripen and fill out it’s cob & hay needs time to cure once it has been cut, our kids (and us) need time to acclimate, time to adjust and figure out where all of this is going. And for once, we might actually have the time… Granted, I would still like to change somethings and work on a more graduated schedule… we still do have time. And our kids can do this. I’m sure I will still have some who won’t… teenagers aren’t easy, but I will do my best to make them capable!
Hay starts out unruly & looking like useless weeds…. our students aren’t that way anymore than hay turns out after it’s been cured.