Planting Trees...

Education is similar to being gardener, you plant the seed, then wait to see the results. I have been teaching at the middle school for the last seven years, planting seeds, then walking away. You may get glimmers of success, maybe even glimpses of failure, but you often don't get to see the final product per se.

Today was our first day back to work...I met my girlfriend for coffee and we caught up, but the strangest part, for me, was when we were getting ready to leave, it really struck me that we weren't going to the same place. I have officially moved.

I am moving to teach high school, a place where I will get to see some of my kids again...a bit like revisiting the garden that was planted years ago. I am not going to lie, it will be a bit gratifying, getting to see some of what I built long ago, but I also realize that I am still just a place to pass along their journey. I may, or may not, get to see them get to their destination, but I know that I have been a stop along the way.

Sometimes it is easy to feel pensive in a career like education...each year hundreds of children pass through your classroom, some you make deep connections with, while others you may be unsure of your effect. Each day you bring content forth while also hoping that you are building a relationship that might empower, encourage, and enlighten them. They may be vocal about your impact or they may fade away like a ghost, rarely to be heard from again.

Although I have been teaching for a long time, I was really struck by the thought of how we are all just a street sign along one another's path. We do not know how the seeds we plan will turn out...they may be beautiful flowers or a large tree...we know that we have planted, we know that we were there, but it is only the other that can welcome us back to see how the seeds turn out...

We have to be satisfied with the not knowing...the uneasiness of the chasm of unknown. That is the hard part. Often we might be temped to give less along the journey because of the not knowing, but that is the hardest of all. We need to be willing to give our all with each and every person whose path we cross, we have to be willing to be open and giving. We have to be willing to leave every seed we have along the path with the knowledge that we may never reap the rewards of the knowledge of what lies ahead...we have to be satisfied that the love of the planting was enough to make a difference...we have to love the giving and be willing to walk away with the deep knowledge that we were there...and that was enough.


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