I have always seen myself as a gardener – in my life away from the teaching, I spend much of the summer in the garden nurturing and caring for my flowers, vegetables, and wildlife. I see myself in the same type of role in the classroom. At the beginning of semester, I always tell my students I am the facilitator here to help them on their learning journey. As a gardener, I can tend to them, support them to grow and develop and eventually like flowers who die or disappear back into the ground, so to will my students move on, hopefully with some growth and learning, just like my perennials who return each year bigger and stronger. I also have weed in my garden that I nurture and not just remove. In fact, my whole approach to gardening has changed from pulling out those pesky weeds like dandelions to containing but also nurturing them as they are often important for the bees and insects. So, to are those pesky students who challenge us!
The picture attached shows a wide variety of flowers to indicate the diversity in the classroom and if you look closely, you will see some weeds.