Saturday, October 17, 2009

Meditative mulching

This afternoon I spent some quality time with my lawnmower and front yard. It's that time of the year here in Massachusetts when the leaves fall and cover the ground with their golds and reds and oranges. They're quite pretty to look at, but left unchecked, they'll turn into dark brown soggy bits of biomass that can ruin a lawn or make exiting the driveway dangerous once the Fahrenheit hits 32 degrees.

And so, today I pushed the mower up and down the yard in long vertical passes, trimming grass and grinding leaves in rather efficient fashion. My lawn-cleaning efforts are more effective this year thanks to the Gator Mulcher Blade that I picked up this summer. In mere seconds, leaves are pulverized into fine pieces of debris that actually nourish the lawn and serve as fertilizer.

After a few hours of work, the lawn was looking good. I then used the blower contraption on my Shop-Vac to clear the driveway of leaf bits and powder. How rewarding it was to see the results of my labor! Tangible progress before my very eyes!

As those of you who work in education know, the type of change and progress that we effect as teachers isn't nearly as immediate or obvious. Sometimes students need to regress before they advance forward. And it isn't uncommon for our teachings to have their full effect on our students after they have left our classrooms. People grow and mature at different rates. It's helpful to remember that just because we're not seeing immediate improvement doesn't mean our students aren't learning.

Often the passage of time yields the perspective we need to reach those epiphanies and experience those ah-ha! moments. Ironically, with added distance I can better see former teachers' motivations, intentions, and lessons. As our world becomes faster and more aspects of life become instantaneous, it's important to remember that true growth takes time.

1 comment:

Ms. Ward said...

Amen! And it is important to reflect and capture (if you can) those moments when you witness learning and growth. They are what will sustain you and energize you come February when there's no break in sight, and the essays have piled up, and you have four meetings to attend in one day.

Thank you for reminding me to step back and admire the forest today, instead of focusing on the hundreds of trees.