My weird plant Simon has THRIVED in my rat hole of classroom. They say plants do really well when you speak to them with love. I don’t talk to Simon but I try to speak lovingly to all the kids who enter so maybe his chlorophyll has been listening covertly. He’s grown into a monster. He might eat Seymour, in fact. I tell freshman tales of survival and seniors tales of grit in front of him. and I dry tears and feed hungry people. There is a lot of cheering and laughing and jazz hands up in there. I think there must be something to the whole plant talking thing because it is a hostile environment for a plant- no heat for most of January and no AC most of the time period. No one waters the poor thing and we have various infestations. I was suffering yet Simon has grown about five feet this year. My mom actually said he might be a weed he grew so much. He could be actually. That would totally be like me to be tending a weed year round in a sexy zebra pot. Seriously, he barely fit in the car.
I can only hope some of the kids grew in my room this year, too, despite the lack of climate and self control the school frequently experiences. I hope they grew strong on the inside where it counts. I’m not talking about the test scores the state will measure us by- I know how great we did on those and I don’t give a hoot. I’m talking about real growth, being able to set micro-goals and put one wheel back on at a time when they all fall off. I’m talking about focusing thru despair and uncertainty and fear to get to the other side of it. I want them to walk away knowing that their branches can grow new leaves when life stripes them bare more than I want them to know about the British tactics in the Boer Wars. I want them to thrive.
One last class takes the World History exam tomorrow and then my instructional time is over for the year. My contract is renewed for another year so my activism hasn’t cost me my job. I live to fight another day.