Sunday, August 14, 2016

What I Learned Through Gardening pt. 2

I spent my summer gardening. Or rather, I spent my summer out in my yard touching the dirt and plants. I don't know how one defines themselves as a gardener. I imagine one of the requirements is that you have expertise in the craft of gardening. I have none. Therefore, I am not yet ready to call myself a gardener.

But, I did the best I could. I put forth a great deal of effort. I was out in my garden almost every morning from 7:30-10:30 a.m. From the moment I started, I began making plans about what I would do differently next year. Each step (or misstep) I made was an opportunity for me to reflect on what I should do differently next time.

For example, when my tomatoes began rotting on the vine, I began my research on 'blossom rot'. After watching all my hard work literally rot on the vine, I pulled out half the plants, fed the tomatoes Tums and egg shells and decided next year, we were planting less. Blossom rot is due to a lack of calcium and I think we over planted the boxes. But, without experimenting and trying, I wouldn't know how to make it better.

Another misstep in my gardening adventure was where we planted our zucchini. I had NO IDEA how big zucchini plants would get. Thank goodness we had planted them close to the front of a raised box - they completely spilled out into the yard. Next year, they are going in their own space all the way in the back of the yard!

Next year, I'll also be building some wooden trellises for my tomato plants. My plants overtook those flimsy metal 'cages' and ran them down like the B-rated movie, The Blob.

Everyday when we teach, it's an opportunity for us to reflect on what we should do differently next time. Maybe our lessons aren't necessarily 'rotting' or being crushed into oblivion, but we can always do better. We can push ourselves to think, "How can my teaching impact more learners?"

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