I know very little about plant life, but I do love to see the plants that were leafless and seemingly lifeless all winter spring forth with growth overnight.The Bradford pear trees dotted all over Atlanta provided me with inspiration when I spent an afternoon in my yard a couple of weekends ago when the weather hinted at spring. The empty branches had suddenly filled with white blossoms, but the branches had no leaves. How odd I thought to have white flowers with bare sticks surrounding it. The picture seemed peculiar to me.
The next day as I drove to church, I saw the same tree, but this time, the bare branches had green leaves as well. By the time Monday rolled around and the weather turned sour, the trees had lost the majority of the flowers and were now covered in green leaves. It made me think of the students in our care. It is possible for them to look like they are not “getting it.” And perhaps they aren’t – right then. But with patience and some warmth, they begin to show signs of growth. The white blossoms appear seemingly overnight and in a short period of time, the tree is full of green and the bare branches are but a distant memory.
Some students learn in full view. You see the wheels turn, they pose questions that demonstrate their thinking, and their progress looks steadier. Others, though, can be less predictable. Their learning seems invisible till one day when the conditions are right, they show their stuff!
As the weather warms and the end of school nears, I like to remember that at any moment a student might be ready to grow overnight!