Overnight Growth

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!

Overnight Growth

2 thoughts on “Overnight Growth

  1. I love this! What a great reminder that we must focus on growth not pace.

    But with patience and some warmth, they begin to show signs of growth.

    I agree and aspire to practice and demonstrate patience and warmth! Thank you for the reminder and challenge.

  2. This was one of my favorite things about maternity leave last year. After three months away from the students, I returned to find more mature, sophisticated young people in my classroom! While many were taller and some voices had changed, the most notable changes were not physical. While I didn’t take three months off this year (bummer!), I am reminded to look back in order to see the growth of my students.

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