Saturday, September 14, 2013

Growing Inspiration

Writers are always looking for inspiration. Although there are a plethora of posts and articles on inspiration, I decided to put pen to paper after I found an unusual bit of inspiration. This did not come from the elusive muse (who doesn't often sit on my shoulder) nor did it come from within. Not being a totally observant person I might have missed the opportunity to be inspired unless my husband called my attention to my garden last week. 

The World Dictionary defines inspiration as "an arousal of the mind, feelings, etc., to special or unusual activity or creativity" Last week there was unusual activity in my garden that triggered a spark of creativity that aroused my mind. Have you ever heard of cucumber vines getting tangled amidst ten feet tall shrubs and yielding produce? Look to the left to see what I mean. This phenomenon made me pause and wonder about the process of growing. I carefully planted my cucumbers months ago. The rain and sun nurtured them. The growing process was initiated and the plant thrived but I wondered. Where was were the fruits of my labor? Little did I know that they were growing upwards. I found a crop of huge cucumbers, hanging from their vines. 

The growth process for my cucumbers started me thinking. Isn't education like the cucumbers' spidery vine that is fueled by external forces? A gardener carefully plants her seeds, tills the soil, weeds the garden, and nurtures the process of growth. An effective instructor plants seeds of learning, effectively instructs her students using sound strategies to foster learning; nurtures her charges; reflects on progress made: weeds through ineffective practices; nourishes her students with new wonders and discoveries; watches for educational growth. Teachers are like gardeners who treat the growing process with respect and care. But like all gardens, it takes time, patience, passion, and perseverance before the fruits of your labor are seen. As Jane Goodall wrote, “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Let inspiration come from many corners and let it propel your learning practices this year. Be the gardener that sows the seeds to learning through sound instructional practices and effective delivery. Bring passion to your garden and let creativity flourish! Let inspiration spring forth.