Friday, September 14, 2012

Rose Gardening

Have you ever received a flower? A single rose, say. No doubt you thanked the person who gave it to you. But have you ever considered all the other people who made that rose possible? The florist, the person who delivered the roses to the florist, the mechanics who maintain the delivery truck, the gardeners, the pruners, the waterers, to say nothing of those who cultivated that rose and all of nature that went into designing it. Dozens and dozens of people and events.

More frequently than not, a student stands in front of us in full bloom. At a time when educators talk about "student growth measures" and the "value added" to a student's development by a teacher in the span of a year, we would do well to recall the many other contributions that have led to that student's success. Clearly, teachers in the immediate vicinity are accountable (isn't it fun to see that word in a positive way?) Less clearly, though no less true, there is an accumulation of accountability. Dozens and dozens of people and events.

A teacher in one of our school's in Akron treated us to this video of student Kristen Hess, a member of the Aspirations Team (and, it would seem, everything else!) We are grateful to be part of this young lady's story in some small way. We are even more impressed that, mid-bloom, she is turning into something of a gardener herself.

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