I spied it from afar as I was heading to my car this morning. And I had to stop. Right in the middle of our gasping-for-water, drought stricken lawn a dandelion stood tall and yellow, sunshine on a stem.
I’ve definitely become obsessed with dandelions…in all their forms. They represent the tenacity, resourcefulness, and strength I want to help cultivate in learners and teachers. Learners as hot house flowers that have to be carefully controlled and cultivated seem too fragile to become the innovators and explorers we need in the world. Teachers are often portrayed as gardeners, nurturing their crop of learners…but I’m wanting to reject that image too, it seems to take all the energy and agency away from students in that scenario.
Like dandelions, I want learners to thrive where they live. I want them to land in places where they can dig in and grow tall. And I want teachers to be like dandelions too, not dependent on specialized tools but instead drawing on the processes that honor writers and tinkerers and explorers. And when they happen to be plucked by the curious child who takes a big breath and blows on the puff, I hope the wishes fly far and wide and land on fertile ground so that these tenacious and resourceful survivors populate our classrooms and our world.