"In seed time, learn; in harvest time, teach; in winter, enjoy." (William Blake)
With temperatures that prevented us from heading outside to garden this week, the students at Peabody turned their focus inward. Our cozy classroom provided the perfect spot to begin forcing paperwhite bulbs indoors. There is something to be said for such a simple, intentional activity that allows space and time for the children to really listen, absorb, and reflect on their work. As I finished a quick discussion on flower bulbs and read the story Paperwhite to the children, a student raised his hand and suggested that we might write a song about paperwhites. Out of nowhere he began singing, “The paperwhite is planted then grow, grow, grows!” Children began raising their hands to contribute lyrics. “The plant grows higher, higher, higher,” another child sang, raising her voice higher as she progressed, showing us with her hands that an imaginary plant was growing. These moments remind me of how lucky I am. As humans we are often in a hurry to blow through the small, less meaningful tasks so that we can get to the “real work.” Some may have seen this as an interruption, a distraction. Actually the children were entirely absorbed in the subject matter, so much so that they had gathered inspiration to construct a piece of music. Isn’t this what we hope for when we sit down with them each day? Let us not forget that there needs to be time not only to learn and to teach, but also to enjoy the fact that we are witness to such creative young minds.