May 29, 2009

Changeable Weather

Filed under: education,TeachersFirst,teaching — Candace Hackett Shively @ 3:59 pm

This is the time of year when weather fronts spawn nasty thunderstorms or stall out over my part of the world, sending gray-green clouds across  a calm lake, whipping up whitecaps in five minutes like one of those television chefs creating meringue. At the same time I hear from teacher-friends about how they have “had it.” They are stressed, can’t sleep, want to resign every activity that has brought them joy, and just can’t be very nice to each other. I call it “crabby season.” As the final weeks of school stall over them, they spin off storms of their own, whipping up waves over what would have been a pebble-drop in January and turning gray-green from their own exhaustion.

But there are good things that come of thunderstorms and unstable weather: the grass really gets growing, and the annual flowers so tender at planting are suddenly three times the size. The release of that “pressure system” explodes into summer’s best growth, both for the plants and for the teachers. There are high winds for a short while that kick up the white caps, but — in surprisingly short time — the waters calm. The silver maple leaves turn back right-side-out and flutter calmly where they had been bashing into each other a few moments before.

Teachers often ignore TeachersFirst for about three weeks while the winds (and their crabbiness) subside. The exact timing varies, depending on their school calendar. Soon they turn themselves back right-side-out and find green growth that lasts throughout a long, hot summer. After mid-July, they are back, prowling through new beds of ideas, admiring new blossoms and tossing together summer thinking-salads. Many of them have other jobs, but these are often a sort of brain-refreshing Miracle Gro to their real gardens of thought. Somehow the crabby season seems to disappear as if it never happened.

If your hallway seems filled with the crabbiness, close your eyes and remember that  these storms pass quickly. Join me on the covered porch to watch the thunder and lightning across the lake, knowing how beautiful the garden will be tomorrow.


1 Comment

  1. Beautiful (writing and pic.) I am learning to vent and get it out of my system, reflect, and reflect some more. A huge garden does wonders for re-aligning thoughts. A working meditation I think. This year has not yet ended and I am already mulling changes for next year.

    Comment by Louise Maine — May 29, 2009 @ 10:29 pm

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