Day 108: Lessons From a Sunflower


I found this sunflower peeking up at me in the park.

After a week-long break, I returned to school today with a great big smile on my face.  The excitement was building as I walked near the table where I meet my children each day.  Our table seemed like a bed full of beautiful sunflowers just waiting to be picked and arranged into a lovely display.

For children, every day is a brand new chance to shine.  Like this sunflower, their smiling faces beam at me, and we all get to start anew each day.

How can I guide these little ones?  Children look at me with an intensity.  They expect me to feed them wisdom.  My supply of wisdom is short, but I want to make sure they drink from a brook flowing with life and love.  My job is to point them in the direction of that brook.

How can I help them meet their potential?  Sunflowers can be hardy, but in the wrong conditions, they just don’t grow.  To guide each one to reach their full potential is to find out what conditions are needed for the best growth.  Children are much the same.  As a teacher, I need to find out who my students are and how they dream to shine.  By getting to know students, teachers are more able to help them gather and glean from life the things they need to make them strong and wise.

As you may know, I have a black thumb with plants.  I snapped this picture very quickly so that the sunflower wouldn’t begin to wilt.

Teaching children, however, is a garden where I thrive.  I find teaching the most awesome job in the world!  There are enough breaks to keep me rejuvenated and lots of opportunities to use the gifts and talents God has given me.

If I am able to water and cultivate these lovely sunflowers that have been given to me this year, I will have served my students well.  As Solomon made a plea for wisdom, so each student must make a choice.  I’d like to think that I had some small part in their desire to grow in wisdom.

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…”  Susan Polis Shutz


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