Learning From a Dandelion
I have a picture on the wall by my computer. It isn’t framed, it is just torn out of a magazine and thumbtacked on my memo board. It inspires me every day to keep trying harder.
The picture is a photograph of a dandelion, a yellow dandelion plant. I have always loved dandelions, even when I was a small child. I love them when they are yellow and put butter on your nose. I love them when they are puffy white balls of fluff that make wishes come true. I especially love them because they always seem to find me, even when the whole world seems determined to get rid of them all. They don’t seem to hold a grudge against anyone. They just keep on trying and trying until they accomplish their goal of finding sunshine, blooming flowers and puffing away seeds.
The dandelion in the photograph is the champion of all dandelions. It has pushed through a parking lot blacktop, creating a tiny little volcano, and erupted with a leafy green burst of joy, topped with explosions of yellow blossoms on top. It is lush and vibrant as if it had been cared for diligently all it’s life instead of spending all it’s energy on pushing through a tar-covered world. The joy of victory is apparent in the dozens of little green arms reaching for the sun.
The Power of Persistence
Our children are like the little dandelion. They are given some pretty difficult obstacles to conquer every day. But we know that they can strive harder than the average kid. They have the guts and determination that comes from the experience of tackling difficult goals almost constantly. We may not be able to take away all the tar in the world, but we can work alongside our children, listen to them, and show our pride in every accomplishment. Parents and teachers can both learn from children. We can learn to work together, parents, teachers and children. Give your child the respect of listening to them deeply, staying fully attentive daily and supporting their growth physically, academically and emotionally.
Think of your child as the most amazing person in the world. Treat your child as the most precious gift of all. If your child is unhappy, look and listen to the ways the unhappiness is expressed. Cultivate the beautiful person growing in your care. What job could be more important?
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Katherine is a seasoned educator with a wide variety of expertise in the field. As a teacher with over 30 years of experience with students ages 3-18, she is also a Certified Elementary School Teacher (K-8), a Certified Special Education Teacher (K-12), an Inclusion Specialist, and a Visual and Performing Arts Specialist. In addition to her credentials, she has also spent 2 years as a House Parent for Severely Emotionally Disturbed teenaged girls (ages 9-18), and has worked with all types of students with various labels including Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, SED, ODD, FASD, ID, ADHD, Schizophrenia, Gifted, etc.