Sometimes, I think that teaching is a lot like farming. I know that statement won’t immediately convince most of you, but sometimes, you need to think of yourself as a farmer.
This principle is as old as time. It is fair to say that farming was one of the first professions. Farmers understood very early on about the relationship between the seeds and the plants. A tomato seed results in tomato plant!. Likewise, the transformation, or lack there of, is directly related to the seeds of work and wisdom we put into our students’ minds.
Nature eludes stretchable human intellect and ever increasing power of control. Nature constantly reminds farmers how dependent and vulnerable in it’s hands. Untimely rains, unwanted sunshine and underestimated winds all prove that ultimate result demands many elements to be just besides he artful efforts. Similarly, the handwork teachers put in might not show in test scores or behavioral changes; but, we need to find comfort in the fact that we tried in all humanely possible ways.
A single visit to any grocery store might make us believe that there is nothing like seasonal produce. All fruits and vegetable are available all-year-round. But this fallacy is hard to sell even to a young child. One of the cardinal characters of a farmers is to plan ahead. Waiting for the fruit season is part of his life. We all know in education that facts and knowledge takes its time to make an impression on him/her. Year long dedicated, sometimes individual, work with children doesn’t bear fruit immediately. Patience and persistence is virtue in good teachers.
Farming is purposeless if we reaped 1:1 for the seeds we sow. The abundance of fruit from a single seed is marvelous principle of nature. We as educators are constantly wondered by the amazing acts our students perform with the simple facts they learn in the classroom. Their innocent applications, disproportionately sophisticated experiments with the knowledge proves how they are ready to individualize the understanding.
A good farmer spends most of his day tending to his plants. Every day’s work is clearly seen in the fruit. From planting to pruning, from weeding to watering, constant care is essential for farming. Teachers know that every day’s lessons add to the previous knowledge and experiences. Constant care for social, technical, physical well-being of a child is critical piece of healthy education.
Now, I challenged myself to think of at least one difference between Farming and Teaching so here is one:
Farmers choose what seeds to plant; Teachers don’t pick their students
As teachers, we don’t get to select the students we want to teach. Adding to the dynamic nature of teaching is different levels of students in one classroom under one roof with one teacher. But, farmers enjoy the luxury of picking their seedlings to control the outcome.
I hope that you see a farmer in you when you walk into the classroom next time.