Why Teaching Is Like Farming

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.


Reap, Sow

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.

A Lack of Control

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.

The Results Are Not Immediate

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.

The 1:1 Ratio Doesn’t Exist

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.

Constant Attention

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.



  1. Joe Beckmann

    May 25, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Your analog to farming is flawed, not because of it’s relevance but because of your parallels. You don’t grow students, you grow ideas. You don’t sew students, you sew those ideas in remarkably fertile fields. Surely, some of that farm requires fertilizers, and to that extent your parallel is true. Yet even that fertilizer takes an initial assessment to determine its’ value in a specific environment. And, in any case, student-hood is really the product of the general skills of cultivation, rather than the result of specific seeds or even of specifically rich and fertile fertilizer.

    To twist that analog back, incidentally, that fertilizer may be very smelly and still produce remarkably tasty ideas.

    • Ram Gangisetty

      May 27, 2014 at 9:37 pm

      Joe, thanks for taking time to comment.

  2. Tarresa Muffet

    May 27, 2014 at 5:58 am

    Teaching is referred to a social process as it is influenced by the social and political backgrounds of the country. The job of a teacher is comprised of a large number of challenges. He has to take learning and teaching hand in hand, in addition to that, he tends to develop a course map that leads the student to a much better structure of his personality. Teaching is a social profession, a teacher is directly concerned with societal development through the influence he exerts upon the society. it is an obvious and acknowledged fact that teaching in a primary class is a complex yet very contemplative task. It encompasses of grabbing the development component of the child and directly mobile him through the course of societal, as well as, personal development.

    • Ram Gangisetty

      May 27, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      Taressa, thank you for your comment. In my private life I encourage fellow educators saying ‘we create next layer of society’. This upbeat statement infuses encouragement in challenge ripe teachers’ day.