Griffitts, Natalie, "Cultivating Roses," December 2016

Cultivating Roses: A Metaphor on the Considerations of Lesson Planning

The above image is my floral watercolor painting for the EDUC351 final.

There’s a belief that each type of rose has a special meaning, colors change the meaning, and then, I think: What about the hybrids? Those multicolored beauties that change with the creativity of the gardeners, what do they mean to the sentimentalists? Thus began the metaphor of cultivating roses mirroring teacher considerations of lesson planning. Roses are our students and teachers are the gardeners, facilitators of their growth.Both gardeners and teachers must start planning at the finish line. Once both have clear objectives they are expected to respect a plethora of outside forces to achieve their goals. For a gardener, there is weather, workable soil, and critters that can help or harm the flowers. For a teacher, there are the KUDs and SOLs, the needs of ELL and IEP students, and the expectations of administrators, parents, and students. Organized planning, while vital, is made more meaningful when both know the big picture. For a gardener, the big picture may be a map of the landscape or simply successfully growing the roses. For a teacher, the big picture will vary for each unit or lesson. However, being able to state that idea to the students in a language they understand will make the growing processes a team effort.

Both gardeners and teachers must start planning at the finish line. Once both have clear objectives they are expected to respect a plethora of outside forces to achieve their goals. For a gardener, there is weather, workable soil, and critters that can help or harm the flowers. For a teacher, there are the KUDs and SOLs, the needs of ELL and IEP students, and the expectations of administrators, parents, and students. Organized planning, while vital, is made more meaningful when both know the big picture. For a gardener, the big picture may be a map of the landscape or simply successfully growing the roses. For a teacher, the big picture will vary for each unit or lesson. However, being able to state that idea to the students in a language they understand will make the growing processes a team effort.Both gardeners and teachers need to know what materials are available to them. Both most consider what is available to them and the limitations on their activities. For a gardener it could be the season they are hoping to plant their seeds, the space to garden, and even having the right tools. For a teacher the physical material (markers, paper, glue sticks, etc.) can vary based on

Both gardeners and teachers need to know what materials are available to them. Both most consider what is available to them and the limitations on their activities. For a gardener it could be the season they are hoping to plant their seeds, the space to garden, and even having the right tools. For a teacher the physical material (markers, paper, glue sticks, etc.) can vary based on the school budget and if the copy machine is working that day. Additionally, a teacher must remember the size of their class and if there will be enough materials for everyone- or the right materials for students that need accommodations. When planning, a teacher will base their materials to use with their class in mind and be able to justify the activity with a rationale, just as a gardener acknowledges the needs of their environment and the roses.Both gardeners and teachers will adhere to procedures and review the process to assure that there will be growth in the future. Gardeners plant seeds, water, pull weeds, and trim rosebushes as necessary. Teachers must decide how the students will gain the knowledge, prepare for the unexpected, and make the lessons accessible and interesting. They both decide how to obtain to their goal and after the fact

Both gardeners and teachers will adhere to procedures and review the process to assure that there will be growth in the future. Gardeners plant seeds, water, pull weeds, and trim rosebushes as necessary. Teachers must decide how the students will gain the knowledge, prepare for the unexpected, and make the lessons accessible and interesting. They both decide how to obtain to their goal and reflect on the process and decide if how they got to their goal was the best method. The decisions are based on evidence, the quality of the gardener’s flowers and the quality of responses in formative and summative assessments for teachers.

In conclusion, objectives with a rationale, deciding the materials and procedures based on the class and their needs, and reflecting on the procedures and results are the key considerations of lesson planning. This is reflected in the concept of teachers as gardeners and students as their flowers, each will be unique in how they approach learning, the time they take, and the materials they need. Eventually, however, they will grow and it can be assessed. Goals, reflection, and differentiation will be the greatest factors in success for both planning and gardening. I leave you with a relevant parting gift. This is a sonnet from my favorite poet, John Keats. Keep the metaphor in mind and enjoy!

 

As late I rambled in the happy fields,
What time the skylark shakes the tremulous dew
From his lush clover covert; —when anew
Adventurous knights take up their dinted shields;
I saw the sweetest flower wild nature yields,
A fresh-blown musk-rose; ’twas the first that threw
Its sweets upon the summer: graceful it grew
As is the wand that Queen Titania wields.
And, as I feasted on its fragrancy,
I thought the garden-rose it far excelled;
But when, O Wells! thy roses came to me,
My sense with their deliciousness was spelled:
Soft voices had they, that with tender plea
Whispered of peace, and truth, and friendliness unquelled.

To a Friend Who Sent Me Some Roses – John Keats [1]

 

1. http://www.bartleby.com/126/18.html

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