HOW SCATTERING SEED IN TEACHING GOT STARTED
Ever since I can remember, I have been a journaler. Poetry, daily happenings, interesting conversations, and people have all ended up immortalized in my journaled scrawlings. So when I began teaching twenty years ago, the practice continued. Humorous incidents, thought-provoking occurrences, memorable observations, and discussions all found their way into small bounded journal pages. Each one represented a lesson learned, a life to remember, an experience had. Some of the pages were drawn from my own personal life, others from the experiences of teachers and students from a variety of other school contexts: some elementary, some secondary, others college...and from a broad spectrum of school types. Never during the years of personal writing had I mused about turning any of it into a book…until one afternoon.
One Spring afternoon, while I visited my grandma, she unsurprisingly asked if I would like to go with her to cut some rhubarb (Grandma sent everyone away with some small gift, and rhubarb was a favorite). This led us out into her back yard, the place where I had spend untold hours as a child. As we walked across the grass to the rhubarb patch, we passed greenhouses that had fallen into disrepair. And, as I turned from them to scan the many acres of former vegetable gardens, the past washed over me.
All at once, the memories of working side-by-side with my grandpa and cousins in the greenhouses, on the tractors, and in the fields all returned. Time stood still for a moment as pictures and words flooded my head.
I forget whether I even returned home with rhubarb that day (I most likely did), but I do remembering sitting down later and opening the journals from the previous years of teaching and learning. The lessons of childhood in the garden all began to mesh into a new context and became one with the adult years in the classroom. It was then that I began to imagine the possibility of a book, one through which I could share lessons learned through students and other teachers. The focus, rather than being education in general, though, was to be on people who recognize a convicted calling to teach. I wanted to begin a dialogue, one that would keep us mindful of the preciousness of our lives and the opportunities we have in our calling in life. I wanted to help draw or redraw the often missed connection between our life calling and our professional calling in education. I wanted to remind others that it is through how we walk, speak, think and act (and why) that we share who we are and what we hold to be true. This can often be far more powerful than any words we might speak.
And so, after some years of journaling, reorganizing, and much cutting; Scattering Seed in Teaching became a reality.
My prayer is that it will bless and encourage you or someone you know who teaches in some capacity.
Please join me in Scattering Seed!