I often have a nagging feeling when trying to decide what to include in each week’s blog post. The majority of interactions and outcomes with my students, in relation to our garden program, are very positive. But the reality is, many of our students are dealing with very difficult psycho-social issues. I always want to protect my students’ right to privacy, and this blog is more about what works for us.
This week, when working with a 9th grade class, I set about getting the students started on various assignments around the garden. I noticed one student, who is usually very cooperative with a good attitude, sitting alone at our outdoor table. As I approached, his teaching assistant (TA) shared that he wasn’t in the best space. I let him know that if he needed time to think, it’s okay. And if he got bored and wanted something to do, just call me. I left him in good hands with the TA; they continued to talk as I returned to the group.
A few minutes later, I returned with scissors and a vase. I told the student that if he felt like it, he could cut some of the remaining flowers from around the garden to fill the vessel. I went about my work and when I next checked in on him, 15 or 20 minutes later, he had created the bouquet pictured above.
Gathering flowers can be pretty meditative. I noticed that his bouquet was a little all-over-the-place, similar to how he described his emotions. But just like the vase is keeping his sprays together, he was able to find the strength to keep himself together.