Raspberries and Children: A Celebration of Teaching

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iUniverse, May 22, 2009 - Education
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Teaching is one of the most generative, selfless and inscrutable of human encounters, requiring that we leave ourselves behind and that we bring ourselves along, that we deny ourselves and use ourselves, that we surmount our personal histories and rely on them to understand personal histories in the making.

The raising of raspberries and the teaching of children became, for me, companion activities. The one informed my understanding of the other. The virtues of a gardener -- patience, realism, regularity of effort, careful and long-term planning, are also the virtues also of a teacher. A child wants tending as much as a garden. The most beautiful strains of character or flower are often the most fragile and require the most careful cultivation. Neglect and a want of love are the greatest enemies of gardens and children.

No more than flowers do habits of the mind and heart spring full-grown. What is required of a gardener or a teacher is an active and tireless labor that appreciates things as they are and realistically imagines what they might become.

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