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Schools are Like Gardens

Apr 22, 2024
Schools are like garden... a rich ecosystem of life. 
 
There is life above and below the surface - that we see and that we don't see.
 
There are trees, vast and expansive that seem to have been there since the beginning of time. They know the history of the place, the stories and those who have been there before.
 
There are saplings, stretching and fragile. They look to the trees and think 'One day I will be that big, that strong,  if I can withstand the wild winds that blow season after season'.
 
There are flowers, bushes, vines and ferns. The array of colours and interesting smells. They tumble over each other, looking for light and nourishment, leaning on one another for support. Some grow around the larger trees, some seem to wither in the shadows of the branches. 
 
There are weeds in this garden. Are they weeds or do they just seem like weeds in your particular garden? They overtake if not managed and maintained. They can suck the life out of other plants and yet they can also have beautiful flowers and protect the soil from washing away.
 
There is a rich undergrowth, deep, dark and full of layers. The soil at the top seems different to that below, yet it all has elements that are familiar and share a common space.
 
There are animals that move throughout the garden. Some might seem threatening, others are visiting. All are vital and have a part to play. Different animals come throughout the season, some show themselves during the day, spinning webs and catching others. Some only reveal themselves at night, stealthily lurking and changing the landscape ever so slightly. Some are underground but their work in the soil is invaluable and others are just there to flitter about, landing on one or two plants before dancing off again. 
 
Schools are like gardens. We have staff who hold the stories and histories. We have young graduates and early career teachers who learn about themselves as they learn about their craft. There are families who have generations of connection , those who are brand new seedlings and those who are seasonal visitors.
 
Schools are like gardens. We can see some of what makes us special and creates our culture. There is also a layer we cannot see, the lives and all that people carry as they arrive each day. There are moments and layers, stories and movements. The soil turns and moves, layers upon layers are created throughout the years. The soil holds life, history mixed with new growth and nurtures the roots that settle within its layers. 
 
Schools are like gardens. What is considered a weed in one place might be a wildflower in another, medicine in another again. A sapling can grow if the environment is right and the scaffolding is there. Trees spread and can provide a shaded sanctuary for some but the same shade can stop another from growing to their full potential.
 
Schools are like gardens. Some are overgrown, messy and in need of care.
Some are manicured and maintained, carefully managed and expertly curated.
Some are dry, brittle and dusty. Some are more like jungles with trees that need pruning and plants that have outgrown their pots.
 
All have something magic and enchanting and all have the ability to regenerate if given the chance, attention and care.
 
Schools are like gardens... how is yours looking?
 
 
Anne-Marie
 

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