Today is Slice of Life Tuesday! Thanks go to TwoWritingTeachers.org for creating this group and hosting it each week. I have participated in this supportive writing community since February of 2017.
As we continue to clean out to ready ourselves for our move next month, I am finding enjoyment in reminiscing about things I’ve found in storage. I’ve already admitted that I’m a paper hoarder and I’m STILL going through files and boxes of papers.
For example, I’ve had a handcrafted jewelry business since 2008. I have records dating back to 2009. Time to get rid of most of those, I’d say! Wouldn’t you?! I was in awe of my own creative prowess when it comes to jewelry as I looked at the inventory sheets JUST for the gallery that has carried my jewelry since 2014. Wow! I’ve made a lot.
One of the treasures I found was not related to jewelry, however. It was from garden club. I am unsure of the year – when you’ve taught over 500 students in 13 years, the years (not the students) start to run together. But, as I looked at the paper in front of me, I knew exactly which student it belonged to from many years ago.
Each year at the start of garden club I would survey the students to see what they wanted to learn about. I had units I always covered as they gave the students a nice chance to understand plant life cycles and types of plans. But, each year, the students got to choose 3 or 4 of the monthly units. If I had not covered the unit in the past, a new unit would be made! This kept my knowledge fresh and satisfied the needs of my students. It was a win-win. The above photo is an example of the creativity and learning desires of one past student. We covered both vermicomposting and succulents that year!
The garden club attracted many students who fell into the gifted and talented category of learners. I welcomed these students with special zeal and affinity for my own boys had been identified by the district’s program. I found that gifted learners are always looking for MORE, searching for meaning, or overrun by their own curiosities that are fed by new subject matter. My own needs to learn and share what I learned were stimulated by many of these students over the years. There were many topics that we learned together and I loved that it wasn’t me (teacher) vs. them (students). The group thrived on this philosophy.
One of my next book writing projects will be favorite lessons from our elementary, after-school garden club. It was a three-way split between this, garden-based math work, and a work of fiction when I surveyed my readers last month. Thank you to those that participated.
I also found some other treasures, like my old Polaroid one-step camera, complete with a case, and flashes! It was from 1979 – I was a sophomore in high school at that time! I wondered if it worked so I was able to buy film for it on Amazon and tried it out today! Sure, enough, it still works! I haven’t decided about keeping that or putting it up for sale on eBay. It’s not going in the garage sale – I know that much!
And, there are thank you notes from students, as well as some photos too. My writers’ circle students were especially grateful and good at expressing their thanks to me for the time I spent with them. Those notes? Well, those are difficult for me to part with – and I haven’t been able to yet.
Finding treasures that I own and reminiscing about where they came from has been a huge bonus for me in cleaning out our house. Those little things, collected over the years, have made it a home.