A winter garden
During the shortest month of February, and for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere – the coldest month, the warm sun of summer can seem far away. In the winter, twilight is sometimes known as the “blue hour” because of the unique quality of light, but it might also describe the midwinter mood. At the intersection of what motivates us to get out of the bed each morning and what keeps us up worrying at night might just be a winter garden. Houseplants, silent companions like a humble succulent or fragile fern, serve as valuable reminders of growth during the winter months. And wild plants, a rescued patch of moss or a tiny hemlock sprout harvested from the woods, can help us stay connected to the world outside when many of us remain in the great indoors. These small green patches in our homes help us remember that growth can at times be imperceptibly slow but constant and surprisingly beautiful.
In the classroom, this is the time of year when we might also notice progress, opportunities or new sprouts of learning. The philosopher and educational visionary Jiddu Krishnamurti observed that “learning is an act from moment to moment” and as such it can be easy for us to miss. As we reflect on our work with our multilingual students this month we might see new sides of their personalities emerge, and after six months of school, perhaps we observe a greater sense of ease or confidence in navigating their classes.
As educators, our learning is also continuous and incremental. It is no coincidence that for the WIDA Global Community of Practice, we’ve chosen garden metaphors to highlight the steady growth of school-based teams. This month, read more about how teams have inquired together in honest dialogue about how to cultivate equitable systems for multilingual learners. And the inspiring teacher-leaders who continue to co-construct this innovative new space for the WIDA International School Consortium are called “Community Gardeners.” Over the next few newsletters, we will spotlight many of these remarkable individuals who serve as catalysts within their own school communities and contribute to the growth of the global WIDA network. On May 12, we will provide an opportunity for school-based teams to share the learning they have harvested during our inaugural Global Community of Practice capstone celebration.
En un jardín crecen más cosas que las que siembra el jardinero,
Jon Nordmeyer, WIDA International Programs director
*Spanish: More grows in the garden than the gardener sows