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Down and Dirty: The Power of Digging Into Thoughts

by Beth Heimann
January/February 2023
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/down-and-dirty-the-power-of-digging-into-thoughts/5026974/

“As the garden grows, so does the gardener.” –Anonymous 

“Wow, you must have a green thumb!”

Have you ever said this to someone? People are thought to have a green thumb when they cultivate gardens into breathtaking masterpieces. Though a garden’s beauty comes from its flowers, the gardener has a significant role in helping it flourish. What does it take to have a green thumb? If you were to research this question, common descriptions found are: a thorough understanding of the composition of individual plants, knowledge of the type of soil and climate plants thrive in, how much sun and water is required for optimum growth, a keen and observant eye to notice what plants need, and awareness of how each plant influences those around it.

What if we saw education like gardening? Imagine children as budding plants and teachers as gardeners. What does it look like to apply the same descriptions for master gardeners to teachers? Teachers with a green thumb have a rich understanding of children—how they learn and think, their developmental imperatives and milestones. They manifest this knowledge in the environment, curriculum, and instruction that are worthy of children by meeting their developmental needs.

Cultivating a green thumb in teaching requires ...

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