the surprise


It’s official, I’m no longer a plant killer. After multiple attempts over the years to grow and keep plants in my apartment, I was never too successful.  Last year, I bought an orchid plant from the wet market near by and it did well for the first month of so. But quickly, I saw it’s downfall as it lost all of it’s flowers and all that was left were it’s green leaves. However, instead of throwing it out, I decided to keep it. I still continued to water it as it stayed out on my balcony through the unchanging Singapore season.

After a long summer back in the States, I came back, and to my surprise, I saw some new buds growing. I honestly couldn’t really believe that the plant was still alive. A week later, the flowers started to bloom one by one. Now, it looked like a brand new orchid; stronger, full of life, and still growing.

I was talking to a co-worker about a student who was quite difficult in her class two years ago, but now this student was doing much better as a fifth grader. She joked how all that hard work she put into that kid was finally paying off.  Just like that orchid plant that I continued to water and take care of, sometimes you might not see any visible changes immediately with the children you work with.

As an international school teacher, we are in a very transient community and it’s hard to see how your students have grown when many of them move to different countries or schools after the school year. I wonder how my students that I taught in Korea are doing now that I’ve lost touch with many of them.  However, that doesn’t mean you made any less of an impact.

Every time I look at my orchid plant, in full bloom, I am still in awe. I touch it’s flowers and make sure it’s really still alive and healthy. So let’s continue to have a bit more patience. Let’s continue to hope when there seems to be no signs of growth. And let’s continue to breathe life into the lives of our students.

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8 thoughts on “the surprise

  1. Donna Smith says:

    So true. I love to see immediate results, but that is our culture today, too. However, consistency and diligence – the “slow and steady wins the race” method has great merit. Sometimes we don’t get to witness the results, so you have to do it by faith also.

  2. Meg Ouellette says:

    Plants and I have never really had a very good relationship despite growing up with a mother who was a plant nurturer. It is so inspiring when you find a plant that seems to survive. The same is true with a child in our classrooms.

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