In a book rich with metaphors, award-winning English teacher Eric Stemle describes how to listen—not just with one’s ears, but with a mind that savors every word, with eyes searching for the unspoken, and most importantly, with a heart that is non-judgmental and accepting, willing to love, unconditionally, and learn with every student in the classroom.
While targeted to education majors and new teachers, I Was Not the Blossom: Growing with Your Students in a Nurturing Classroom, offers insight into what it means to be in relationships that create possibilities and paint the world with hope.
What if all of us could do just that? What if we cared less about always being “correct,” or being “the star” and more about creating a robust, colorful garden that respects and balances the unique needs of all? What if we, like Eric, viewed ourselves as the stem, “a conduit, rooted in the soil and delivering water and nutrients to the petals?” Could we create a healthier, cleaner, more just planet?
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply,” says Stephen Covey, author of the best-seller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
That is why I was Not the Blossom, written by a childhood friend who has mentored my own journey into writing, resonated with me. I am a person of passion—particularly when it comes everyone’s right to clean, safe water. And passion, a fuel for engagement, can be a detriment for discussion, for negotiated solutions—unless one channels that exuberance into creating a learning environment where everyone blooms.
I picked up the book of a friend. I read the book of a visionary.
What if more of us chose to be stems?
Remembering the stems and blossoms of the fire-ravaged AZ mountains
to the creativity, passion and perseverance of teachers, particularly during this unprecedented time when producing “the room where it happens” involves rethinking what it means to be in a room. Please share this message with every teacher and aspiring teacher you know.
They deserve our support.
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Tiny Treasures, a collection of wildflower photographs and poetic prose, available by clicking on the Purchase Products button below.
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