The Farmer and the Teacher by Shirley M.R. Minster
A farmer works in all seasons. He is a futurist, always looking to future but not forgetting the present and the past. He knows that by being prepared, he will save time. The soil is continually studies and a timeframe is followed. There is a time for the ground to lie fallow so it will be better prepared for the next season of growth. Once the harvest is complete, the resting begins. Not for the farmer, though. He has many steps to take so that the soil will be its strongest for its next job of providing sustenance to plants. The farmer walks his land for closer inspection, checking the soil for moisture content and removing stones so young plants will not be hindered in their growth. Then fertilizer is added to restore nutrients. Lastly, the soil is tilled, turning it over to mix the fertilizer in and to allow the air to do its part.
Next come the farmer's winter jobs. 'Never put off until tomorrow what can be done today' is duly noted and adhered to as he cleans, repairs, oils, and sharpens his tools in preparation for the next growing season. Each tool must be ready to do its job at the time it is needed. Having to take time to fix a tool at the moment when it is most needed during the planting season means waste and frustration. Winter is also the season to look through seed catalogs and farm association articles, learning about new methods and reviewing reliable methods from experienced farmers.
There are similarities in the jobs of farming and teaching. Just as the farmer is constantly looking at his land and planning for the future, so is the teacher. She studies her students, deciding what subjects are ready to be tackled and in what way. She doe not allow weeds to overtake the student, but pulls out obstacles as quickly and efficiently as possible, understanding that the longer they remain, the more frustrated her students will become. Liken this to the plant that struggles to get around a stone or weeds to grow.
The teacher adds interesting activities to demonstrate new concepts and to help make the student feel stronger in his understanding. Adding these 'nutrients' lends clarity. A student who feels comfortable with how something works is more willing to apply his knowledge to new situations.
Over the summer, the teacher looks through educational catalogs and reads books about different subjects of interest, increasing her knowledge and getting prepared for the next season with her student. If she is weak in her understanding of a course, she spends time brushing up on new techniques and learning activities to help her student. She reviews articles and books written by experienced teachers and professionals who understand children.
Both the teacher and the farmer are ever vigilant and know how to use time wisely. They recognize the wisdom of planning ahead. It is not just a good idea, but imperative so that frustration for the whole family is minimized. When there is a plan and an orderliness, the farmer and the teacher feel more at ease and ready to tackle anything. They work more diligently and with enthusiasm which makes for happy plants and students.
About the author:
Shirley is the founder of Home Education & Family Services and Royal Academy which provide unique services to families who have chosen to educate their own children. Home Education & Family Services, sponsors of the New England Homeschool & Family Learning Conference, works annually with hundreds of families offering a wide variety of services and helping parents custom design learning programs to fit their children’s learning profiles and the family’s lifestyles.
Visit the website:
http://www.homeeducator.com for more information or call: 207-657-2800