5th grade/Science & Social Studies Teacher
Rosepine Elementary, Vernon Parish
2021 State Teacher of the Year Semifinalist
A Letter to My Teacher Colleagues: Harness the Season of Spring
It is a special time of year in Louisiana. Native azalea blossoms are brightening the local neighborhoods. Bees dart in and out of clover patches, and each day, the colors of the sky become more vibrant as the warm sun chases away the blustery blues of winter. Migratory birds are singing their songs as they welcome the arrival of spring.
If you are anything like me, the beauty of this emerging season is more noteworthy than ever. The promise of brighter days ahead is palpable.
The calendar year may officially begin in January, but in my opinion, the first day of spring is the one that heralds the new year. The appearance of spring introduces a breath of fresh air, a renewal of energy, and the opportunity for a new perspective.
Springtime calls to the heart of who we are. We are entering a season designed to nurture.
Teachers, this season may mark the last of the school year, but it is our time to shine. After all, we are, first and foremost, caretakers. We are the gardeners of our classrooms. Your continued effort and expectation will determine the bounty of your bouquet.
I know your knees are sore, and your hands are dirty. We started this year’s garden with a neglected plot of land. The obstacles have been unwelcomed and abundant: wind, rain, ice, and disease have hung over our gardens like an unwanted haze. Despite these undesirable conditions, we have lovingly labored away, day after day, tending for those in our care.
Educators, we were given an arduous task in the fall, and we are well on our way to producing a record-breaking spring showcase that our colleagues will admire for years to come. Keep going!
We have faced so much in one year. Lately, while toiling away in my classroom garden, I have found myself reflecting upon the abrupt loss of last year’s yield. I think back to the sadness of missing the best part of the year, my student’s faces, as they reached full bloom. In these moments, I remind myself of the promise I made to embrace new techniques upon the much-awaited return to school. I became determined to value every moment and allow my garden to become less manicured and more spontaneous. Keep making the most of every minute!
As we enter the last season of the school year, I urge you to continue to monitor the settings, observe, experiment, and prune. Growing a successful garden requires routine and systematic maintenance. But remember the vision we had when we began the school year. Stay mindful of the goal we set: for our students to flourish while under our care.
Teachers, weed out the weariness. Fertilize with love. You know what it takes to cultivate the brightest and most hearty blooms. Follow your intuition. Let your passion for students propel you.
Your talent as a nurturer is encouraging our students to take root in this state we love. Louisiana, and across the country, has been scarred this year, but, teachers, we are the ones bringing beauty back in the smiles and successes of our students.
Thank you for using your gifts to enrich the world. Have a happy and productive spring, educators.