Space and Time to Grow
We are all aware that most living things on our planet need food, water, light, the right temperature, and air to survive. Moreover, they require extensive time and ample space to develop entirely.
One of my former students once passionately shared his dream of becoming a farmer during our morning meeting routine. He even emphasized that he wanted to own the land he would farm. Whenever asked what he wanted to become in the future, he consistently responded: that he wanted to own land he could farm. I was glad to learn that, despite his age, he is highly confident of the dream he wants to achieve in the future and shared with the class the reasons why. It was heart-warming to hear from a student who once struggled to control his emotions in class before, now has made a positive transition with the help of the significant people in his life.
Their home economics and livelihood education class covered gardening during the last quarter of the academic year 2021-2022. As the teacher planned the activity with the students, they expressed considerable interest and showed their eagerness to participate. After weeks of in-depth discussion on the fundamentals of gardening and identifying the necessary tools, it was time to put the lessons learned into practice. The class decided to grow eggplants and agreed that if it produced some fruits several months later, we would have to find a recipe that needed eggplant as its main ingredient.
After ten days of care for each of their pot, the seeds began to sprout. It was a success!
What stood out to me the most as we talked about the lessons they had learned from the gardening activity was that one shared a realization that learning can be enjoyably done both inside and outside the four walls of the classroom.
After six months, my students excitedly shared that the plants were already bearing fruits. They said they had taken good care of their plants during the summer.
For this school year 2022-2023, two of my former students are still my current students, and the other has moved to high school. That means he was already in a different class. Nonetheless, we invited him to participate in the agreed cooking activity, and he gladly accepted.
So, on September 28, 2022, after obtaining permission to hold the activity at the shelter, we decided to cook "Crispy Eggplant Fries" and "Eggplant Burger Steak."
One of the activity's best moments was observing how they accomplished the task, how well they worked together, and how committed they were to their education. I could tell they were delighted to have the eggplants cooked and tasted. The class loved it and expressed interest in giving the recipe to their house parents and designated cook so they could prepare it at home and serve it to the other children. This is an incredibly significant experience for them as kids, and it's great to know that they learn the concept of planting so they may grow their food in the future, whether it's for their consumption or business purposes.
As living things, plants require ample space and time to grow, in addition to sunlight, the right temperature, moisture, air, and nutrients. The same is true with our kids, who face challenges and overwhelming emotions. They deserve not only our love, support, and guidance but also ample time and space for themselves to maximize their full potential and develop the abilities that God has given them.