It’s Friday, my foot hurts, there’s dirt under my fingernails. I’ve been in the garden! 🙂

Actually, I got out into the garden yesterday. Rain was in the forecast today and tomorrow, so left school, came home, got the tiller out and tilling up a garden bed. Today, potatoes were planted (my father is proud as it’s a good Friday plant), but as I went out to my other garden patches, I found thistles. A lot of thistles.


With my surgery last spring, I was laid up for a while and wasn’t about get into my garden as much last year. The thistles that were out there were able to get some seed out, and two of my garden pieces have got TONS of little sprouts coming up. To get them out, I’ve got two choices: dig them out or spray them.


Those garden thistles make me think of our class right now. The thistles represent the negative attitude that just spreads like wildfire from just one plant. I could spray those thistles in class, hose them down with negative attention, poison them with ugliness, but that’s not me, nor is it something my team would do.

So, we dig them out. Slowly, painfully, we work on those attitudes that spread. We dig out the attitude that makes kids feel terrible about themselves. We dig out those attitudes that make kids feel uncomfortable. We dig out those attitudes that make kids feel like they don’t belong. We work the “soil” in our classroom, our classroom environment, we try to seed it with the positives, whether we modeling the behaviors ourselves or catching those doing the right thing, keeping things light and moving forward. It’s what we do. Sometimes, we turn our back and those thistles are EVERYWHERE, but we keep trying.

I’ll till my garden, loosen the little buggers up, and head out with a shovel in the afternoon and start digging. I’ll enlist my wife and daughter to come out and help too. I’m better, and I’m happy to be outside again. But it’s work to keep them at bay, just like with those classroom thistles.

But in the end, it’s so worth the work! 🙂