Blooming in Time


Lori Sabo

May 5, 2023

It was curriculum night many years ago, and I sat with other nervous parents in tiny kindergarten chairs to hear what the year would be like. There would be letters and sounds, rhymes and songs, and lifelong social skills to be refined at the housekeeping corner, rice table, and puppet station.

Before closing for the evening, the amazing Mrs. Stone read Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus. She assured us that how and when our children learned had nothing to do with how brilliant they were—that it was our job to tend, nurture, and be patient. They would all bloom. They would bloom in their own time.

It was a lesson that helped us take a breath and relax, and is one I have carried with me throughout my teaching career. I was reminded of it when visiting RoozenGaarde last week. We walked through vast fields of stunning blocks of color with a few tulip buds promising to open soon. These precious bulbs had been planted in the fall and tended to all year, yet their inner timetable whispered, “Not yet.”

It can be easy to feel stress during this testing season. It may help to remind ourselves that we are not tending to our students so we can produce successful standardized test takers. We surely want them to do well, but that isn’t our purpose.

We are pouring ourselves into these classroom gardens to form readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, and artists. If we nurture them well, lifelong learners will bloom. They will. So, with patient anticipation, we watch, we teach, we wait. The bloom is coming.


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