Growing Tomatoes in Wintertime: Why I am Still a Teacher

This is a blog reposted also.  Still true.  

This past summer my two accidental tomato plants produced some amazing tomatoes.  I say accidental because while visiting a really cute nursery last Spring with some friends, in a weak moment I bought two tomato plants.  We left for Haiti the next week, and I wished them well.  A precious friend from church came by and watered them, and when we came back, all I can say is wow.  It was like plants on steroids.  At our house plants must have a will to live.  These did, and those were some of the best tomatoes were have ever had.

I was advised to save some seeds as starters for next year.  I did, and there is a small bag of seeds stuck in a drawer.  After I had pulled the dead plants from the planters and thrown them in a pile ready to be tossed, I noticed that there was a section still alive.  I plucked off that section and stuck it in a paper cup, adding water.  Then it grew and grew.  I am not a tomato grower!  I dug out a pot and planted it.  It grew. I repotted it.  It is now November, and I am in unknown territory.  We have a very large shop, but not a greenhouse.  I am now in this and will consult those smarter than me in this area for advice.

I am not a quitter.  I never meant to be a teacher.  I taught mainly high school English for nearly 23 years.  I do not have a major in English.  I was Miss playful in college, not much direction at all.  On a whim, I added an English/Secondary Ed minor and student taught.  The rest is history.  I have definitely sat in English department professional developments and had no idea what they were talking about.  I have just learned when to be silent.

Going to need some advice here for growing this all winter

When I started actually teaching, thinking this will not last, something happened. I fell in love with kids, high achievers, low achievers, and all in the middle.  I started spending hours planning, and still do even though I ought to have it right by now.  Kids have changed, I have too, we must change.  Like that STUPID tomato plant out by my garage that must be moved in because it is going to frost, I can’t seem to let it go.  Just give up!

Maybe it is pride.  Maybe it is my overachiever attitude that is out of control.  Maybe at over 50 I can still remember things that teachers taught me.  Maybe it is because the data, test scores and constant game changing may be confusing, annoying and frustrating, but maybe it is how God is showing me that as a teacher I am not done yet.  I look around and see younger teachers with sharper minds now, but I ain’t done yet, right?

Unfortunately I like a challenge.  I can’t say no.  I can’t give up until I have laid it all out there.  And God hasn’t let me.  The seasons that I was out of teaching, I was drawn back to a classroom.  Bells.  Schools lunches.  Pep rallies.  Homecoming.  The student in my remedial class that scored distinguished on her End of Course overly exceeding her prediction.

You and I didn’t choose teaching:  it choose us.  I’m in.

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Kathy McBroom

Thanks for the encouragement that keeps me writing.  This blog is like my tomato plant.  And now there are 4 little green tomatoes.

Going to need some advice here for growing this all winter

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