Select Page

Slice of Life.

an untrellised cucumber

Isn’t it amazing how being a teacher permeates everything we do and think? At least it does for me. Who but a teacher would think of the classroom when looking at a gardening post? And I’m not talking about a science project either.

Garden post
Question from gardener:
“My cucumbers aren’t doing so well. What’s wrong? . . . They’re taking over my little area.”

Advice 1:
“Grow them on a trellis if you want them straight.”

Advice 2:
“. . . should be trellised. …so they hang straight.”

After about ten more response posts with similar advice, the gardener posts another question:
“What’s TRELLIS ????”

First, I smiled to myself, imagining the frustration of the gardening novice reading the abbreviated advice of the experts. Then my smile faded with a sobering thought.

Before I say anything more, let me say that I do realize there are a number of reasons to trellis cucumbers. Not just to make them grow straight. Not just to conserve on space. However, it was the focus on space and straight cucumbers in the gardening post that turned my thinking to the classroom.

I thought this is what some educators do to students. No, I’m not talking about how experts give advice to the novice, although that may apply. I’m talking about the trellis for space and growing straight cucumbers.

With pressure to perform in the testing rituals, there’s often “no room in the garden” to allow anything to “curve.” Students are trellised. They “hang straight” on academic trellises.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _