Saturday, 3 September 2011

Start of a new term, new jobs, a new era...

Well, after 6 weeks of playing with the children,

finding fossils(this is a diplodocus bone apparently!),

and getting cold and wet

its time to reenter the world of work.

And the start of this new term is a new start for me in lots of ways;

although I love horticulture and am passionate about its value as a therapeutic medium, for me, personally, I've found I have to be too directive within sessions when the pupils I work with are growing plants.

Yes plants want to grow, and will do everything in their power to do so, but if you want a plant to grow well there are so many things to consider-time of year, light, heat, compost type, watering, the list goes on. And there are so many pests and diseases that might cause sickness or even death it can be fraught getting a plant to reach its potential(the parallels to raising children are not lost on me here!!)

I've found with my pupils that to avoid regular disappointment required me to offer my opinion too often for me to feel comfortable. My work is always about process not product but I've found it too difficult to repeatedly allow my charges to plant seeds at the wrong time or in the wrong place, knowing that those plants wouldn't succeed.

So this year I am concentrating entirely on nature as a therapeutic medium.

Last year I trialled this approach with 11 pupils, they could choose to do whatever they wished within the school grounds, which included some horticulture. We also:

made art with items we found

built dens

and watched wildlife

I can't wait to see what the coming years sessions bring.

I'm looking forward to being in the here and now, whilst wondering where I will find myself in twelve months time...