Then I chatted with my neighbor who is a landscape architect. He told me it was a Pokeweed. I asked if I should cut it down and he said, "No, it is a weed, but it is ornamental. If it looks good, why get rid of it."
The weed grew and grew. It started to get this little flower on it which will turn into a purple berry at some point. Then I started to think about all the weeds in our lives. Sometimes we pull that weed before we ever give it a chance to grown. For example a district may force a new classroom program on everyone. Sometimes we are so busy revolting, pulling the weed that we don't let it grow. I wonder if I had let some of those weeds grow with a bit of nurturing, would I have been pleasantly surprise? Would there have been a flower?
A weed might be a difficult participant in a professional learning session. They don't want to be there, you didn't choose for them to be there, but there they are, the weed. What if we took the time to develop a relationship with the weed. What if we nurtured the weed and let it grow? Would the end result be positive?
One of the challenges with letting weeds grow is sometimes weeds take over or head in a direction where we did not want them to go. What might be some strategies to use when this happens? Paraphrasing for understanding or asking a question to further the thinking of the weed may get them back on track. We also need to value the space, time, and ideas of the weed. Just because the weed may think differently doesn't mean it is wrong or bad. It is just different.
Making and maintaining personal relationships with those we are working with is one of the most important factors to learning. The trust, respect, and community we build online, in the classroom, and in our districts make a difference.
I encourage you to embrace and find the beauty in the weeds. Look for at least one positive in everyone, everything, everywhere, after all weeds can be ornamental if we nurture them and let them grow.