(BLOG 21) Students are like Bamboo,…

Check out a quick video regarding this topic:

Teachers and coaches have chosen an occupation that by definition is an exasperating, demanding daily ordeal. Each day, they are expected to work efficiently with hundreds of young people who have undeveloped pre-frontal cortexes. While fostering the human development of these youngsters is a noble quest, it can be extremely frustrating as well.

Consider other occupations. At the end of each day, a pilot knows how many miles have been logged. A carpenter can point to a refinished kitchen wall. A sales rep can account for a daily quota. A teacher has a much different measuring stick: the development (or lack thereof) of a student is very difficult to gauge. Many days, these adults go home at night wondering if they are making any positive difference at all.

The metaphor of Chinese bamboo is a perfect example. When bamboo is first planted, it requires nurturing, watering, sunlight, etc. For an average of four years, the bamboo root system develops underground. Nothing is visible above ground. Then, in the fifth year, bamboo can grow up to eighty feet high! That growth is only possible because of the fully-developed, strong root system.

Sound a little bit like teaching? For years, little growth can be detected on the surface. Sometimes, the real growth in students’ human development or academic achievement occurs in that “fifth” year…after the student is no longer in your classroom, or perhaps off at college. It’s hard to remember that the root system was developed with painstaking care by a concerned, dedicated teacher.

The other part of this equation is persistence. Bamboo needs sunshine and water every day. To help young people grow up, they need daily support and encouragement. Teachers and coaches need to believe in their students,…until they believe in themselves.

Contact us to hear how we can open up this topic further with your faculty/staff, students, coaches, or business: