Teacher Appreciation – Our Dandelion Story is written for you.

by | May 7, 2024 | Articles

I’ve been learning about dandelions – learning that they are packed with calcium, iron and vitamins C and A. I have become more appreciative too of their importance in springtime to bees and other pollinators. But it wasn’t until I stumbled upon The Dandelion Story by Lin that I made a connection between dandelions and the cosmos. Lin points out that each stage of the dandelion’s life resembles a celestial body – the flower of the dandelion stretching and holding its head up from the earth, round and golden like the sun; its white puff ball stage standing round and ghostly like the moon; and its wind-blown seeds floating in the sky like stars.

It’s not a stretch for me to link these celestial transformations of the dandelion to the work and gifts of early learning educators. Like the sun, moon, and stars, educators experience transformations. As teachers – whether new or seasoned – we are continually learning and growing alongside children. And like the sun, moon, and stars, our relationships with young children are continually shaping and influencing their experiences of life and learning.

Just last week my 15-month-old granddaughter toddled over to one of the first dandelions she had ever met. Its brilliant yellow flower contrasted against the green leaves and grass. She couldn’t help but pluck the flower and finger its fuzzy head in her small palm. There were other dandelions all around, but it was the one in her hand that captured her rapt attention. As educators we similarly focus on our children’s unique ways of being in the world, striving to radiate our light and warmth on their curiosities and wonderings. Like the sun, we know we have tremendous power in the classroom, yet we use our power to light up their learning as they search for knowledge, understanding, and relationship.

As educators, we strive to radiate our light and warmth …

In its delicate moon flower state, the dandelion is exquisitely beautiful – expectant and poised to grant wishes on the wings of its seeds. And I wonder, as we wait for a child’s puff of breath to set these wishes free, what do we hope those seeds of our teaching will carry out into the universe. Will it be only knowledge? Or will it be the seeds of courage, kindness, acceptance, self-awareness, hope, love, resilience?

What do we hope our seeds of teaching will carry?

The stars you are creating in your work with young children are more than any one of us can count, and they will endure longer than our lifetimes.

Each child is the sun and moon and stars to their families.

You are too – to children, families, and to the world of today and tomorrow.