“Class, please stay on the nature path when we get to the park,” instructed the second grade teacher, as the fifteen children and two aides, (and myself), followed her to the local nature park. Assignment: with their pencils and science notebooks in hand, they were to find signs of spring, and NOT PICK ANYTHING!
Sounds lovely. Since Vermont was still quite cool and breezy, and still emerging from winter, finding Spring would take brilliant observation, I mused to myself.
“Remember,” the teacher called out to the class, as the park came near, “think about what things in nature are pollinators.”
‘How about bees?” called out a studious child.
“You are right”, said the teacher, “but I am looking at 15 little pollinators right in front of me.”
That got all their attention. “You all carry pollen when you brush against blooming bushes, or step on grass that has pollen on it.”
When the “pollinators” reached the park they spread out, poking grass with sticks, climbing on rocks, and trying to locate something green. After much searching, I felt triumphant as I located a crocus. “Wow, guys, look!” I was swamped with kids armed with notebooks. A Prize.
So, what did the class learn? That it is still a bit too early for much of Spring to show yet. But getting out of the class is always fun!
What did this author learn? I learned that I still have a bit of child-like jubilee in being the first one to find a flower. A Spring-finder. Spring will truly come, and I could find myself to be a pollinator, too.