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the weed analogy

February 15, 2015 , , , , , ,

dandelion-weeds-by-aaron13251Every now and then, you meet a truly special kid.

Special, in the absolute sense of the word.

I have to say here that I have lived a charmed life in terms of being a teacher and had the privilege of teaching some truly extraordinary young people who could run circles around me in terms of compassion, integrity, and all-round awesomeness.

But it wouldn’t be fair to exempt me from all things “special”, and when you meet these Special Ones in your classes, you just know.

These students, the Special Ones, are the kiddies who manage to push all your buttons with the relentless tenacity of a 2-year-old and that unique brand of teenage nonchalance which makes you want to set gale-force winds on their perfectly coiffed hair or place them in a Wi-Fi-less black hole for a week. Which, as we all know, would be the ultimate in child cruelty.

It’s times like this that I struggle to tap into my compassionate, non-murderous side. Sometimes, getting on the first tiny step of duty of care takes a Herculean effort, and usually sounds something like this in my head: Yes, you matter in the broadest sense because you’re a member of the human race. Somewhere between insect larvae + cockroaches, but you matter.

To short-circuit any possible blood-fests in my classroom, I have come up with an analogy between weeds and these delightful…people…to help lighten the mood, to save lives and most importantly, to save paperwork.


Weed vs. Kid

1. Can grow happily + inconspicuously for ages amongst the “normal” plants.

2. They look healthy enough from a distance, but when you get up close, man it can get ugly.

3. As above, they appear harmless from a distance, but are prickly + full of stings when you get up close. It’s usually when you need to collect an assignment from them.

4. They have one of the following:

  • Shallow root-systems which are easily dislodged by challenges or adversity.
  • Root systems which suck dry the goodness of all the other living plants in your garden, and take ages to dig up.

5. Sends out tiny little signs of hope just often enough for you to be sucked in, but not so often as to cure your (medicinal) block-a-night chocolate habit.


6. Spreads quickly and suffocates all the healthy plants unless eliminated or contained.

7. Gobbles up all the time and nutrients meant for all the other healthy plants.

8. When being ignored, requires a frustratingly little amount of encouragement to cause havoc in your otherwise blooming garden. They don’t even just die quietly!

9. At the first whiff of hard work, they scatter.


Would it be unacceptable if I walked around dressed like this with a massive grin plastered all over my face?


Probably. Might just start with putting this sign up in an inconspicuous corner of my classroom…a tiny little emergency smile + excellent conversation starter…!


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