Yesterday was the day before Thanksgiving. In my plant production class I always set up a short lab for Wednesday afternoon so that students can leave early and get to wherever they need to go (hopefully to see family). As usual, I got to lab a little early so that I could get the students going right away. Waiting for me there was one of my students.
Earlier in the year I had told the class about commercial mycorrhizae and how the beneficial spores that you think you’re buying are usually dead when you purchase the package. Well, this student wanted to check it out, so, unbeknownst to me, he purchased some mycorrhizae and placed them into a petri dish with a special nutrient mix to grow these fungi (he works in a lab which has this kind of material available). He came to lab early to tell me about his results.
As a teacher it’s easy to get discouraged in a classroom. Sometimes it’s tough to tell whether the students are listening and I wonder if I’m getting through. But then a student goes and does something like this and it’s all worth it.
The results of his little test don’t really matter (though they did confirm what I’d told the class), what matters is that the student heard what I’d said and went to the trouble to test it for himself.
So this Thanksgiving I’m thankful that I’m fortunate enough to witness and take some small role in the intellectual curiosity of students.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
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