From Patricia Pain, one of the most wonderful teachers I’ve ever known:
I’d like to share this beautifully serendipitous experience between myself, a friend, and a perfect stranger….
One of my closest friends works for a company called Beauty Counter and she posted an intriguing article about how snake plants help to remove impurities from the air. Every year I buy plants for my students and I place one on every table group as one of the ways I create opportunities for my students to be responsible for and care for something other than themselves. It becomes a common ground, a bind that ties them. Something they can take pride in. It’s also something they can solve when one of their peers has a bad day, or a bad morning, or a bad evening the night before and snips off a leaf out of anger and silent words. It’s an opportunity to strategize and/or to forgive.
Shortly after I saw that article, I was scrolling through Facebook Marketplace and I came across someone who was selling snake plants. I messaged him and he eventually asked me what I was buying them for. I explained it all to him. I also explained how this year our class composition is especially in need of this opportunity, so finding these had come at the perfect time.
He responded by saying that he would look to see what else he had at the nursery that he could donate. After much back and forth, this kind man–this perfect stranger– had 12 plants for myself, my teaching partner, and Heather, who posted that intriguing article. Not only did he gift us these additional plants, but he gifted us with these words:
“I am very thankful to educators like yourself who give 100 percent, it is a very tough job, no doubt in my mind. On the tough days just remember, there are many out there who see and appreciate the effort and sacrifices you make on a daily basis. I know it is sometimes a thankless job, so THANK YOU and I hope these plants do well for you and your students. 😁 I sent 12 plants: there are sansevieria, pothos, aglaonema, and one schefflera trinette. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me 😁👍”
Thank you, Adam. Your kindness is not just in these plants, but your sincere words and appreciation. You are part of the village that helps our students see beyond themselves. You selflessly contributed to this “heartwork” we call teaching.
It is in moments like these, where it’s almost as though perfect strangers seem to have been waiting for years to meet…and this was our time.
I can’t wait to show the kids tomorrow ♥️
This is one of many stories from a wide variety of sources and a multitude of forms contributed by people upon request for my 70th birthday. They are posted without editing, with the attribution that was with them. I will be posting these regularly until they run soon: if you have others to add, please send them to me.