The Patience of Job…At Least a Little

Planting the Garden
Kyle and Addy putting onions in the ground.

The last several weeks, my family has been working on putting in our vegetable garden.  It is a bigger task than some years because we are in a new house and there was no garden at all, plus having a toddler who wants to help dig and plant and a one-year-old who likes to eat grass (see previous post) and dirt makes getting seeds in the ground a little extra challenging.  Come August though, when the tomatoes on my table are fresh, the basil is fragrant, and the zinnias are in full-bloom, all the time and effort will be well worth it.


Gardens and gardening can teach us a lot.  One of the biggest lessons that a garden teaches the gardener is patience.  Gardener or not, patience is something that bears a bit of consideration for us all.


There is no rushing a garden.  You plant the seeds or transplant the tiny seedlings, and then you wait.  Yes, you have to water and weed, but there is little else to do but take care of your plants and be patient.  Regardless of how much you want that broccoli or cucumber or watermelon, it is still sixty-five or eighty or one hundred and twenty days from seed to harvest–even the speedy little radish takes almost a month from planting to crunch!


Patience is hard though and not something that is encouraged in our society.  In the era of smart phones, on-demand television, and the twenty-four-hour news cycle, things we can’t have now are hard to come by.  Think about how frustrated we become when the internet is running a little slow.  How many times have you witnessed road rage at someone who dared to drive the speed limit on the freeway?  Consider a simple trip to the grocery store.  You can buy just about any type of produce year-round.  There are always fresh strawberries and zucchini in the produce section.  There is no waiting for “in season” fruit and veggies.


That being said, anyone who has ever tasted a garden-fresh tomato knows that the store-bought ones are just no substitute.  And patience isn’t important jut in relation to the garden and our food.  Being patient makes us more able to reflect on our life.  It allows us to be better friends, parents, teachers, and co-workers.  It encourages us to put the time and effort into projects that need time and finesse.  It gives us the ability to understand complicated and difficult situations.  Without patience, these and so many more things fall by the wayside.


Patience is something we need to cultivate in ourselves, our students and children, and our society.  Gardening is one great way to do this at home, but what about in the classroom.  Below are three sets of questions you might consider as a teacher or parent.


  1. Do you encourage listening?  Class discussion is a major component of many classes and an important life skill, but listening is often an overlooked component of class discussion and everyday communication.  Cultivating patience allows students to listen to their classmates, give the speaker time to express himself or herself adequately, figure out what the speaker is saying, and formulate and give a quality response.  How do you make sure that your students listen to their classmates during class discussion?  Do you encourage students to respond to each other?  Is this something you intentionally teach?
  2. Technology is a wonderful resource.  It makes so many things that were out of reach even a decade ago part of our daily lives.  What are ways that technology hurts our ability to be patient?  How do you combat this in your classroom and home?  Is this something that is valuable to you?  Is it something you need to analyze in yourself?
  3. Modeling the behavior we want our students and children to exhibit is one of the most effective teaching tools there is.  How do you model patience?  In what ways do you positively model patience?  When do you need to be a little more conscious of modeling patience?  Are you a patient person?  How can you improve?


My garden is growing steadily.  The seeds are unfurling new leaves every day.  Soon there will be fresh produce on the table and beautiful flowers nodding sleepy heads on their stems.   Hopefully my children and students are growing into wonderful, patient human beings as I work to nurture them as well.


Teach On!
This Week’s Featured Product

“The Count and the Wedding Guest” by O. Henry Lesson and Activity Pack

Screen Shot 2016-11-03 at 1.08.21 PM

This pack comes with everything you need to teach “The Count and the Wedding Guest.”  A great resource for  fun and not commonly taught O. Henry story!   For more details or to purchase this product, click here!
This Week’s Journal Questions
For the teacher:  Consider one sets of the questions above.  How might considering the questions posed make you a better teacher/parent/human being?
For the student:  What does patience mean to you?  Who is the most patient person you know?  What makes them so patient?  Are you a patient person?  How can you be more patient?
A Recipe from My Kitchen:
Orange Pineapple Party Punch
Punch Picture
This fruity punch is a great addition to any party spread!
  • 2 liters ginger ale
  • 1 large can pineapple juice
  • 1 container orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 jar maraschino cherries
  • lemons and limes


  1. Chill all ingredients in the refrigerator.
  2. Pour ginger ale, pineapple juice, orange juice concentrate, and juice from the maraschino cherries into your punch bowl.  Mix.
  3. Garnish with floating lemon and lime rounds and cherries OR freeze rounds and cherries into an ice ring to float in your punch.
  4. Serve cold.



Punch photo credit:  Laura Roan–Thanks Laura!

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