Say It with Flowers—Thank You FTD!

anne In addition to being a teacher of psychology, I am also a licensed floral designer. One day during one of the brainstorming sessions (or just our general office chatter) my office mate brought up the idea of how teaching and helping students attain success is very similar to designing and making a floral arrangement. I always hate to admit that she is right, but she is quite often. What a unique twist on a skill that might have been overlooked!

When trying to think of just how to express an idea in flowers, I have to work with the flowers that I have on hand. Some are eye-catching, bright and sure to be unmistakable in the arrangement. However, you cannot make the arrangement with just those flowers alone. You need support flowers to enhance the value and completeness of the entire arrangement. Not all flowers are made to be shining stars.

Scholderer Otto The Flower Arrangement

Some students will be the flowers that will take center stage. They will stand out and largely set the mood for the class. Others will be nestled under them. Some will be difficult to use. They may have personalities, just like flowers, that are challenging, and you will find yourself wondering how in the heck can I ever make this work! You can and it will and it will turn out to be beautiful.

Bouquet 2

Bouquet 2 (Photo credit: Kaz Andrew)

Flowers need to be placed in the arrangement to make sure their beauty and function are shown to best advantage. Your students all have their own uniqueness and beauty. Sometimes it is difficult to know exactly where and how they will complete the arrangement, but they are all an integral part of your “class bouquet.” They have been given to you, so use them! Each one will bring something different, unusual and necessary to the table. It is your task to make sure that you display them to their full potential.

The most important component of making a flower arrangement is to make sure that the foundation of the arrangement – a.k.a. the floral foam or OASIS® that is used to hold the flowers – is covered and not obvious to the observer. The foundation of your class arrangement is your preparation for the class. You can insure that your finished product is one of beauty and function by making sure that you have made the right foundation, one that will support every one of your flowers for a long time.

Cover of "Happy Gilmore (Widescreen Speci...

Happy Gilmore has a wonderful theory about life that has been such an inspiration to me. When I face these situations, whether they be flowers or students, I just keep repeating –

You can DO IT!!!!!!

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