“Hi, Paul,” I said cheerfully, as I walked into his office. I had arrived at the school to walkthrough some of the classrooms I’d been supporting as a coach.
“Good morning, Adrienne! Look, someone gave me a plant!” He nodded to the plant in the corner of his office. Well, not exactly the corner. The giant creature occupied fully half of the counter against the back wall of the office. Spiny leaves gnarled against and around each other as they crowded out of the black container and up toward the sky. It was messy, chaotic, and overwhelming natural in a space predominated by baseball memorabilia and leadership tomes.
“Wow. That’s…quite a plant!”
“I’ve been having some skin issues. It’s an aloe plant. Actually, Mr. K gave it to me.”
Of course he did. There had never been a more Mr. K plant than this plant. Mr. K’s hair blooms white and wild from his enormous head. He fills notebook after notebook with nearly illegible purple handwriting every time we meet. He looks like he walked out of central casting for “aging Hippie, San Francisco.” He is tall, and gentle, and has smiling eyes. He is exactly the kind of man who would hear that someone had a skin problem and immediately bring a 50-pound potted Aloe to school for them.
I guess this is what is meant by knowing your students!