The metaphor ‘green fingers’ is used as a synonym for someone who has a special knack and gift for gardening. This is sometimes called having a ‘green thumb’.
Jensen et al (1995) describe the caring moment and the phenomenon of the green thumb for nursing in Sweden where some nurses have a knack for nursing. Their study identified and described the characteristics of ‘green-thumb’ nurses and found they were competent, compassionate, and courageous.
Jensen (1999) notes
The excellent nurse demonstrates knowledge and practical skills, from nursing and medicine, self-knowledge, the capacity of using herself as a “tool” in interactions with patients, and knowledge of human beings. The excellent nurse uses the nursing process, acts adequately in acute situations, is technically skilled, and is knowledgeable about drugs and diseases. The excellent nurse knows who she is and what she stands for, and has confidence in herself.
The green fingers for teaching is something we can also identify and describe.
Teachers with green fingers are colleagues with a gift for teaching. They know their subjects inside out, they enjoy being with their pupils, they care about every child, they have an effortless rapport and a talent for supporting and nurturing. They are low-key but passionate, good humoured and widely respected.
They ooze credibility and expertise and infuse children with confidence and enthusiasm. These are teachers at the top of their game who are omnidirectional and able to empower others by their presence. They can often inspire and give others a knack for learning.
Like their green thumbed nursing colleagues, teachers with green fingers are full of empathy and can skillfully communicate with pupils in a consistent manner. They are ‘there’ for everyone and make individual pupils feel important, respected and valued.
Excellent teachers have positive mindsets and let positive thinking go viral. They demonstrate courage in challenging situations with a ‘Never Give Up’ attitude and commit to problem-solving and getting things done.
Do you have a flair for teaching? Do you have green fingers?