Once in a blue moon, I have a student that stands out to me, not because they are loud
or have a lot of charisma in my classroom, but due to their hard work, determination,
drive and most of all, courage. My student Selwyn has all these qualities. He is a
fantastic Production Horticulture Manager.
Prior to COVID-19, he turned up to the classroom every day on time and quietly did
his work in his Assessment Kit. His knowledge of Production Horticulture was
already strong, with other students already looking to him for answers in group
situations. His assessment kits were always completed on time with very few, if any
mistakes. Although retired, he worked part-time as a landscaper to earn some extra
When COVID-19 hit, and my classroom was moved online, Selwyn approached me
with concern. He had very limited computer skills and knew he was going to struggle.
I assured him that we would work together and that he would complete his certificate.
There have been a lot of ups and downs. Selwyn has even wanted to quit several times
Because I believed in him, I persisted and continued to encourage him, even inviting
him to my back-office space to help him in person. He hadn’t even seen a word
document program before let alone used one.
This struggle with technology was not Selwyn’s only concern, as he was also
diagnosed with cancer. I was blown away by his quiet determination to live his life in
the face of such adversity.
As the course for Selwyn came to an end, I am proud to say, not only does he have
even more Production Horticulture skills and knowledge, but his computer skills now
are amazing. He summitted his last units with no help from me! He can now
download, copy and paste, search for key words, make new documents, do split
screens and sort information into folders.
As, I write this, I am proud, honoured and humbled to have had him as a student. He
reminds me to have that same courage to do things you have never done before.
Soon after, I received the following response from Kim, Selwyn’s Daughter:
I just read the story you wrote about Dad and wanted to say a huge Thank you for
helping him through the course. I know he would have quit if it wasn’t for you.
You truly went above and beyond and your dedication should be commended.