What are Flowers?

Whether you’ve stepped foot into a Rwandan classroom or just have followed along with Wellspring over the years, you are likely to have encountered what we call Flowers— the cheer and hand-gesture that goes something like “flowers, flowers, ahhhh”. It’s become an integral part of our training and of vibrant classrooms across Rwanda, and dates back to the beginning of our School Development Program as we began rolling out training to a handful of leaders, teachers, and parents in the Gasabo District.

“Flowers” History

The Flowers technique started in 2008 during Wellspring’s first training module for teachers on Worldview and Values, and became a valuable tool for positive behaviour management. It developed as an engaging way for teachers to encourage students’ positive behaviour and performance, rather than giving tangible rewards, which are unsustainable, costly, and can create unhealthy competition among students. Teachers found Flowers helpful to not only manage the classroom and encourage participation and risk-taking, but to build leaders of character. Teachers who use flowers in their classroom have found that children are more eager and excited to learn, and have built a classroom environment of joy, trust, encouragement, and safety rather than fear or judgement. Flowers build into the hearts and confidence of students!

Flower Power

Teachers aren’t the only ones to give Flowers to their students! Students shower their classmates with flowers when they behave well or answer a question in front of the class. School leaders give Flowers to their teachers when they do well during lesson observation, staff meetings, and parents visits. Parents have brought flowers home to encourage their children in their learning and good behaviour. Wellspring trainers celebrate participants’ engagement with Flowers, and participants thank Wellspring trainers with them. The Wellspring team uses Flowers to encourage and motivate each other to continue serving Rwandan children and their communities.

And we give Flowers to you, our Wellspring Family, for making this transformation possible in communities, classrooms, hearts, and minds across Rwanda! Whether you’ve been with us since the beginning or are just joining us on this education journey, we wish to acknowledge, encourage, and thank you for being a part of our story. Flowers, flowers, ahhhhhh!

Other Foundational Pieces

We are sharing these Foundational Pieces to help you learn more about who we are and what we do.