A few years ago, Jennifer Gonzalez wrote a blog post for new teachers called, “Find Your Marigold: The One Essential Rule for New Teachers” using the metaphor of marigolds and walnut trees. Marigolds are companion plants that help surrounding plants thrive. Gonzalez tells new teachers to surround themselves with positive models - to find their “marigolds.”
Your new teachers are probably experiencing some sort of induction and mentoring process to help them master the competencies needed to be effective in your school and district. Yet, sometimes new staff members have “unofficial” mentors. Have you guided both your official and unofficial mentors in some of the ways to help new staff members develop their competencies? Are your mentors skilled in the competencies? When we aren’t trained as coaches, we often revert to advice-giving. New teachers are grateful for advice, but we also want to help mentors support new teachers to develop competencies to be the best version of themselves rather than clones of us. Have you had personal conversations with mentors, and do you have incentives to encourage your marigolds to accept and stay in mentoring positions? We invite you to read or re-read Gonzalez’s full blog post and make it available to your new teachers.
Gonzalez, J. (2019, July 26). Find Your Marigold: The One Essential Rule for New Teachers. Retrieved August 21, 2019, from https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/marigolds/