I love the advice given by Jennifer Gonzalez at Cult of Pedagogy: Find your Marigold. She writes that new teachers should find “positive, supportive, energetic teachers” and stick close to them, ask them for help, advice, and support. I couldn’t agree more.
I only recently discovered this particular post, and it resonated. Loudly.
As a veteran teacher, though, the advice to new teachers to find their marigold still applies. Everyone needs a marigold.
I immediately knew who my marigold was when I read that post. It’s the teacher-librarian I’ve been friends with since the day we met. She’s the one whose family my family has shared the last two Christmases with, she’s the one who pushes my thinking when she disagrees with me about some educational theory or practice, and she’s the person I can go to when I need to smile.
I told her right away that she’s my marigold.
She’s also the person who first asked me, oh-so-casually, “Have you thought about trying the readers workshop model this year?”
Jess (@jtlevitt) has been my go-to coworker and friend as we have explored readers workshop in my high school English classes this year. She’s encouraged, pushed, nudged, and challenged at the right times, in the right ways, and has helped our students discover their own personal, healthy reading lives this year.
I couldn’t have, and wouldn’t have tried or found success with this model without her.
Everyone needs this person in their lives.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the same luck and friendship and help from the universe that I have had. Some people work in small schools, or feel isolated, so there are other places we can explore to find encouragement and help.
Three categories, in addition to the marigold you will (hopefully) find in your workplace are: expert/consultant, guiding text, and blog. I think it will vary from person to person, but some combination of these categories will probably serve. Continue reading “Cultivate Your Garden”