May 29, 2017

Hacking Education Part 6-Marigolds

Teacher retention is a huge issue in schools. The reasons for it are varied, but critical for admin and leaders to understand.
I love the idea of Marigold Committees. Growing up my family would plant marigolds in our flower beds, but I didn't like them because they smelled weird. Unbeknownst to me, that smell is important to keeping away certain harmful pests.
When I started my first teaching position, the new teacher program was flailing. It was non-existent by my second year of teaching. I and a partner, Keith were brand new and needed help. I believe everyone who has been a teacher knows the very difficult days that happen in the first 3 years and it was no different for Keith and I. We had a Marigold Committee of one, Gloria. She was a true Godsend for us. Without her there would have been many days, we would have been rudderless and probably would have been another teacher casualty and statistic. She talked to us, counseled us, shared, and supported us through the 5 years I was there and on until she left afterward. Even today she keeps up with us. When I read about the traits of a Marigold, she comes to mind.
Since my first years as a teacher, I have been dedicated to making sure new teachers have at least one person to talk to and have their support. I vowed to make myself available to any new teacher who needs it. In my travels as a TIS, I have found so many teachers and admin who need this support.
Time and energy are needed to work these new teachers, but so do children. These teachers need our expertise, wisdom, and shoulders.
I challenge you to take the time and make the effort needed to support these and all struggling teachers in your sphere. You will never know the impact you will make.

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