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At the beginning of a new school year we often have newly qualified teachers and teaching assistants join our team. Not normally given to espousing feel good quotes and getting in touch with feelings I do, however like to try and pass on some the love for my profession that has not dimmed in over 20 years and impart some small words of advice or wisdom.

This year I came across an article from Jennifer Gonzalez which she published in 2013 entitled ‘Find your Marigold’. In it are some very wise words, she talks about the Marigold effect.

‘’ Many experienced gardeners follow a concept called companion planting: placing certain vegetables and plants near each other to improve growth for one or both plants. For example, rose growers plant garlic near their roses because it repels bugs and prevents fungal diseases. Among companion plants, the marigold is one of the best: It protects a wide variety of plants from pests and harmful weeds. If you plant a marigold beside most any garden vegetable, that vegetable will grow big and strong and healthy, protected and encouraged by its marigold.’’

She encourages new staff to find Marigolds in the work place and avoid Walnut Trees who are toxic and suck the life and nutrients from plants around them.

Her article struck a chord for me as I suspect that it will for everyone. Her analogy could be applied to every situation in life, family, friends, workplaces of all kinds; where ever humans, adult and child, co-exist. Her advice is sound. I asked myself if I could be a Marigold? Am I viewed as a positive person, do I nurture, protect and inspire those I teach and lead? I think I do, for the most part, but I could do a little better on occasion. When I am tired or irritable or have been upset or offended I can tend towards the walnut….we all can. However I will be striving even more this year to channel my inner Marigold and seek the Marigolds around me.  I urge everyone to read  Jennifer Gonzalez’s  article in full http://www.cultofpedagogy.com/marigolds/    and help create a community of Marigolds.