At the start of the school year, I read this post from The Cult of Pedagogy called Find Your Marigold: The One Essential Rule for New Teachers. The concept is simple, surround yourself with positive people , or marigolds, that will help you grow. It solidified many of my own beliefs not only about my life professionally but also personally.
I’ve been lucky to have found marigolds in every new role I have taken on as a teacher. As a new teacher, I quickly recognized the teachers I wanted to emulate, soaking up as much as I could from them either through observation or conversation. As I grew, I continued to find those who would help lift me up and pushed to expand my thinking.
After spending ten years in one school, last year I was pushed outside of my comfort zone as I took a coaching position at another school in the district. My safety net of marigolds was suddenly gone and I felt like a lonely weed in a new garden. I quickly spotted those that would become my new supports and the weed feeling was only temporary, thankfully.
Recently, another Twitter read sparked my interest, Joy: More Than a Three Letter Word, and I quickly shared it with a few colleagues that I had been exploring and discussing this idea of joy with. One happened to be my new best marigold, Dawn. She is a literacy interventionist at my school, so we work closely together. We have been on the lookout for joyful learning all year, sometimes sitting in on the same lesson and passing a post-it with just the word “joy” as we notice something or passing in the hallway and sharing a quick story. Inspired by the joy article, we decided via text message to start using the hashtag, #seshasjoy and share our observations on Twitter. After a week of Twitter posting, we are extending the challenge of being on the lookout for joy to our entire school community because life is better with marigolds and even better with those who share your quest for finding joy.