Last Spring I got an e-mail from our district asking for applicants to be a kind of liaison for our new teachers on campus. The job entails tracking mentors and doing an orientation for them before school starts. There's some craziness right now in my administration, our Principal just got promoted so 2 weeks before teachers return back we are interviewing for a new one. I know! But it turns out I am going to have this position this year.
I'm actually pretty excited because the last 2 years we have had a lot of turnover on our campus. I'm not sure why. Last year we hired 15 new teachers, this year I think we are up to 8. Many of the teachers who left were only there a year. Our admin does have pretty rigorous expectations for us and we have issues that I think many campuses have like a lack of communication or feeling unappreciated--but it surprises me that so many people feel the need to leave. So I've been looking at resources to share with these incoming teachers to create a more positive feel.
That's when I came across this article: http://www.cultofpedagogy.com/marigolds/
What an amazing analogy! I very much try to be a marigold. It really makes people mad sometimes that I won't join them in those negativity sessions, but I won't do it. I'd rather leave the conversation. I'm not saying I never complain-certainly there are things the students or even parents do that may be topic of conversation one day. However, it's usually asking for solutions to the problem-what would you say to this? I have never once said "I hate my job" or "I hate this school" or "I hate these students" as I have heard my pecan tree colleagues utter. I think if everyone was a marigold, maybe we wouldn't lose so many teachers every year-not just at our school but in our profession in general. That is a renewed goal for me this year, I will be a marigold, especially to these brand-new teachers!