What is the one thing that will make a huge difference to you and your practice over the coming school year?
Well, more than likely it is the people that you surround yourself with. Take a time to have a think…
- Who are the people who are going to push your thinking?
- Who are the people who are going to ask questions of your practice?
- Who are the people who are going to support you through the tough times?
Your mind will probably fall on a couple of colleagues who are always ready to transform your mood, transform your thinking, push you to the next level.
That is what we call the Marigold Effect, according to Jennifer Gonzalez, from Cult of Pedagogy.
Jennifer’s benefit of finding a Marigold is that…
By finding the positive, supportive, energetic teachers in your school and sticking close to them, you can improve your job satisfaction more than with any other strategy. And your chances of excelling in this field will skyrocket.
How true is this? I think it is true of any profession in the world: you want to be surrounded by people who can inspire you; can ask questions of you and will take you and your thinking to the next level. I know and believe this is true.
There is an old proverb that reads “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.” Quite often we become like the people we’re around. Based on that, we must be cautious about whom we surround ourselves with because of the short- and long-term implications.
And that is what we need to do in the coming year. We need to surround ourselves with good people for the benefit our students.
Now, if I think about myself I know that I have people around me in my school. I am lucky to work with many inspirational colleagues who push my thinking and practice forward. For instance…
- The #COETAIL cohort ( both at ISL and online) have continued to meet and have been a constant source of inspiration and advice with regards to much Teaching and Learning and Technology.
- The other ATL’s (Activators of Thinking and Learning) in our school have really pushed my thinking forwards with Making Thinking Visible and Creating a Culture of Thinking,
- And there are many other like minded colleagues who over the past 5 years I have been lucky to work, to learn, and to grow with.
I think it is so important that we as teachers surround ourselves with the good people who can make a difference to the teaching and learning that is happening in our learning spaces.
However I think that one of the big game changers for me, and other educators around the world is technology. It has allowed us to connect, to collaborate, to communicate, to share, to learn with and from, to question, to expand, to change our thinking.
This is something that I am likening to the Marigold Effect but Amplified.
You see technology has transformed what we do, how we do it, and what we need to give to our students. But it has also effected how we share, how we reflect and how we grow as teachers. I think it has transformed the marigold effect. The classroom with out walls has (for teachers) helped to become the marigold effect without walls. It has connected like minded people to share ideas, to question and to push thinking.
How? Let’s take this week for instance ( and school has not even started for me yet!). You see I have a community online too, as well as in my school. So here is what I have been inspired by this week as my thinking continues for the benefits of student learning. Some of it has been online from my Personal Learning Network ( Twitter, Blogs etc) and some of it has been face to face. So here goes, this is what has made me me grow this week….
- Reading about a Kindergarten teaching Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)
- Thinking about an awesome reflection from a Kindergarten Teacher about Attitudes, Dispositions, habits of Mind and Maths.
- Taken part in a global Flipgrid, about How I make my thinking visible after a provocation from Langwitches about Visible Thinking.
- Taken part in a great workshop from Ewan Mcintosh, from No Tosh.
- Watched an inspiring Forest Man documentary, after a recommendation from some one from my PLN ( Personal Learning Network)
- Found a wonderful idea for my class to take ownership on the ability to share their voice and thinking in the class for the upcoming year.
- Shared a the new 2017-2018 Travelling Tales to the world
So, yeah it’s important to surround yourself with good people.
Over the past 12 years of teaching I have grown with the help of so many good people. Without those people my growth ( and hopefully theirs) would not have been possible.
It is with this community — with their expertise, generosity, and talents — that I continue to grow.