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The Marigold Effect

The Marigold Effect is a well-known concept within the teaching world; many different places can explain what these bright, oddly-scented flowers have to do with teaching, but the most recent one I've read came from the Cult of Pedagogy blog (see citation below). A brief explanation is this: marigolds are companion plants which, when planted near another plant, help that plant to grow and flourish.  

Another culture values the marigold as well. Ancient Aztec legend holds the marigold as a sign that souls successfully made the difficult journey to the afterlife. Marigolds offer reassurance and guidance between worlds.

In our professional lives it is essential that we surround ourselves with the resources we need to grow, and the human component of that is most vital of all. A great coworker will tell you the rules between the lines, procedure not on paper. They'll tell you how to get something you need; they'll listen to you on your tough days, and offer encouragement in the right way, at the right time. They have the experience communicating with superiors, and accompany you on your professional journey. 

They are your marigolds. Not only do we have them, but we are marigolds, too.

My favorite part about all of this is that the only requirement to becoming a marigold - wherever you are - is simply to choose to be one. It won't happen right away, and that's OK; after all, each of our stories has a different beginning. But surround yourself with marigolds on your journey, knowing that they may come in many different forms! 

--I've found marigolds in the night janitors, who befriended a first-year teacher and kept her teaching. 
--I've found marigolds in the kitchen staff and school nurse as they strive to keep us nourished and healthy. 
--I've found seedling marigolds in the students who don't realize how well-timed their genuine compliment or spark of humor is.
--I've found marigolds in fellow teachers who've banded together over a shared love for puns. 
--I've thrived with the help of marigolds who offer a listening ear, to care for kiddos when daycare closes early, or manpower for a home project. 
--I've found marigolds in admin who listen to my crazy ideas...and jump on board to help realize them.

Your marigolds can be anyone, anywhere; in turn, you could be someone's marigold, too.


Gonzalez, Jennifer. “Find Your Marigold: The One Essential Rule for New Teachers.” Cult of Pedagogy, Cult of Pedagogy, 12 Oct. 2017, www.cultofpedagogy.com/marigolds/.

-Angie Trowbridge, High School Spanish Teacher