Welcoming New Teachers, Nourishing Experienced Teachers

Shira is leaving.  We celebrated her short, enthusiastic teaching career at our school: brunch with friends.


Shira, in her farewell words to us,  quoted from an insightful article on how to welcome new teachers.   She thanked her ‘marigolds’ – the colleagues who helped her develop and flourish (sorry for the pun)as a Science teacher and Senior Project adviser.

We have read countless times about surrounding ourselves with positive (marigolds) rather than negative (walnut trees) people.  However, the metaphors in Gonzalez’ article make the advice so much more memorable.

I plan to give a marigold together with a copy of Find Your Own Marigold: Th One Essential Rule for new Teachers to the new,  as well as more experienced members of our ELL team.

In August, I will greet each of my students with a glorious marigold.

I wish Shira luck on her journey as an international educator.

By the way, this summer I have decided to plant a small vegetable patch.  I have never gardened in my life.


But guess what?  I will scatter marigold plants amongst my tomatoes , cucumbers and fragrant basil to help them grow strong and healthy.


The Ubiquitous Icebreaker – an Upgrade

I am always searching for a new, original icebreaker to begin the year.

Since identity is a recurring theme in various texts, I like the idea of building  individual and class identity webs as a community builder.

I even have my first writing activity:  to reflect on the identity charts, find differences and commonalities.

My thanks to Sarah Ahmed.

A tweet by Traci Gardner sent me to an interesting article  that gave context to the identity concept maps.  I will pair individual and class selfies  with photographic and painted self portraits. And then … I will let you know next week.

Thank you Traci Gardner.

Do you have a favorite icebreaker?