The Marigold Effect

By Tyler Tompson-


Over the weekend, my girlfriend sent me an article that talked about the “Marigold Effect”. I had never heard of this before (nor did I know what a marigold was to be quite honest) so I was completely blind going into this short 6-page article. As I was getting into it, I was upset I never read about it until now!


The article relates the Marigold Effect with teachers, grades K-12, but it is also extremely relatable in several different areas: sports, relationships with family and friends, the workplace, etc. In the past, I have given a mindset presentation during our Summer Program that talks about the environments we are in and how those impact our behavior and performance; these two go hand-in-hand.


Below is a brief section of the article written by Jennifer Gonzalez. As you continue to read, think about some of the supporting figures on your teams, in school, in your friend group, etc. that help you grow and flourish.


“Many experienced gardeners follow a concept called companion planting: placing certain vegetables and plants near each other to improve growth for one or both plants. For example, rose growers plant garlic near their roses because it repels bugs and prevents fungal diseases. Among companion plants, the marigold is one of the best: it protects a wide variety of plants from pests and harmful weeds. If you plant a marigold beside most any garden vegetable, that vegetable will grow big and strong and healthy, protected and encouraged by its marigold.


Marigolds exist in our schools as well encouraging, supporting and nurturing growing teachers on their way to maturity. If you can find at least one marigold in your school and stay close to them, you will grow. Find more than one and you will positively thrive.


Few teachers will be lucky enough to be planted close to a marigold—being assigned to one as a mentor, co-teacher, or team leader will be rare. You will have to seek them out. You can identify them by the way they congratulate you on arrival, rather than asking why anyone would want this godforsaken job. Or by the way their offers to help sound sincere. Or just by how you feel when you’re with them: are you calmer, more hopeful? Excited to get started on a teaching task? Comfortable asking questions, even the stupid ones? If you feel good around this person, chances are they have some marigold qualities.


Once you’ve identified your marigolds, make an effort to spend time with them. Having a hard day? Go to your marigolds. Not understanding how to operate the grade reporting system? Go to your marigolds. Confused by something the principal said at the faculty meeting? Marigolds. They may be on the other side of the building, out of your grade or subject area, or otherwise less convenient to reach than others. If your school is especially toxic, you might have to find your marigolds in another school, or even online. Make the effort. It’s worth the trouble.”


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