Positive versus negative role models

When you're fresh to a school/campus, it's sometimes overwhelming dealing with the politics and emotions of those already working there.

Schools and early learning centres are unlike other workplaces - the stakes are constantly high, the pressures unique and the nature of the work always changing. For this reason cultivating a mental space for yourself where you associate with positive influencers and enablers in your professional practice is extremely important.

We recommend you read Jennifer Gonzalez's article 'Find Your Marigold: The one essential rule for new teachers'. Although it is written with teachers in mind, support staff would find the ideas within it just as applicable and useful.

As you're reading the article, think to yourself:

  • Who is a marigold in my professional world?
  • How can I ensure that I'm in close proximity to them instead of walnut trees during breaks, RFF and professional development days?
  • How can I work on letting the walnut trees' comments roll off me without poisoning my thinking and my enthusiasm, and therefore my long term mental wellbeing?
  • In what ways am I'm implementing positive feedback into my practice from marigolds and ensuring walnut trees influence isn't influencing me unduly?
  • How do I thank a marigold for their contribute to my career?
  • How can I become a marigold for someone else?


 We recommend that thinking critically about your professional relationships and how to manage the types of input you receive from colleagues regarding professional practice would be a Teacher Identified activity addressing 6.3.2 - Contribute to collegial discussions and apply constructive feedback from colleagues to improve professional knowledge and practice.