The Key to Influential Teaching: Be Like a Marigold Patch, Help Students Thrive

May 14, 2019

This program originally aired on August 28, 2017.

The 2017 Iowa Teacher of the Year, Shelley Vroegh, often cites an article written for new teachers that compares teachers to marigolds. She says that if you plant marigolds near vegetables, they are going to make those vegetables thrive.

She adds that it's important for teachers to ask themselves what qualities are going to help other teachers thrive.

The article also talks about how walnut trees are poisonous and you don't want to plant near them.  

"Unfortunately we do have some walnut tres in education from time to time, but the key and the trick is surrounding yourself with good people and finding the marigold qualities within yourself, and helping to cultivate those qualities in the others around you too," Vroegh says. "I think when we band together as educations and we have our marigold qualities shine, other people see that and it will help them be better teachers and better people as well."

In this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Vroegh about what it takes to connect with with her fifth-grade students at Lakewood Elementary in Norwalk. Mary Young, a high school math teacher in Mount Vernon, and Edutopia Senior Editor Betty Ray, also join the show. Ray discusses her article, "Six Traits of Life-Changing Teachers" about the characteristics of influential teachers.