You Can’t Pick Your Pollinators #MTBoSBlaugust

I’ve been having frustration recently about how much I share online. I’ve taken so much from the MTBoS that I want to give back in my little way; I don’t have Big Ideas like 3 Acts or WODB or Life Changing Theories of Teaching, but dammit if I don’t have a note taker maker for almost any topic you can think of. I’ve put a lot of time into creating all of my materials and it is nice knowing that my work is appreciated by some.

But sometimes I feel a little bit like I’m giving away the milk, if you know what I mean. Why would someone want to have me work as a math teacher when they can just take all my stuff? Today I reached my limit and told Mr Craig that “I want to burn that blog to the ground.”

His response: “You can’t pick your pollinators.”

You see, I’ve been trying to grow a pollinator garden to attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. We first had a batch of Japanese beetles I had to deal with. Then a herd of deer came through and destroyed half the plants. Then we had a bit more wasps than usual. Then I got stung by a yellow jacket. At that point I told Mr Craig that I was pretty close to being done with nature and tearing all the plants out.

His response: “You can’t pick your pollinators.” I can’t put a sign that says “Bees only!” or “No Stingers Allowed!”

So yes, there’s a few bad guys out there, but so are some butterflies. And big (nice) bees. We’ve even been getting hummingbirds recently. And, oh yeah, even some pretty flowers that I get to enjoy just because they’re pretty!

So I could worry about the “bad” pollinators and the possibility of being stung or I could focus on how I’m giving bees and butterflies that are working hard a place to come to get extra energy that will help them build up their hives.

No, you can’t pick your pollinators.

But you can focus on the beautiful and beneficial ones.

And squash the stinging ones under the heel of your shoe.

Category: Reflections | Tags:

18 comments on “You Can’t Pick Your Pollinators #MTBoSBlaugust

  1. Oh Meg! Another great analogy emerges!

    • Thanks! Just like a butterfly emerging from the chrysalis, right? 😉

  2. You have an overwhelming groundswell of karma coming to you from the universe! Sending my gratitude!

    • Aw, thank you, Johnathan!


    • YES! Totally need one!!

  4. Love your analogy! An aside … planning my butterfly/bee garden … starting in September!

    Love all that you share! Hang in there!

    • It really is fun seeing all the nice pollinators come visit! 🙂 Hope yours grows well!

  5. I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been frustrated, but as a new Pre-Calc teacher, I really appreciate all you’ve done to pave the way for so many of us. Many hugs to you, my friend! Keep on pollinating!

    • MEE TOOOOO! Your blog has been a life saver for me, Meg. Don’t burn it down!!

      • Aw, thanks, Ali! Hope it makes your first year a little easier!

    • Thank you! You’re definitely one of the pollinators I want to attract and feed! 🙂

  6. I love love love your note taker makers, you tweaking and retweaking of materials. Your work helps me be a better teacher and know the struggle is real.

    • Aw, thank you! This is making me a little bit teary-eyed. I’m glad I’m able to help make you even just a smidge more awesome than you already are!

  7. As a happy taker or some of your materials recently I can’t help but be happy you blog what you do, but I find this reaction so interesting. It is such the opposite of me: the idea of other people using any of my materials fills me with pride and ticks my reward center like a drug, just like Instagram likes do for teenagers.

    I always wonder about the “giving away the milk” metaphor in its original form and I feel the same about it here. The original form seems disdainful of men, assuming that the only reason we marry is carnal. And this version seems to me to be equally so, assuming that administrators equate teaching with materials. I don’t think that’s a good metaphor: what you are providing on your blog is the installation manual for a faucet. What you provide in person is professional plumbing skills.

    • I’m with David on this one. You are much more than the sum of your blogs.

      I am sure that some of your seeds, sown in the wind, will germinate in a neglected plot, growing strong and true and choking out the weeds that thrived in seasons past. It isn’t important that you know it’s happening, or who may be taking credit for creating the seeds. Knowing that another gardener might take the care to cultivate them for the benefit of children is in itself a satisfying reward.


      • Jen, what a beautiful extension of my analogy. Now I’m just picturing all the MTBoS classrooms that are so full of flowers that were germinated from the seeds of so many different gardeners! 🙂

    • Yes, I TOTALLY get a dopamine uptick whenever someone uses my materials! I’m still always like, really? You want to use *my* stuff out of all the awesomeness that is the MTBoS?

      I am frustrated because I have been replaced by a plumber who is using my manual!

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