This is the Way to Teach, Train, and Coach

Two great comments by Dr. Rod King contributed two overwhelming comments that rocked my intention to prioritize this post.

The pollination metaphor

I find a great analogy between the pollination of flowers and the “pollination of students and teachers”. The flowers need the bees and other insects to pollinate them. They do their best to attract the favorable insect by:

  • Having different types of flowers-, not all bees are alike. Each type of bees may prefer one type of flowers
  • Having flowers with various colors-, not all bees favor the same color. Bees help insects to find them by having “nectar guides” that serve as guides enabling the favorable insects to find them.
  • Having seasonality of flowers- so that pollinating insects may find their target unceasing supply of pollen and nectar
  • Having high reachability- it is not enough to have the pollen and nectar if their reachability is difficult. Bees with long tongues prefer deep nutrients whereas some bees prefer easily accessible nutrients
  • Having appealing fragrances to catch the attention of the pollinating insects.
  • Providing a resting place nearby so that the insects may stay in the neighborhood.
  • Having the appropriate climate to produce nectar and pollen

The drinking horse metaphor

I offered this metaphor in my previous post. You can take a horse to water, but you cannot force it to drink it. The challenge is to make the horse thirsty to drink the water. In the teaching context, it is how to make teachers and students wish to be thirsty to drink the new knowledge, the new teaching technologies, and the new media challenge and abandon the old ones.

The relevance of the bee metaphor to teaching, coaching, and training

What applies to this metaphor is extensible to the horse metaphor.

People resist change and resist it more if they find that they are changing by force. These are pains for them. Ideally, we want teachers to want to pollinate the students with the new knowledge. Bees do it voluntarily. Students and trainees mostly shall not.

The flowers of the new knowledge and technology are available and they have the nectar and pollen that feed the minds of teachers and students. We want the nectar of new knowledge and technology to be reachable in various colors and in a healthy environment. We want the flowers of new knowledge to be appealing. We need a resting place and recreation facilities to attract teachers and students. We want the maximum delight to carry the pollens and nectar and pollinate other teaching staff and students with them. We want to fill the holes of knowledge successfully.

Thinking broadly about these needs we find that we want the maximum delight with the minimum pain so that pollination can be successful. The higher the delight over pain ratio the greater is the desire for pollination.

The beauty of the Fractal Grid that Dr. Rod King invented is that it answers all the above needs in one page. Just inspect the fractal grid. It has a place for maximizing delight and another place for reducing pain and its sources. The fractal grid addresses the need for a healthy environment so that pollination may happen (or a horse as the grid shows). It has an output for the pollination of minds and their value-added.

It is my hope that this post makes teaching more appealing for teachers, coaches and trainers, and their trainees.


Ali Anani
Ali Anani
My name is Ali Anani. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UK, 1972) Since the early nineties I switched my interests to publish posts and presentations and e-books on different social media platforms.

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  1. Topic of great importance.
    Education and teaching are of primary importance in our society; on them it is necessary to concentrate the energies of the people, the community and the institutions. The widening of the gap between those who know and those who do not know in the age of the internet and globalization leads to new serious poverty, in an era in which all work activities require specialization and prudent socio-political participation is increasingly necessary .
    The transition between the second and third millennium is largely played on the challenge of training, which must become the patrimony of all in an integrated training system that guarantees equal opportunities for success. In a world in which the accumulation of information increases dramatically and the level of
    preparation, critical autonomy and responsibility, the ideal of reaching the generalized training of competent, alert and balanced people still appears far away. Early school leaving, which takes place every time children achieve results below their possibilities, constitutes a face of social unease, it is a real dissipation of intellectual wealth; very often it is accompanied by school dropout.
    Promoting the full development of the personality means creating the conditions so that all the human potential of which each subject is a carrier can develop.
    As for bees, communication, cooperation and respect are the three keywords of the bee society that we could make our own to live better all together. One more reason to contribute to the protection of this insect so important for the ecosystem

  2. Hi Charlotte,

    You are absolutely correct. You are a mind reader. Today I am sending the second part of this post to BIZCATALYST. The new post carries the title “Fresh Perspective on Passion-Ability Relationship”..

    The post discusses the role of passion and skills-building in teaching. I believe it covers your great idea here, which I am in total agreement with.

    It is the synergistic combination of skills and ability that produces lasting commitment..

  3. A great visual – thank you to Rod King – and a great subject, Ali.

    I would add another possibly relevant metaphor to your collection: The bees don’t want too much honey from some kinds of flowers. Even if the bees are happy to visit the buckeye flower, they will not get good sustaining honey if buckeye is too big a part of their feed. It may even kill their young.
    I think the same applies to learning. Students need variation and they need a broad foundation or they will not be able to find the right professional match for them and their personality. Teachers that make it too easy to pass the tests “kill” their students ability to gain knowledge that will stick beyond the end of the semester.

    • I am sorry Charlotte, because I thought I replied to your comment before.

      I agree totally with you. The students need the nectar that is tasty to their taste buds and not their teachers’ buds. This is matching with your idea “Students need variation and they need a broad foundation or they will not be able to find the right professional match for them and their personality.”