Question: I’m the educational leader, but am struggling to mentor and support our educators because they just see me as ‘checking up on them’ and get defensive.
Set yourself up for success by setting long term goals
The role of educational leader can be tricky. Being assigned the role is no guarantee that you’ll feel empowered, confident in your knowledge and skills or 100% prepared to support the educators you work with – and that’s perfectly OK. There are several things that can help this situation.
- Reset expectations: Ensure management give everyone a clear message about the responsibilities and aims of your role as educational leader.
- Build relationships with your educators: Spend time checking in with each team member and learning about their interests. People will be much more responsive if they feel you are genuinely interested in them.
- Use a strengths-based approach: Work with educators to set their own goals and help them identify what resources, strategies and actions/steps will allow them to reach those goals. Be sure to outline when and by who each step will be done. You might have service goals to include also.
- Support your educators to make positive changes: Some goals will likely require changes in thinking and acting for the educator. Expect to take some time for this process and be sensitive. It might mean outlining your goal one week and saying, ‘I know this is new for you and a lot to consider at the moment. I’m going to leave the idea with you for a week. Then we will work together to begin planning how I can support you to implement some starting steps. We will keep checking in and working on it over time.’ Reassure each educator that you will work alongside them in this.
Consultant, Community Child Care Association
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