Farran Street Education

Set Your Team Up for a Successful Year: Five Exciting New Habits for Educators 

When leading a team of Educators, you know that setting your team up for a successful year requires a winning culture built on positive habits. What if you could make those habits not only positive but also exciting?  

This year, shake things up and say goodbye to old habits like "It was someone else's job," "It wasn't my fault," and "I didn't do it." Instead, encourage your team to adopt five new habits that will help them succeed and create a vibrant, dynamic culture that everyone will want to be a part of. 

1. Embrace Positivity 

Positive attitudes are essential for success, and we are not just talking about being happy all the time. It is about having the resilience to focus on the positive aspects of a situation and find creative solutions to challenges. At Farran Street, one of our habits is Shining the spotlight on proud. At Farran Street, it is a tradition incorporated into meetings and is a favourite amongst staff. Here is how it works: 

Using a spotlight torch at the start of each meeting, each staff member takes turns to choose an event or moment they are proud to share with the group. Then, when they speak, the spotlight torch is turned on, literally shining the spotlight on proud! 

2. Take Personal Responsibility – Goal-directed Apologies 

One of the most important parts of practising personal responsibility is apologising. Apologies can be tricky. They require humility, vulnerability, and a willingness to take responsibility for one's actions, all of which can be difficult. However, sincere apologies can go a long way in repairing relationships and building trust. 

A goal-directed apology is focused on achieving a specific outcome. The person making the apology is intentional about their words and actions. This type of apology can be helpful in a work setting as the person making the apology can remove personal ego and pride and instead focus on the best outcome for the team. 

Here are the critical elements of a goal-directed apology that encourage personal responsibility: 

Acknowledge the harm caused: The staff member should take responsibility for their actions and acknowledge the harm caused. 

Set specific goals: Allow the staff member to set specific goals they want to achieve, such as restoring trust.  

Develop a plan: As a leader, work with the staff member to develop a plan to help them achieve their goals. A plan gives them control over their commitments and helps to promote personal accountability.   

Follow through: As a leader, help the staff member follow through on commitments made and help them to take the actions needed to meet their goals. 

A leader who promotes a goal-directed approach to apologises empowers others to demonstrate their sincerity and commitment to making things right.  

3. Embody Ownership 

Taking ownership of one's work is not just about completing tasks but also about being invested in the outcome. It is like a chef who takes pride in creating a delicious meal and enjoys seeing the delight it brings others. Encourage your team to be passionate about the education they provide and take ownership of their roles in creating positive outcomes for children. By doing so, they will be more motivated and engaged, translating into better learning experiences. 

Here are tips to share with your team about how to embody ownership at work: 

Be accountable: Hold yourself accountable for your work and performance. Follow up on your commitments. 

Communicate effectively: Good communication is essential to embodying ownership. Be clear and concise, and, most importantly, listen actively to others. 

Take pride in your work: Embodying ownership means taking pride in your work and striving to always be your best.  

Be a team player: Be willing to change course if necessary and be open to new ideas and approaches. 

4. Be Solution-Focused 

Being solution-focused means identifying problems and finding creative solutions to overcome them. It is like an explorer charting a new course, taking on challenges and discovering new opportunities along their journey. Encourage your team to work together to find creative solutions to challenges and create a positive work environment.  

Use positive instead of negative language that focuses on the problem and brainstorm ideas as a group so that you can find a solution that works as a team. Reframing the problem can also help; ask your team, "What if we approach this from a different perspective?'. After collaborating, do not be afraid to experiment with different solutions to see what works best. Be adaptable and willing to try other ideas.  

Applying a solution-focused approach will allow your creative team members and analytical thinkers to shine. 

5. Show Respect – Saying Hello 

Respect is a matter of politeness and a critical habit that can create a positive and supportive work environment. It is like a symphony orchestra where each musician respects the other's talent and works together to create beautiful music. In the same way, you can encourage your team to respect each other's opinions and contributions, collaborate on lesson plans, and support each other in achieving their goals. 

Saying Hello 

A fantastic and easy-to-adopt habit that we heard about was the Saying Hello policy, and it works like this: 

If you pass someone at work and you are 10 meters away, you smile and wave; however, if you are five meters away, you say hello and ask them how they are. The Early Learning Service that adopted this policy reported their staff engagement lifted by 80%, and their staff's overall feeling of respect in the workplace had also increased.  

By encouraging your team to adopt these five exciting new habits, you can set them up for a successful year. In addition, these habits will help boost morale, spark creativity, and accelerate personal accountability. As a result, educators can quickly acknowledge their mistakes, learn from their experiences, keep their word, push through challenges, and provide quality education for children. In addition, these habits will create a culture where everyone is excited and committed to providing the best possible education for children. 

As a leader, it is time to get excited about creating a winning culture for Educators. You can create a vibrant and dynamic culture by encouraging exciting new habits that inspire passion, creativity, and accountability.  

About the Author: Adrian Pattra is a management consultant with a Master of Education (Ed. Psychology). He is currently the Education Director of Farran Street Education.