Often in childcare you find that the educators get into it because they love making other people happy. They are givers, and as such often gain their biggest joy from seeing others happy. This can be said for not only the children and families, but also for their supervisors.
This then means that often educators are worried about making mistakes, doing things wrong, and feeling that they have let the team down, the service down, and “failed”. I have seen this first hand, and it is very common. But in an ever evolving workplace with constant changes educators needs to be confident they can evolve too.
These changes could be coming from external forces like new frameworks, regulations, political parties, and internal forces like new owners, team members, directors. Every new change brings modifications to “the norm”, some minor like a new form, some major like the Early Years Learning Framework.
The best way to cope with these changes is to do your best and not be afraid to fail. A failure is only a failure if nothing is learnt from it. Take time to reflect on what happened and make sure that you use the event as a learning opportunity. Here are some tips when something goes wrong:
- Acknowledge your mistakes. Own up to it. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed, and don’t cover them up and keep going. Be honest and say “well that didn’t work!” or “I really don’t understand this new form. Help!”. Acknowledging something didn’t work will help you be able to reflect on it, or get support if needed.
- Reflect on what went wrong. Sometimes it is as simple as it was your first go at trialing something and it needed some refining. Other times it might be that you didn’t understand an instruction, you were not prepared enough for the activity, you misjudged the interest of the children, etc.
- Prepare for next time. Depending on what your reflection uncovered, this could be anything from asking for help/support, doing more research, going to training, or simply just persevering and trying again with a different approach or more confidence.
Hopefully these steps will help you see that every mistake is an opportunity for growth and self-development. If you look at mistakes as a positive step in your career, instead of the negativity of a failure, you will start to develop a different perspective on them and be more open to trying new things.
Good luck and let me know how you go!
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